If this really was Daniel Cormier's final fight at heavyweight, then much of the division will be breathing a sigh of relief.
Clocking in at 224 pounds in what's expected to be his last fight before a move to light heavyweight, Cormier dominated veteran Roy Nelson on Saturday night at UFC 166. The judges' scores at Houston's Toyota Center were 30-27 across the board.
The sleek Cormier's speed advantage was obvious from the outset, as he seemed to run circles around his foe. He also established his wrestling superiority early on, landing all three of his takedown attempts in the first round.
By round two, Nelson was visibly tiring. Cormier continued to mix up his strikes and his wrestling. The unfinishable "Big Country" took everything Cormier could dish out.
The pace slowed in round three. Cormier may have hurt his right hand, as he didn't throw many punches with it over the second half of the fight. He threw several kicks in the round and landed a takedown. Nelson through a couple wild swings in the final minute but had little left.
"The game plan was to stifle him in the first round and stand with him in the last two," said Cormier. "It was to stand with him and show him I could take a punch, and could get out of the way of his punches."
Cormier improved to 13-0 in his career, 2-0 in the UFC. Nelson (19-9) lost his second consecutive fight.
"I'm going to be at 205 next fight," said. Cormier. "There's a guy on my mind, but I have to do some work."