This past weekend at UFC 210, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier defended his light heavyweight championship for the second time as he picked up a 2nd round submission win over Anthony Johnson in a highly anticipated affair.
With that being said, there was quite a bit of controversy leading up to the fight given that Cormier missed weight on his first attempt, before then weighing-in just moments later 1.2 pounds lighter than he had been moments before.
Backstage footage from weigh-ins showed Daniel Cormier and Johnson playfully talking. Cormier exclaimed to Johnson that this was his most difficult weight-cut yet. According to the champ, who spoke to MMAFighting in the days following the fight, it’s because of the nine months off since his last fight.
“My weight was good. Wednesday morning, I’d guess I was like 218, but I could just feel like I wasn’t losing as much as I would lose normally,” Cormier said. “Whereas, if I would go and work out for an hour and lose eight pounds, (instead) I was losing five-and-a-half pounds. So I was like, ‘alright, this is going to be a little bit of a tougher cut, so I know Thursday is going to be rough.’
“This was the hardest one by far,” he continued. “I think the beginning of my 205-pound career was easier because I was fighting so often. Like, if you remember, I fought Patrick Cummins, then I fought Dan Henderson, then I fought (Jon) Jones and I fought (Alexander) Gustafsson, ‘Rumble.’ They were all within the first year-and-a-half. So every three or four months, I was fighting; whereas now, after Gustafsson, it was like nine months (until UFC 200), and then this time again it was like eight months. So it’s just a lot of time between fights. Just, I need to be a little more active, so that my weight doesn’t get as high, and also my body gets used to the weight cut again.”
Interestingly enough, backstage footage also caught Cormier informing Johnson that this would be his last trip down to 205. Whether or not the champ was serious remains to be seen.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/12/2017.