With Jon Jones stepping on his crank once more just a few days ago, Light Heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, was left without a dance partner tonight (Sat., July 9, 2016) at UFC 200 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. But, fortunately for "DC," former Middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, was more than willing to step in on super short notice and challenge Cormier in a three-round, non-title 205-pound showdown on the pat-per-view (PPV) main card.
And even though it was a noble gesture, "Spider" -- fresh off gall bladder surgery -- simply didn't have the conditioning to compete with a beast like Cormier on just 48 hours notice.
Cormier came out of his corner the aggressor, shooting in for a takedown -- and securing it -- within the first minute. Silva angled for a few submissions off his back as Cormier dropped elbows and stacked him up against the fence where he looked to unload. Cormier eventually transitioned back to half-guard to continue his ground assault as Silva struggled to avoid punishment. Cormier, though, was relentless, sitting up and landing several hard shots as the Brazilian hugged "DC" to minimize his opportunities. Cormier postured up with 30 seconds remaining in the opening round and dropped a few bombs, none of which appeared to land clean. It was an utterly dominant round for Cormier, who rode "Spider" for almost the entire five minutes.
Silva opened up the second with his legs, hoping to maintain range, but Cormier caught a lazy knee and had the former champion on his back again in 40 seconds. And, much to the chagrin of the vociferous crowd, refused to let him up. Instead, dropping elbows from the top -- and several from the side -- as Silva attempted to escape. Fortunately for him, referee "Big" John McCarthy ordered a stand up with about 90 seconds remaining, but it was clear that he was exhausted from carrying Cormier's weight. Silva actually opened up with a few flashy kicks, but Cormier put an end to that almost immediately by mushing him up against the fence until the round expired.
Between rounds, Silva's corner pleaded with him to get the ball rolling. But, after a brief exchange in the center of the Octagon, which "DC" got the batter of with an overhand-backfist combination, Cormier once again dumped Silva on his back. Then, Cormier went back to work, keeping busy enough to avoid a stand up from the official. McCarthy eventually did stand them up, and Silva nearly capitalized with a thundering liver kick that clearly hurt Cormier, but it was too little, too late for the future Hall of Fame inductee.
It wasn't pretty, but kudos to both men for their willingness to fight each other on such short notice. Cormier went on to win a convincing unanimous decision and, in the process, handing Silva his fourth consecutive loss.
For complete UFC 200: "Tate vs. Nunes" results, including real-time play-by-play updates, click here.