Daniel Cormier vs Anthony Johnson
Jon Jones’s shadow still looms large over the light heavyweight division, up until he returns to the octagon Jones will continue to haunt the division he once ruled so authoritatively. In his absence, the reigning champion Daniel Cormier will meet arguably the most dangerous knock-out artist in all of MMA, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson for the second time.
Since the first meeting between Cormier and Johnson which was for the vacant belt Cormier went on to defeat Alexander Gustafsson and was due to rematch Jon Jones at UFC 200. Unfortunately, Jones wasn’t able to compete due to a doping violation. Cormier instead accepted a non-title fight with MMA legend Anderson Silva on three days notice, the fight resulted in a unanimous decision victory for Cormier. Although DC gets harsh criticism from fans who insist he isn’t the real champion, nobody can argue with the fact he’s been the one defending the belt thus deserving the same unquestionable respect Jon Jones previously received from the fans.
Anthony Johnson who was unsuccessful in his first title shot against Cormier back in 2015, has worked himself back into title contention with three KO victories on the bounce. Johnson needed no more than a combined 7 minutes & 7 seconds to finish three top 10 contenders on the way back to the number one contender spot. Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader, and Glover Teixeira all falling victim to the lethal power of Anthony Johnson. In those three victories, we have seen an improved version of an already elite level fighter. The rematch should be more than just a case of history repeating its self.
Chris Weidman vs Gegard Mousasi
This fight is a tale of two athletes at a crossroads in their careers. Former champion Chris Weidman who famously ended the run of the middleweight division’s long-reigning king Anderson Silva seeks to avoid a third consecutive defeat and put himself back on the road toward title contention. Gegard Mousasi is a fighter who has long been considered one of the premier middleweights on the planet but has fallen short in fights where a win would cement him as a legitimate challenger. A victory on Saturday night will give either fighter momentum to move further up the middleweight rankings, a loss would most likely end any title aspirations in the near future.
Potential fight of the night
Thiago Alves vs Patrick Cote
Two names long-standing UFC fans know very well, Both men have managed to fight an astounding 20 times in the UFC. When you get two martial artists who prefer to stand especially in a classic Muay Thai vs Boxing style’s match-up it’s highly likely the contest will be value for money. The record’s of Alves and Cote are littered with highly ranked fighters, further testament to the quality they possess which has allowed them to compete at the highest level for so long.
Fighter to Watch
The women’s strawweight division is stacked full of talent, Cynthia Calvillo could well be another name to add to the pile. Training under the watchful eye of Urijah Faber in Sacramento, California, Calvillo is surrounded by multiple fellow UFC competitors. Being amongst fighters in and around her own weight class gives Calvillo the perfect platform to develop her skills so early in her MMA career.
Main card picks
Daniel Cormier vs Anthony Johnson (Cormier)
Chris Weidman vs Gegard Mousasi (Weidman)
Cynthia Calvillo vs Pearl Gonzalez (Calvillo)
Thiago Alves vs Patrick Cote (Cote)
Will Brooks vs Charles Oliveira (Brooks)