Anthony Johnson will get yet another shot to debunk UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier when the two meet in a critical rematch later tonight (Sat., April 8, 2017) at UFC 210 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. The 205-pound clash is a reboot from Johnson’s initial meeting with Cormier back at UFC 187, which saw “DC” capture the vacant light heavyweight title with a third-round submission of “Rumble.”
As Johnson gears up for the biggest fight of his career and one that can easily be considered a legacy-defining moment, he’ll have the opportunity to prove his harshest critics wrong. With unparalleled punching power, “Rumble” has quickly rebounded from his loss to Cormier back in 2015 on the heels of three brutal knockout finishes. His production in a shallow division has led Johnson back to this moment and has given him the chance to throw hands with Cormier once again. But like last time, will Johnson be able to push through adversity and go tit-for-tat with the champion even if he’s unable to stop him early?
While Johnson will proclaim he’s a different fighter and the type of one to stay afloat in deep water, he hasn’t had the opportunity to showcase any changes he has made to his game. That’s because “Rumble” has ended his opponents in such a quick manner that little effort was exhausted. However, Cormier showed in the first fight that he can stomach Johnson’s hardest hits and keep coming. If that’s the case at UFC 210, Johnson will have moments where he needs to rise to the occasion, lean on any conditioning improvements he has adopted, and fight more strategically without going for the knockout kill at every turn.
This uncertainty of Johnson’s five-round effectiveness makes him the “Fighter to Watch” tonight at UFC 210. If the 33-year-old ever wants to become a perennial UFC champion who is able to thwart challengers left and right, including a returning Jon Jones, he’ll have to prove he is more than a quick knockout finisher. There’s no one better suited to test Johnson’s evolutionary stage in 2017 than Cormier and that’s why the rematch is going to be bonkers.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 210 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.