If you missed the bout, Johnson came out chucking big bombs and vicious kicks, and had Cormier in retreat. But, “Rumble” soon fell prey to a “DC” takedown, and the tide of the fight turned. Cormier ended up winning the memorable bout via third round, rear-naked-choke, and secured the vacant light-heavyweight title in the process.
Well, after the card, here is what UFC vets and commentators Dominick Cruz and Rashad Evans had to say about the bout on FOX Sports 1 (quotes via FOX Sports press release).
“These two came out and put on a show and they were both going for the finish. Round 2 set the tempo,” said Cruz. “DC got on top and kept on punching and punching. He waited for the shots from Johnson and watched him overextend and got the takedown and control on the top. Both of the Blackzilians were winning the standup wars tonight, but then they got caught on the bottom of a wrestler.”
“With Johnson, I said don’t throw the big shots,” Evans added. “Cormier weathered the storm, worked the transitional game and scored takedown after takedown. DC has a good chin, the way he rolls and moves. Dominick said it best, he was working the under hooks and getting the positions. Cormier is a beast with his wrestling ability. Johnson had to do too much. In the third round, he tried a takedown, but should have backed away and tried to get back to punching and kicking in the middle of the Octagon.”
It’s interesting to see that Evans warned his teammate about throwing “big shots”, as in the end, it proved to Johnson’s undoing. Now it will be interesting to see where Johnson goes from here.
The 31 year-old remains one of the division’s most dangerous fighters, and if he can rebound and score a couple of wins, a title shot might not be far away. Perhaps he could face the winner of the August 8th scrap between Glover Teixeira and Ovince St. Preux? Or how about a fight with “Rampage” Jackson?