Johnson used bizarre tactics in a losing effort against Cormier tonight and promptly retired after the loss in a strange turn of events. Meanwhile, Cormier was much as fans and pundits expected him to be: resilient and patient.
Again Cormier faced adversity early in the fight, with “Rumble” landing a huge head kick that seriously damaged Cormier’s nose. Cormier was able to continue and ultimately landed the takedown that would lead to the final moments of the fight in just the second round. From there, he pressured Cormier before taking his opponent’s back and securing a rear naked choke for a tapout victory.
What was hard to understand was why Johnson would purposefully close the range against Johnson and attempt to wrestle with the former Olympian. As the fight started, it wasn’t long before it became clear that Johnson would not only strike with Cormier, but also attempt takedowns and clinches with the veteran grappler. It was a choice that may have cost him his chance to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
The co-main event did not finish as smoothly as the title fight, unfortunately. Gegard Mousasi knocked Chris Weidman silly with a pair of knee strikes before referee “Standin'” Dan Miragliotta errantly decided that the second knee was illegal. He gave Weidman five minutes to recover as the crowd and viewers at home saw replays that showed that the knee was clearly legal.
However, it mattered little as a ringside doctor ruled that Weidman was unfit to continue fighting even after the five-minute recovery period had elapsed. Weidman, of course, was very upset with the decision.
It was an unfortunate finish for Weidman, who has now lost three bouts in a row after starting his career 13-0. He began the fight absorbing a number of jabs before landing a hard overhand right, and he briefly mounted Mousasi in the second round before being swept.
Johnson wasn’t the only fighter to announce his retirement at UFC 210, as veteran fighter Patrick Cote also announced that he would exit the sport following a unanimous decision loss to fellow veteran Thiago Alves. In the fight, Cote absorbed a number of leg kicks and was dropped by punches in the first and second rounds while losing all three rounds on the judges’ scorecards.
Cote’s career comes to an end after his 11th UFC loss in 21 appearances. Curiously, he never lost outside of the UFC, compiling a 23-11 overall record during his career.