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UFC 210, ‘Morning After:’ Anthony Johnson’s coaches just as confused as you by his choice to wrestle

What you may have missed from last night!

MMA: UFC 210-Cormier vs Johnson
Johnson spent much of the first round choosing to clinch up with an Olympian wrestler
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was a wild ride. Anthony Johnson lost again to Daniel Cormier in precisely the same fashion as their first bout, succumbing to a rear-naked choke after piling on tons of damage early. A man in his prime at 33 years of age, he then retired in the cage, saying he is going to pursue something lucrative, not related to MMA.

It’s not NFL football, though, no matter what his Twitter bio says.

What struck many watching the main event was Rumble’s inexplicable choice to wrestle Cormier after hurting him with strikes in the opening round. Cormier, a two-time Olympic athlete in freestyle wrestling, has only ever been outwrestled in the UFC by Jon Jones, a master of attritional fighting, in the fourth round of a grueling contest. Johnson, meanwhile, is known primarily for his shocking power and smooth striking.

Who? You know who!!! ☠️

A post shared by Official Page Jackson Wink MMA (@jacksonwink_mma) on

Other fighters were not impressed with Rumble’s decision making:

As it turns out, observers were not the only ones confused. Johnson’s corner was also stunned by the decision, meaning it was never the gameplan. They repeatedly advised him to stop wrestling, and after the bout, his striking coach Henri Hooft exclaimed (in unison with everyone who saw the first Johnson-Cormier bout)

“Why, why the (expletive) does this happen every (expletive) time, man? Crazy.”

Corner transcript via

Voice: Take your time. Nice. Take your time. Don’t take him down.

Hooft: Don’t wrestle him.

Voice: If you’re going to go, go single.

Hooft: You don’t have to wrestle him, AJ. Just relax.

Voice: Don’t wrestle him.

Hooft: Get out of there. Get out of there.

Grappling coach Neil Melanson: OK, stud. Now, let’s get your hands hot.

Voice: Why is he wrestling him?

Hooft: This is stupid.

Voice: Why is he wrestling him?

Hooft: (Expletive) it, man. Just get off the cage.

Voice: Get out of there.

Voice: Why isn’t he listening?

(Johnson and Cormier are broken up by referee John McCarthy, and Johnson lands kicks.)

Voice: He’s tired already, DC. He doesn’t need to do this.

Voice: Why isn’t he listening?

Hooft: I don’t know why he’s doing that. We have no (expletive) eyes.

Break between Round 1 and Round 2

Hooft: Can you tell me why you’re wrestling? Now, you’re not going to wrestle. You take your distance. Stay away, two steps away. Why are you so worried about everything? The kicks and the knees are really good, but no kicks. Where’s your hands?

Voice: You’re doing great. Don’t (expletive) wrestle him.

Hooft: If you stand your distance, it’s an easy game. Why make it difficult?

Round 2

Hooft: Movement. Athletic. Movement. That’s it. Take your distance.

(Johnson reverses against the cage and goes for another takedown)

Hooft: You need distance.

Hooft: I’m not saying nothing.

(Cormier has Johnson on the mat and is setting up a choke)

Hooft: It’s going the same as last time.

(Johnson submits to Cormier via rear-naked choke)

Hooft: Why, why the (expletive) does this happen every (expletive) time, man? Crazy.

Tales of Fame and Fortune

Cormier’s win doubtless sets up a second match with Jon Jones, which could get interesting depending on Jones’ shape and form coming into the bout. Remember, Jones’ last fight was supposed to be against Cormier until Ovince St. Preux stepped in on short notice, and he struggled mightily with his gas tank in that bout. Their first fight was a brutal war of attrition that only saw Jones pull ahead in the championship rounds. If he is off his game even a little bit after a long layoff, Cormier could take the rematch, and the legitimate number one spot that has eluded him throughout his career.

While we are on the topic of legitimacy though, let’s not forget Towelgate:

While intrigued by the rematch, I’m going to be forever disappointed if Rumble’s retirement sticks and we never see this:

Anthony Johnson: “I may come back...”

Jon Jones: “Oh, yeah, dude. One day!”

In the co-main event, Gegard Mousasi defeated Chris Weidman in a confusing and controversial situation where the referee stopped the bout because he thought two knees by Mousasi were illegal, only to find out upon review that they were legal. The stoppage was then termed a TKO and Mousasi given the victory. Gegard was also on the final fight of his contract, which means the future is entirely uncertain for both men.

My feelings on these confusing ‘grounded’ rules exactly:

In Other Worlds

The ‘other’ Jon Jones, a game developer, and the ‘other’ Daniel Cormier, a software developer, had a fun weekend getting an avalanche of misdirected messages on Twitter:

The P4P best boxer in the world, Vasyl Lomachenko, also fought last night, and absolutely demolished the other man in the ring:

See a snippet of his sparring with TJ Dillashaw here

Usyk vs. Hunter on that card was also lit:

On the UFC prelims, Gregor Gillespie continued his undefeated ways with this very fast stoppage win:

Bellator 176 also went down, and you can catch the full recap complete with .GIFs here

Suffice it to say John Wayne Parr is the man:

Enjoy your Sunday, Maniacs!

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