We’re all lucky to have witnessed Daniel Cormier in action.
On Saturday, the Daddest Man on the Planet made his final walk to the Octagon at UFC 252. Unfortunately, “DC” fell short in going out on a high note like he always wanted to.
So for this week, we’re tipping our hat off by taking a stroll down memory lane to one of his early fights. His fourth pro bout, to be exact, when he won the King of the Cage heavyweight championship against the pride of Killeen, Texas, Tony “Hulk” Johnson.
The fight took place on August 13, 2010, in New Mexico. Cormier is seven years Johnson’s senior, and like in most of his matchups, held the height disadvantage. But as we all know, that was never a deterrent for him.
Cormier always knew how to make that slight handicap work for him by doing what he does best: his relentless offensive wrestling. It was never expected of him to hang on like a leech and do nothing because he will push the pace from start to finish.
And once he gets you exactly where he wants you to be, your fate is pretty much sealed. In Johnson’s case, it was dealing with Cormier’s airtight scramble game that spelled the early end of his night.
Johnson did deserve an A for effort, but the NCAA Division I and Olympic freestyle competitor was just too good. DC eventually got back control again, flattened Johnson out, sunk in his left forearm under the neck, and finished the rear-naked choke. Goodnight, Irene, indeed.
The most impressive part of this victory was that it came 13 days after Cormier’s first championship win under XMMA against Lucas Browne in Sydney, Australia. Two heavyweight titles in two countries in two weeks. Even for many elite fighters, that’s an unachievable feat.
Say what you want about the man and his losses to two consensus all-time greats, but his career deserves some mad respect and a Hall-of-Fame distinction in the future.
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