UFC light heavyweight (205-pound) champion Daniel Cormier said in a number of media appearances leading up to UFC 210 in Buffalo, New York that he only needed to survive seven minutes of fury from Anthony “Rumble” Johnson—and he was right. Cormier went just over 8:30 in the cage. However, Johnson then shocked the world with his retirement from MMA.
Johnson is the first to throw hands (to the surprise of no one given his history as a striker) but then the opening combination sets up a double-leg takedown attempt. Cormier, an Olympian, stuffs it but Johnson won’t let go. Cormier sprawls and then forces Johnson into a clinch that is mostly just a headlock.
Johnson forces a gap between the two of them and Cormier evades his heavy leather. The two are separated following a fence-grab by the defending champion. A kick from Johnson leads to another double-leg that is successful but only after the end of the round.
Cormier forces Johnson backward with a single-leg attempt and they’re back to fighting in a phone booth. He moves ahead on the judges’ scorecards with right-handed blows from in close. Johnson spins and another takedown is money but nothing comes of it as Cormier jumps back up to his feet.
“DC” brings Johnson to the canvas and takes his back with ease. Johnson submits from the point.
(C) Daniel Cormier def. Anthony Johnson via Rear-Naked Choke at 3:37 of Round 2
Johnson announced his retirement in the cage post-fight and then posted the following on social media earlier today (sic):
A new beginning starts today and I am so happy about that…
My body can recover and I can focus on something different other than mma.
MY life has been amazing and I haven’t come close to scratching the surface.
I’ll miss mma and every aspect of the game, but my time is over and I’m ready to watch the new generation take over.
Now I can be Anthony Johnson/AJ and not Anthony Rumble Johnson!
Thank you all for the love and support throughout the yrs…
Rumble Squad forever!”