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The Great Debate: Daniel Cormier vs Anthony Johnson

The Great Debate is back. Zak Katine has retained his title one more time, and he will defend it this time against Alex Smith, who will be making his TheMMATakeover debut. The two will be battling for Zak’s Great Debate title, and it will be decided by the outcome of the main event of UFC 210. Zak will be taking Anthony Johnson, while Alex will be taking the champion, Daniel Cormier.

Why Daniel Cormier will win (Alex Smith):

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Daniel Cormier is a monster. He doesn’t have rippling muscles or apocalyptic power, he has the grind. His whole career he’s been over looked. He appeared out of nowhere and won the Strike Force Heavyweight Grand Prix against the likes of Jeff Monson, Antonio Silva, and Josh Barnett. He entered the UFC as an undersized heavyweight and took out Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. He dropped down to Light Heavyweight and continued grinding out wins. His sole loss is tothe greatest Light Heavyweight Champion in history and in some people’s eyes, the greatest fighter ever, Jon Jones. With all of these accolades, he is still overlooked.

He was overlooked on May 23rd 2015. On that night, he brutalized Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. That’s an important distinction, brutalized. He took Rumble’s best shots and found a way to impose his will. These were the same shots that have been relieving the best in the division of their conscious during his blistering rise to the championship. Cormier took them. He didn’t walk through them like the Terminator, but he took them. He moved forward, used good footwork, and a non stop style that tested Rumble’s gas tank. In typical Rumble fashion, he failed that test. Cormier then commenced to take Rumble to the mat and grind him into a bloody pile of meat. The look of defeat hung from his face among the sweat and blood at the end of the second round, when he stumbled to his corner. He’ll never forget that feeling. The feeling of being brutalized, beaten, ground into the mat. He’s going to bring that into the octagon with him on April 8th against a very confident Cormier. I predict more of the same.

Rumble hasn’t improved his cardio or wrestling enough to cope with Cormier constantly coming forward. Cormier’s high pace, underrated power, and dominant wrestling will again be too much for Rumble. The moment the fight hits the ground, which is all but a certainty, Rumble will flash back to that beating. He’ll panic, gas under Cormier’s pressure, and open himself up for another beating until he gets either TKO’d or tapped.

I predict Daniel Cormier defends his title by 3rd round TKO.

Why Anthony Johnson will Win (Zak Katine):

Let’s take it back to May 23rd 2015, Anthony Johnson was supposed to have a date with the Pound for Pound best fighter on the planet Jon Jones, unfortunately 3 weeks out Jones was pulled for his hit and run incident. So, his replacement former title challenger and former Strike Force heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier stepped up on short notice and as we know Cormier went on to submit Johnson and win the championship. So, what makes this rematch any different well first Johnson in my opinion is the hardest hitter in all of MMA and possible hardest hitter of All Time. If he hits you with his hands or feet for most part your lights are going out. Cormier felt that the first fight and immediately turned to his wrestling and grinding style.  That’s where Cormier thrives and I don’t think Johnson was well prepared for that at all. In Johnson’s head, he had to know after the loss he would cross paths with Cormier again, so you know he’s been working on wrestling and his defense every day for last 2 years.

Johnson will never be on Cormier’s level of wrestling, but he is no slouch. He was a Junior College National Champion. Johnson is a much better athlete than Cormier, and much quicker. I expect him to constantly be moving, not allowing Cormier to get the opportunity to get his signature high crotch single leg takedowns.

What really stands out to me is Cormier’s last two performances. He got hurt in his last 3 fights. Obviously Johnson dropped him early in their fight, Alexander Gustafsson hurt him late in the fight, and an undersized Anderson Silva on 1 days notice hurt Cormier late in the 3rd round. While Cormier’s toughness and heart can’t be challenged, but at 38 years old, how many more big shots can he take. He is at the perfect age to be slowing down. Johnson is still only 33 years old, so decline should be coming soon.

Despite all the things I said, Cormier might be able to implement his game plane. However Cormier must be perfect. He could be winning the entire fight and suddenly BOOM, we have a new champion. Johnson can knock out any person on earth in a split second.

We know what Cormier is going to want to do and that’s grind Johnson from the start and get the fight to the mat as fast as possible. I believe Johnson will be well prepared and stuff Cormier and this time when he lands he’s not going to let Cormer recover and finish the job.

I predict Anthony Johnsons wins via TKO 1st round.

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