How do you think Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will go on Saturday? Early TKO, late tapout, judge’s call? Who wins and how? What does a win and a loss for either of them mean in terms of what fight comes next for them?
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
I think Daniel Cormier wins a lackluster decision. He has power of his own, but I don’t think he’ll stand and trade with Rumble Johnson because that would be insane. I think he takes the safe win. I purposefully keep my expectations low for any fight involving a grinding wrestler. That way I’ll be less disappointed if things go badly. A win or loss for Cormier doesn’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. He’s already beaten Johnson once, so another win only means so much. A loss to him means that he’s looking at a rubber match with Johnson down the road.
However, this is huge for Rumble. Another loss to Cormier severely hurts his title hopes as long as Cormier is champ. A win over Cormier catapults Rumble into being one of the most exciting champions in the UFC, one that you imagine the UFC would do their best to try to promote.
MIKE HISCOE, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think Anthony Johnson gets it done this time out. He hits too hard, and I’m not sure Daniel Cormier will be able to survive the early onslaught like he did last time. Even if he can, he may be too rattled to implement his wrestling game and Johnson could outpoint Cormier over five rounds.
A win for either Cormier or Johnson likely leads to a fight with Jon Jones this summer once Jones’s suspension is up. Jones will be in Buffalo this weekend and likely sitting at cageside for the fight, so don’t be surprised to see some seeds planted for Jones vs. the winner. If Cormier loses, he still has hopes for a rubber match with Johnson. The likelihood of Jon Jones doing something stupid and being taken out of his return fight is high, so Cormier should be sure to stay in fighting shape and stay close to Las Vegas this summer.
A Johnson loss would remove any hopes for a title shot for as long as Cormier is champion but as soon as Cormier loses the belt, whether it’s to Jones or someone else, he’s right back in the mix with one of his trademark knockouts.
ADAM TINDAL, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Just talking about an Anthony Johnson fight gets me so fired up and excited. He’s almost assuredly the hardest hitting fighter the UFC has right now and, when I saw him in person down at Disney Springs, he practically had to turn sideways to fit through the door of the shop he was going into. Cormier, on the other hand, never shows up unprepared. Given how the last fight between these two went, I’m sure Daniel also has a wealth of confidence going into Saturday night. It’s been long enough since then, however, for both men to drastically improve and make any and all adjustments they think necessary to secure the win.
If Johnson can be more patient with his strikes and utilize his energy better, then he will have a much higher chance of success this go around. Although Cormier’s wrestling is so good, he could very well drag Johnson into deep water again and force him to start questioning himself and looking for a way out like he did the first time and has done other times in the past. I like Rumble here, though. He’s smart and experienced and this isn’t his first rematch either like it is for Cormier. I think Anthony Johnson makes the adjustments, picks his shots much more accurately, and eventually lands the TKO in round 2.
ROBERT VALEJOS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I’ve got Johnson with an early TKO. If his power is unleashed, Cormier will be out on his feet. I think this fight is pretty straightforward; the winner wins the Jon Jones sweepstakes.
If Johnson loses, he should become the biggest Jon Jones fan this side of Dana White. Two losses to Cormier would make it nearly impossible for him to gain another title shot. With the division being so sparse on contenders, it’s not hard to see Johnson getting a title shot against Jones, even with a loss to Cormier.
For Cormier, beating Jones is the only thing left for him to do. A loss here can really hurt his chances of that fight happening again. The clock is ticking on Cormier’s career, it would be in his best interest to get the fight with Jones booked ASAP.
BRYAN KERN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The main event on Saturday is one of the hardest fights to call for two reasons: The resilience of Daniel Cormier (19-1) and the unpredictability of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (22-5).
We saw in the first fight how it only takes one shot from Rumble to send an opponent sailing across the canvas. The question is, will Daniel Cormier let him connect again, and if he does, can Cormier bounce back. I honestly believe that Daniel Cormier got lucky by not going out to that shot in the first fight. I also believe that that type of luck only happens once. If Anthony Johnson connects with DC on Saturday, it’s all over.
Now, after the first two rounds, the chances of Johnson connecting with one of those time bombs becomes highly less likely as he’ll begin to fade at the beginning of the third frame. Once they’re into the deep rounds, its all DC. His pressure and wrestling will be too much for Rumble to handle and we’ll likely see a similar submission finish. Despite how much I want to see Jon Jones vs. Anthony Johnson, I believe the champ will show why he’s the champ and stay away from that deadly right hand, which isn’t so bad seeing as thats sets us up for Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier II. I won’t count out the fact that anything can happen, but for now I have Daniel Cormier by submission in the 3rd round.
NOW WHAT’S YOUR PICK?
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