It felt like déjà vu all over again in the main event of UFC 210 on Saturday night, as Daniel Cormier submitted Anthony “Rumble” Johnson to cap off a 13-fight card in Buffalo.
Cormier won the fight in exactly the same manner as he did the first time he faced Johnson in 2015, but this time around he actually got the job done in less than two rounds.
Cormier had to weather an early storm from the heavy-handed Johnson, who slammed home a head kick in the first round that may have broken the champion’s nose in the opening round. Despite being wobbled from the shot, Cormier survived and took over in the second round after an ill-fated takedown attempt from Johnson ended when he gave up his back.
With Cormier latched on to his opponent, he quickly moved into position to wrap up a rear naked choke, and a few seconds later Johnson was tapping out to signify the end of the fight.
While Cormier was the incumbent champion going into the fight while also holding a previous win over Johnson from 2015, only 41 percent of fantasy players picked him to win at UFC 210. Another 42 percent said if Cormier won, he would get the victory by decision.
Cormier certainly proved more than a few doubters wrong with his performance as he successfully defended the light heavyweight title for a second time.
In the co-main event, Gegard Mousasi picked up the biggest win of his UFC career when he defeated former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Of course, the win didn’t come without some controversy after Mousasi nailed Weidman with a pair of knees to the head before the referee intervened and deemed the final shot illegal.
Replays showed that both of Mousasi’s knee strikes were legal and by that time the doctor had already checked over Weidman to determine that he was medically unfit to continue. Mousasi was declared the winner, which proved a lot of fantasy players correct after 57 percent picked him to get past Weidman on Saturday night.
Because it was such a tight matchup, Mousasi’s win also afforded the players who picked him another 120-point bonus.
Congrats @CharlesDoBronxs, @gregor_the_gift, @CharlesRosaMMA & @HurricaneShaneB on earning bonuses at #UFC210! pic.twitter.com/EqbHrQ1tQj
— UFC (@ufc) April 9, 2017
Appearing in the Octagon for the second time, strawweight Cynthia Calvillo was one of the heavier favorites on the card, with 76 percent of fantasy players picking her to beat newcomer Pearl Gonzalez. Calvillo did an outstanding job in wrapping up her second straight submission win over two consecutive Pay-Per-View cards.
Thiago Alves came through with a victory over Patrick Cote, with 54 percent of players picking him to win and another 54 percent saying he’d get the job done by decision. That’s exactly how he dispatched Cote, who retired after the fight was finished.
In the opening bout of the main card, Charles Oliveira picked up one of the biggest upsets of the night as he submitted Will Brooks with a first-round rear naked choke. Oliveira, who was moving up from featherweight for the fight, was selected by only 39 percent of players, although another 55 percent did pick him to win the fight by submission.
On the prelim portion of the card, Myles Jury returned from an extended layoff to make short work of Mike De La Torre after a whopping 87 percent of fantasy players predicted he would get the win. Meanwhile, Kamaru Usman put on a dominant performance over Sean Strickland after an overwhelming 75-percent picked him going into the night.
While the two favorites capped off the prelims, the underdogs were both on point earlier in the night as Shane Burgos got a TKO win over Charles Rosa after only 43 percent of players picked him. Burgos also earned an additional 120 points due to the tight matchup with Rosa. Patrick Cummins also had to weather a near finish from Jan Blachowicz in the first round to come back to win a majority decision after only 41 percent of players picked him.
Cummins also accounted for another 120-point bonus due to the tight matchup with Blachowicz.
The most shocking upsets of the night according to fantasy players came in the early prelims, as Gregor Gillespie needed less than 30 seconds to dispatch Andrew Holbrook by TKO. Gillespie was selected by only 30 percent of fantasy players, but he made them all very happy with his performance while also getting another 120 points for the tight matchup with Holbrook going into the night. The other major upset came as Desmond Green handed Josh Emmett his first professional loss after only 19 percent of players picked him to win.
All told, UFC 210 was pretty evenly split, with seven favorites walking away victorious while six underdogs got wins according to the final picks made by fantasy players going into Saturday night’s card in New York.