On December 30th, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, and top ranked light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson will step into the Octagon in the main event of UFC 206 in a highly anticipated rematch for the UFC light heavyweight championship.
The pair first met inside the Octagon in 2015, when they fought for Jon Jones’ vacant light heavyweight championship. Johnson was initially slated to fight Jones at the event, however after a hit-and-run incident, Jones was pulled from the card and stripped of the belt, which subsequently led the promotion to replace Jones with Daniel Cormier. After weathering an early storm from ‘Rumble’ Cormier managed to utilize his wrestling to wear Johnson out, ultimately winning the fight via 3rd round submission to claim the vacant light heavyweight championship.
Since then, Cormier has defended the title once, narrowly edging out Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192 to retain the light heavyweight strap. Following his win over Gustafsson, Cormier was slated for a rematch with Jon Jones at UFC 200, however Jones was pulled from the fight just 48 hours before fight night due to a potential USADA anti-doping violation, and was replaced by Anderson Silva, who dropped a unanimous decision to Cormier in a non-title fight.
Johnson on the other hand has continued to strike fear throughout the light heavyweight division with his stunning knockout power, going 3-0 since his last meeting with Cormier. All three of his wins have come by way of knockout, with the most recent being a 13 second knockout win over Glover Teixera at UFC 202 back in August.
Now, ahead of the rematch, Johnson spoke to MMAJunkie to weigh-in on Cormier stating that he plans to stand & trade with Rumble throughout the fight:
“I believe he is a man of his word; I believe he’s going to try and trade with me, but at the end of the day he is a wrestler,” Johnson said. “I’m going to make him have to wrestle me. Because if I hit him with a better shot than I hit him with last time, he’s in for a long night.
“I look forward to seeing what Daniel can do. I look forward to seeing what I can do against Daniel. It’ll be very interesting.”
“We’ll see what happens,” Johnson said. “Daniel’s smart. If he stays out of the way of my fists and my feet, he might live.”