Cormier Beats Hendo, Call Out Bones
Daniel Cormier submitted Dan Henderson with a rear-naked choke in the third round of the co-main event in UFC 173 and positioned himself as one of the top challengers for the UFC Light Heavyweight title.
Calling Out Bones
Immediately after the bout, Cormier called out the UFC light heavyweight champion: “Jon Jones…you can’t run away from me forever. I’m the kid in the wrestling tournament that is in your bracket…you’d better hurry because I’m getting better.”
Cormier has indeed gotten better in only his second fight since moving down from the heavyweight ranks.
From the get go, Cormier used his weight and strength to throw Hendo around like a rag doll. He made a wise strategy of taking Henderson to the ground to avoid the H-bomb. Cormier pounded Hendo from the top position. He knew Hendo had no chance in a wrestling match against a bigger and more powerful young monster like him. It was only a matter of time before Hendo’s 43 year old body gave in. But to his credit, Henderson never tapped out. He passed out cold before the referee stopped the match.
Henderson admitted that Cormier was” a heavy guy on top of him” and it wore him out. He admitted to the difference in strength and power which he never felt before.
Many fight observers believed that the bout pitting Cormier against Henderson was a mismatch. And while Hendo was former Pride and Strikeforce champion, he is well past his prime. Henderson won his last bout against former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, but it wasn’t after he was dominated by Rua for one and a half rounds.
Yet despite his advanced age, Henderson has a granite chin that keeps him competitive. More importantly, he still packs the H-Bomb, that one punch knockout power that always gives him the puncher’s chance to win any bout. But aside from those two and his fighting heart, Hendo looked like he was retired by the younger beast called DC.
The Big Dog
Cormier’s size is scary for the light heavyweight division. DC fought his UFC career at heavyweight until his last bout against Patrick Cummins. After his successful Oklahoma State college wrestling career, Cormier fought as a heavyweight in MMA. He won the XMMA Heavyweight title and KOTC Heavyweight championship in 2010.
He also beat former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grandprix tournament in 2012. He’s beaten top heavyweights like Frank Mir, Bigfoot Silva and Roy Nelson.
The reason why Cormier moved down in weight class is because he doesn’t want to fight UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez whom he trains with every day. Velasquez has learned a lot of wrestling from DC, while Cain has imparted the Mexican warrior spirit in the former Olympic wrestler. Both men have previously stated that they will not fight each other in the Octagon.
Log Jam at Light Heavyweight
The victory at UFC 173 set up a potential fight with champion Jon Jones, but that will have to wait.
Jones is expected to fight #1 contender Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch of their memorable UFC 165 match where many felt Gustafsson won. UFC president Dana White confirmed that Gustafsson had already signed a contract to face Jones at UFC 175 in August. And while White admitted that Cormier deserves a shot, Gustafsson cannot be denied his rematch. So Cormier might fight a tune-up bout before facing Bones Jones.
Should Jones fight Gustafsson and win, a fight with Daniel Cormier would be interesting. While Cormier boasts of being the bigger man with more power, Jon Jones is the number one Pound for Pound fighter in the UFC today. It will be a battle between Cormier’s supreme wrestling and Jones elite striking.
Jones was also being groomed for a super-fight with Cain Velasquez in the near future. Nothing serious has come out of those rumors yet. And while doing the super fight is a little difficult, Jones vs Cormier could be a done deal if Bones wins his next title defense and DC wins a tune up bout in between.
Let’s hope this one happens, because this has fight of the year written all over it.
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