Gustafsson gives his analysis of the light heavyweight championship rematch between Cormier and Anthony Johnson.
Reigning light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is the betting favorite heading into his second title defense against Anthony Johnson at UFC 210, but ‘DC’ is anything but a sure pick.
The former Olympian beat Rumble at UFC 187, finishing his opponent with a rear-naked choke in the third round, but Cormier didn’t get away scot-free. Johnson, who is one of the most feared knockout artists in the sport, dropped the American Kickboxing Academy product early on and came very close to finishing the fight.
Since then, Johnson has rumbled through the division and knocked out three opponents on the bounce, finishing Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader, and Glover Teixeira in devastating fashion.
No. 2 ranked light heavyweight contender, Alexander Gustafsson, has fought — and lost — to both Cormier and Johnson, which gives him a unique perspective on the highly anticipated rematch on April 8.
‘The Mauler’, who takes on Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 109 on May 28, is picking Cormier to retain the title but admits that Johnson could end the fight at any given moment.
“If one of those hands lands on ‘DC,’ it’s going to be a tough night,” Gustafsson told reporters in Sweden at a recent media day (h/t Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie). “But at the same time, with Anthony, you’ve seen him dominate and you’ve seen him lose and get finished. What I know with ‘DC’ is he’s a tough guy. It doesn’t matter what you throw at him, what you give him in the fight, he just keeps coming forward. ‘DC’ will keep his belt that night, but it’s a hard fight to predict.”
Cormier vs. Johnson II headlines the UFC 210 pay-per-view, which takes place on Saturday, April 8, at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.