The most shocking thing about the UFC 210 main event between light-heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson was that Cormier choked out Rumble – he’d done that when they fought the last time. No, the shocking thing was what happened afterwards: Rumble announced his retirement.
Despite nearly knocking Cormier out back at UFC 187, Rumble came into the cage last night putting less emphasis on his ultra-dangerous striking skills and more on his wrestling, which is a strong skillset, but nowhere near at the level Cormier possesses. So Round 1 had a lot of Rumble and Cormier grinding against the fence, jockeying for position as Cormier landed knees. For his part, Rumble was a head-kick machine, but nothing landed flush, and horn sounded with Cormier ahead.
Round 2 saw more fence-battling, and though the challenger did manage a takedown, Cormier was soon up and taking him down. Just as before, Cormier employed a rear naked choke that proved to be Rumble’s doom, and the tap came at 3:37 of the round.
And then Rumble retired.
Why would the clear number two guy in the division retire when he owns everyone else in the weight class? Rumble hinted at other opportunities outside of the cage, but what’s he going to do? Open a car wash? Too bad he didn’t say.
Results: Daniel Cormier def. Anthony Johnson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:37, R2