War was waged in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon last night (Oct. 3, 2015) when reigning 205-pound king Daniel Cormier collided with two-time title challenger Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of the UFC 192 pay-per-view (PPV) inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
"DC" headed into his tussle with Gustafsson aiming to establish himself as a credible force and champion in the light heavyweight division, which had long been occupied by his nemesis and former rival Jon Jones. Gustafsson, meanwhile, was given a new lease on life after he was given his second title shot, bypassing the streaking Ryan Bader.
What transpired in the Octagon last night was nothing short of memorable.
It may not have been as impressive as welterweight champion Robbie Lawler's first title defense versus Rory MacDonald at UFC 189, but it was fairly close.
Regardless, Cormier came out in seemingly Cormier fashion, like a bulldozer. The 36-year-old waded into harms' way with jabs and uppercuts just to grab a hold of "The Mauler" and toss him on his head.
From there, Cormier went to work at times in full- and half-guard, with Gustafsson doing an excellent job of controlling the wrists and posture of Cormier. Minimal damage was taken by the Swede, who later made it back to his feet, landing a few solid shots as the round came to a close.
Round two saw Gustafsson start to tee off more and he opened a cut on the left side of the eye of Cormier. His hooks and uppercut were working now.
The 28-year-old Swede scored with leg kicks and two huge takedowns. Cormier had a little bit of trouble gauging the distance in this round and abandoned his wrestling.
Cormier rebounded in round three, decimating Gustafsson's face with uppercuts in the clinch, which caused the ladder's nose to start pouring blood, thus making it harder for him to breathe. The onslaught would continue throughout the third stanza as Gustafsson was taken hostage multiple times in Cormier's clinch.
However, fortunes changed in the waning seconds when Gustafsson landed a superb knee and a left hook on the American Kickboxing Academy leader up against the fence. The shots had the latter wobbly, but he made it out of the round intact.
Cormier went back to work in round four stalking Gustafsson, not allowing him any space to run or breathe. Though his output visibly slowed, the California-based fighter was the aggressor and in-turn scored more points.
Then, in the last round, it was pretty much anyone's game, but Cormier squeaked by because of punishing body shots and the occasional uppercut. He is your winner via split decision.
Cormier improves his record to 17-1, while Gustafsson drops to 17-3.