On Saturday night, the UFC light heavyweight division got its first new champion since 2011. Daniel Cormier overcame some rocky patches to beat Anthony "Rumble" Johnson for the belt, which was left vacated when the UFC stripped champion Jon Jones due to his ongoing legal issues.
Anthony Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier
Official Result: Daniel Cormier defeats Anthony Johnson via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:39 of Round 3.
What was the high point of the fight?
In the opening exchanges of this fight it became apparent that Anthony Johnson is without doubt the hardest hitter at 205lbs and Daniel Cormier has one of the best chins in the sport. Rumble landed heavy early and dropped Cormier. It looked as though it was game over for the AKA standout, but it was at that point where Cormier's wrestling kicked into gear.
Cormier's wrestling was the definite high point of this fight. Throughout the 2nd and 3rd round Cormier outwrestled Johnson before submitting him with a rear-naked choke.
Where do these two go from here?
While Daniel Cormier may want Jon Jones to "get his shit together" so they can rematch, I think that Jones is fighting some demons and should take his time in returning to the Octagon. In the meantime, Ryan Bader makes sense as an opponent for DC and following their war of words at Saturday's post fight press conference, the fight will surely garner some interest.
Anthony Johnson's growth as a fighter over the last few years has been remarkable. I feel this is just the beginning of his time as an elite fighter, and expect him to face the winner of Glover Teixeira vs. Ovince St. Preux in early fall.
Watch now, later, or never?
Watch now. This fight perfectly capped off an amazing night of fights. Cormier proved he has the heart and Johnson showed why he is one of the most dangerous fighters in the world today.