On April 8, the UFC will touch down in Buffalo, New York with UFC 210. In the card’s main event, we’ll see light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier attempt to defend his title against an old foe in Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.
Cormier and Rumble first met back in 2015. On that night, Rumble nearly took Cormier’s head off in the first round, but was ultimately overwhelmed by his foe’s wrestling and cardio, and submitted with a rear-naked choke in the third round. Given Rumble’s incredible punching power, however, the outcome of this fight could well be different. As such, The MMA community seems to be divided when it comes to predictions for this battle.
On Wednesday’s edition of BJ Penn Radio, Misha Cirkunov, who is widely regarded as the finest prospect in the UFC light heavyweight division, gave his take on this light heavyweight title rematch. His breakdown:
“You know, I feel like it’s going to be a way closer fight than last time because Anthony Johnson, he kind of knows the blueprint,” Cirkunov said. “He already felt [Cormier] out. He fought him. So I think that, if ever, his best chance of getting the belt is now. But having said that, Daniel Cormier has a little bit better of a wrestling pedigree, so at the end of the day, in the fourth or fifth round, that’s going to show. That might wear out Anthony Johnson, unless he can get out from the bottom, underneath Daniel Cormier. So, there’s still a slight advantage to Daniel Cormier, I would say, but it’s a lot closer fight this time I think.”
Though Cirkunov still has a ways to go before he earns a crack at the light heavyweight crown, it’s conceivable that he’ll have earned the opportunity with a few more wins. Do you think the rising light heavyweight will end up fighting Daniel Cormier or Anthony “Rumble” Johnson for gold? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/16/2017.