Cormier believes his win over Johnson at UFC 187 has made Rumble a much more refined fighter.
Daniel Cormier is not heading into Saturday’s UFC 210 pay-per-view knowing that he broke Anthony Johnson and submitted him in the third round of their first light heavyweight championship bout at UFC 187.
Instead, ‘DC’ is almost treating Johnson as a fresh opponent, someone who has improved leaps and bounds since 2015.
That’s what it took for Cormier, a former Olympic wrestler, to motivate himself for the rematch at Buffalo’s KeyBank Center, as the 38-year-old told the media in New York on Wednesday that he is responsible for Johnson’s improvement as a fighter.
“I’ve made him better,” Cormier said during the UFC 210 media day, per Steven Marrocco and Matt Erickson of MMA Junkie. “I’ve made a more experienced, more composed, a more well-rounded fighter in my mind in preparation. I had to. I can’t expect the same guy.”
Since Cormier’s rear-naked choke win over Johnson at UFC 187, Rumble has demolished three-straight opponents, knocking out Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader, and Glover Teixeira. The 33-year-old knockout artist is currently one of the most feared fighters in the world, proving to be the heaviest hitting fighter in the light heavyweight division.
Cormier, whose only career loss comes to MMA phenom Jon Jones, went on to defend the title against Alexander Gustafsson and beat Anderson Silva in a short notice, non-title fight at UFC 200.
Cormier vs. Johnson II will headline UFC 210 and takes place this Saturday, April 8, at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.