On April 8, the UFC will touch down in Buffalo, New York with UFC 210. The card will be headlined by a light heavyweight title rematch between champion Daniel Cormier and challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who were originally expected to fight at UFC 206 in December.
In advance of this fight, Rumble has assured that he’ll knock Cormier out. The Blackzilians veteran very nearly did so in their first fight, but was ultimately submitted by Cormier instead.
On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Daniel Cormier explained that he doesn’t believe Rumble will be able to knock him out this time around either. And when his challenger fails to produce the knockout win, Cormier believes he’ll have a clear path to victory.
“Truthfully, it just sounds like the same things that were said the first time,” the champ said. “Before we fought, he said, ‘I can knock him out whenever I decide to knock him out.’ That’s what he said. He said, ‘Daniel knows what’s coming to him. I’m going to knock him out.’ And I just look at that and I go, okay, well, what happens if you don’t knock me out? What happens if you don’t knock me out? What happens if you hit me with your best shot and I continue to press forward, and I continue to engage you, and I continue to stay in your face the entire time? What happens then? And we saw what happened. He rolled over, gave me his neck, and let me choke him out so he could get out of the Octagon.”
Cormier then explained that the key to beating an absurdly powerful puncher like Rumble is stand up to them – something he plans to do in their looming rematch.
“People can believe everything they want. I love Mike Tyson. I was a fan, as everybody else was. The moment somebody stood up to him, he didn’t do so well. And that’s the same thing with Anthony Johnson. The guy’s a bully. He wants to intimidate you, he wants to dominate you, he wants to knock you out. But what happens when you don’t knock somebody out? What happens? I saw this guy beat Andrei Arlovski within an inch of his life in the first round of a fight. By the end of the fight, I thought Andrei Arlovski was going to win. Dude had a broken jaw, but once [Johnson] couldn’t get him out of there, Andrei Arlovski just had to do a little bit more and he could’ve won the fight. C’mon man. You ain’t knocking me out.”
Do you think Daniel Cormier will win his rematch with Rumble, or will Rumble earn the knockout he craves? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/7/2017.