Despite the odds-makers giving Anthony Johnson the edge in Saturday’s rematch against Daniel Cormier, the fight turned out exactly the same. In a little less time than it took the first bout, Daniel DC Cormier submitted Rumble Johnson. In the first fight against Rumble back in 2015, DC didn’t have much time to prepare. He was a substitution, after Jon Jones was pulled for running into a pregnant lady, in a nasty hit and run accident. Despite getting pummeled with a huge right hand by Rumble, the first fight went to the ground as DC expected and that’s where the fight ended, with a classic rear-naked choke.
At UFC 210 in upstate New York for the rematch, there was a feeling Rampage was going to do everything he could to keep the fight standing. DC on the other hand, wanted to take it to the ground, just like the 1st fight. In a near “Xerox” like performance, DC took the battle to the ground and submitted Rumble. That was expected, but what shocked everyone was Rumble tried over and over again to wrestle with Daniel. That was a crazy move as DC is an Olympic wrestler.
Rumble Johnson was successful in taking down Cormier a couple times, but DC quickly shot back up. This strategy of wrestling drove Rumble’s corner crazy. His trainers were yelling expletives at him to keep the fight standing. For a moment Rumble took his advice with a vicious knee that smashed Cormier’s nose. After that, Cormier knew where the fight needed to go, on the ground.
DC got his wish in the 2nd round as Johnson continued to wrestle. This played right into DC’s game plan. Johnson was able to get the takedown but couldn’t maintain top position. Cormier quickly took Rumbles’ back and went in for the kill. A few seconds later the rear naked choke sunk-in and Big John McCarthy stopped the fight at 3:37 in the second round. After the fight, DC said “I couldn’t believe Johnson wanted to wrestle with me. I knew at some point I would get to him with my wrestling.”
After the fight Johnson shocked the MMA world as he announced his retirement. He said he had another job that he’s committed to, but left the door open for a possible return. Who knows if Rumble will ever compete again in the UFC and get another title shot.