For the first time in more than four years, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has a new Light Heavyweight champion not named Jon Jones:
Cormier and Anthony Johnson squared off tonight (Sat., May 23, 2015) in UFC 187's main event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, battling for the vacant 205-pound crown.
Johnson came out pumping his jab early and Cormier responded with an eye poke. After a brief stoppage, Johnson began to go to town, dropping "DC" with a clean right cross. It looked like another early finish for Johnson before Cormier closed the distance and wisely dumped him to the floor. Johnson battled back to his feet, and bashed Cormier with a right hand, but he was ultimately unsuccessful.
Cormier pressed Johnson along the cage as Johnson sat one one knee. With two minutes to go he was able to break free with a head kick and then a looping overhand right that just missed. Cormier fired back, and missed, too, as he circled away from the powerful Blackzilians-trained fighter.
In the last minute, Cormier continued to keep it close, grinding Johnson along the cage, landing short shots and then a right cross as the horn blared.
In the second, the pair exchanged monstrous head kicks that appeared to daze Cormier. Rather than continue, Cormier picked up Johnson, carried him to the middle of the cage and dumped him on his back. Cormier, with four minutes still on the clock, began to work his ground-and-pound magic, which eventually transitioned into a kimura attempt. Two attempts didn't pan out as Johnson struggled to catch his breath underneath a swarming Cormier.
Cormier eventually postured up and laid down some punishment as Johnson bucked to get out ... unsuccessfully. And that's how the round ended, with Cormier riding a struggling Johnson and nailing him with short, hard elbows. Johnson had a hard time getting up and into his corner, bleeding heavily from his left eye.
Perhaps looking to avoid a repeat of round two, Johnson started the third frame with a rare takedown. Cormier got up quick, though, and attempted to reverse, but Johnson drilled him with a right hand. Cormier would not be denied, taking down Johnson eventually and taking his back, which lead to a rather basic rear-naked choke finish.
Cormier more or less broke Johnson in that second round with his world-class cardio and relentless aggression.
For complete results from UFC 187: "Johnson vs. Cormier," including play-by-play updates, click here.