The trash talk has been cranking up in the week leading up to the UFC light heavyweight title clash between champion Daniel Cormier and challenger Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson at UFC 210.
Speaking during the UFC 210: Cormier vs Johnson 2 Media Conference Call, Johnson told the media he’s “not the same fighter,” and that we will see “see a different guy out there” when the pair clash for the second time.
No one could argue against the fact that ‘Rumble’ has been on a roll ever since he submitting to Daniel Cormier via a third round rear naked choke. Since then, Johnson has blasted through Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira in little over seven minutes of Octagon time en route to earning a rematch with Cormier.
Despite losing the first fight, Johnson had his success in the early moments of the first round, a missile of an overhand right caught the champion, sending the American Kickboxing Academy standout flying across the cage. Since that night, Johnson has spent time training with world-renowned grappling coach Neil Melanson.
However, Daniel Cormier disagrees with the assessment that Johnson is now a different fighter.
“We talk about him being a completely different fighter. I don’t know what you guys are basing this on,” said Cormier during the same media call. “He beat Jimi Manuwa, he took him down. Of course he’s gonna take Jimi Manuwa down. He’s a wrestler and Jimi Manuwa can’t wrestle. Then you’re talking about him and Ryan Bader. If I would’ve shot on Anthony from across the Octagon, he would’ve done the same thing to me. He fought for a total of seven minutes since him and I fought, but he’s this completely different fighter. I have no idea where you guys are getting this from.”
Despite Johnson’s early success, ‘DC’ showed a remarkable chin, along with incredible spacial awareness to buy time and recover before initiating a grappling heavy game plan. Cormier used his vast amateur wrestling experience to gain recovery time before imposing his will on the fearsome striker.
Many fans and bookmakers are picking Johnson in the rematch, citing his dominant display over the former Arizona State NCAA All-American wrestler, Ryan Bader, as one of the reasons why.
Cormier says that fight will have no bearing on their contest, saying “Ryan Bader shot from halfway across the Octagon. They said, ‘Fight’ and before Ryan Bader could meet Anthony in the middle of the Octagon, he shot. What people are missing is Anthony Johnson was never a bad wrestler. He always could wrestle and defend takedowns. Anthony is a junior college national champion wrestler. He obviously can defend takedowns; he defended a lot of my takedowns. I never questioned that.”
Just like their first battle, Cormier has says that Johnson still only has one path to victory.
“He had a moment in the first fight. Outside of that moment, I pretty much just beat him up. So I don’t understand what makes anyone believe that Anthony and I are close. But next Saturday I just get to show him again and just beat on him again like I did last time.”
This is an important time for the man many believe to be one of the best light heavyweights in MMA history. If Cormier can get past Johnson for a second time, a rematch with Jones will probably await him. The result of these two fights will go a long way towards forging the legacy of Daniel Cormier.
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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