On Saturday, April 8, the UFC hosted UFC 210: Cormier vs. Johnson 2 from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
In the night’s main event, light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier clashed with Anthony “Rumble” Johnson for a second time. The pair met previously at UFC 187, with Cormier submitting Johnson in the third round via rear-naked choke. Since then, Cormier had successfully defended the belt against Alexander Gustafsson and defeated MMA legend Anderson Silva. Johnson, meanwhile, rebounded from the title defeat with three straight knockout finishes to earn another crack at gold.
The co-main event of the evening featured former middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman facing off with former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi.
The 13-fight event kicked off Saturday at 6:15 p.m. ET with four fights streaming on UFC Fight Pass. Four additional preliminary card bouts followed at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1, with the five-fight main card airing live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.
Daniel Cormier is the still the UFC light heavyweight champion, submitting challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson for a second time. Surprisingly, Johnson came out looking to wrestle with the grappling stalwart Cormier. The strategy largely backfired as Cormier took control in the clinch. Late in the round, Johnson cracked Cormier with a kick to the face that appeared to break his nose. In the second round, the grappling continued and Cormier eventually earned a takedown. Once there, Cormier took the back of Johnson and forced him to tap to a rear-naked choke. Following the loss, Johnson announced his retirement from the sport.
The night’s co-main ended in controversy as Gegard Mousasi kneed Chris Weidman with legal shots, but the referee believed they were illegal. After the doctors were brought in to evaluate Weidman, the fight was ultimately waved off and Mousasi was awarded a TKO win. Prior to the controversy, Weidman largely controlled the first round with his wrestling attack. He briefly took the back of Mousasi, but could not find a finish. Mousasi was more aggressive with his striking in the second round, connecting with crisp jabs and an uppercut. He then transitioned to the clinch, where he delivered what would be the fight-ending knees.
In her second UFC appearance, strawweight Cynthia Calvillo spoiled the promotional debut of Pearl Gonzalez. Calvillo threw with volume in the opening stanza, while Gonzalez tried to defend. Late in the round, Gonzalez went for a takedown, but Calvillo locked up a triangle choke as the round ended. In round two, Gonzalez again earned a takedown and moved to mount. Calvillo scrambled, but was forced to defend an armbar attempt. Once free, Calvillo took the back of Gonzalez and threatened with choke attempts. Gonzalez survived the round, but the third round opened much the same way. Calvillo caught a kick and put Gonzalez on the mat. She moved to her back and locked in a rear-naked choke that forced Gonzalez to submit.
In a match-up of veterans, Brazilian Thiago Alves outstruck Canada’s Patrick Cote over the course of three rounds. Alves chewed up the lead leg of Cote in the first round before catching Cote with a short left hook and dropping him. Cote survived the barrage from Alves, but was dropped again in the second round with a counter right hand. The final frame saw Alves earn a trip takedown and open up Cote with ground and pound. The fight went the distance, but the result was never in doubt as Alves swept the scorecards. After the defeat, Cote left his gloves in the cage, indicating his retirement from competition.
Returning to the lightweight division, Brazil’s Charles Oliveira scored a dominant submission win over Will Brooks in the first round. After trading body kicks, Oliveira scored with a trip takedown. Brooks tried to get back to his feet along the fence, but Oliveira was able to slam him to the mat and transition to his back. Brooks stood, but Oliveira sunk in the fight-finishing rear-naked choke and coerced the tap.
Myles Jury made short work of Mike De La Torre, earning a first-round TKO win. Jury caught a kick early and put De La Torre on the mat. Once there, Jury put on a show, taking the back of De La Torre effortlessly and securing a body triangle. He flattened out De La Torre and rained punches. De La Torre turned to his back and Jury unleashed an onslaught of elbows. The heavy punishment was too much for De La Torre and the referee was forced to intervene.
Kamaru Usman continued his run of Octagon success, completely dominating Sean Strickland from bell-to-bell. Usman pressured forward early before pinning Strickland along the fence. He delivered knees before taking the fight to the ground. He scored with punches and elbows from the top position as Strickland failed to mount any offense. Round two was a carbon copy of the first, as Usman simply battered Strickland from top position. He rocked Strickland late in the round, but could not put him away. The left eye of Strickland swelled badly in the final round as Usman continued to land punches. Usman worked until the final bell, cruising to the decision win.
Featherweight Shane Burgos kept his unbeaten record intact with a third-round TKO win over Charles Rosa. Rosa attacked with low kicks from the opening bell as Burgos was heavy on his front leg. Rosa then switched to spinning attacks, but Burgos was able to counter with punches. It was more of the same in round two as Rosa nearly doubled the output of Burgos on the feet and earned a brief takedown. Burgos was aggressive in the final round, catching Rosa with an uppercut and left hook that sent him stumbling to the mat. A follow-up right hand saw Rosa wobble again and the referee halted the contest.
The light heavyweight bout between Patrick Cummins and Jan Blachowicz was an all-out war. Blachowicz rocked Cummins early and often in the opening round. The Polish fighter frequently landed his lead uppercut. Cummins used his wrestling to recover from the initial onslaught and swing the momentum in his favor. He scored with takedowns in every round, slowing down Blachowicz’s offense. By the end of the third round, it was all Cummins, who earned the decision victory.
Gregor Gillespie remained undefeated, crushing Andrew Holbrook in just 21 seconds. Gillespie caught Holbrook with a massive left hook that sent Holbrook crashing to the canvas. Holbrook tried to survive, but Gillespie swarmed for the finish.
Making his UFC debut, lightweight Desmond Green claimed a split decision win over Josh Emmett. Emmett came out throwing his overhand right, but Green used improved footwork to stay out of reach. As the fight progressed, Green’s began to find a home for his left hand and his lead uppercut. Round three opened with a big takedown from Green. The hard-fought battle went the distance, with Green capturing the judges’ nod.
Bantamweights Katlyn Chookagian and Irene Aldana battled hard for three rounds, with Chookagian taking home the split decision win. The majority of the fight was spent at range with Chookagian firing kicks and Aldana trying to counter with punches. Although Aldana landed the harder strikes, the volume of Chookagian was the difference in the fight. When the scorecards were read, it was Chookagian who eked out the victory.
Chechnya’s Magomed Bibulatov remained undefeated in his Octagon debut, cruising past Jenel Lausa by unanimous decision. Bibulatov control the action early on the feet with frequent spinning attacks. He was a bit reckless, cracking Lausa in the groin multiple times and losing a point. Bibulatov then began to work in takedowns and controlled Lausa from the top position. All three judges scored the bout in favor of the Chechen fighter.