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Anthony Johnson's coach: 'We already know' what Daniel Cormier is going to do

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jon Jones can be unpredictable in the Octagon. With Daniel Cormier, what you see is pretty much what you get, according to Blackzilians striking coach Henri Hooft.

Hooft's student Anthony Johnson was supposed to challenge Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title Saturday at UFC 187 in Las Vegas. Instead, with legal troubles looming for Jones, Johnson will meet Cormier for the vacant belt.

While Hooft thinks Cormier is an excellent fighter, he told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that there just isn't as much mystery as to what Cormier has in his toolbox.

"We know what he's gonna do," Hooft said. "With Jon, you kind of know, but he's more creative stand-up wise. He has these side kicks, the kicks to the legs. Again, we prepare for that also. For me, it doesn't really, really mater. But I think 'DC' is a good matchup for 'AJ.' Jon Jones, also. I think we kind of know what [Cormier] is gonna do. No secrets."

Hooft said it was no problem switching the preparation to Cormier, mostly because he doesn't necessarily believe in a strict game plan. He's confident in what Johnson brings to the table against anyone. However, the coach was hoping Jones would have been the opponent for obvious reasons.

"I wanted 'AJ' to fight Jon, because he's the champion," Hooft said. "For me, [Jones] is the best fighter of all times, still now I think. If you want to win, you want to win with the guy who is the champion, who is that moment [at] the top. So I was kind of disappointed and I feel sad for him [with] what happened because we all make mistakes. I hope he will be good and come back and have the big fight as soon as possible again."

Jones was arrested April 27 on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury in Albuquerque, N.M. The UFC stripped him of the light heavyweight title and suspended him indefinitely a day later. Jones will now await the Bernalillo (N.M.) County district attorney's decision whether or not to bring his case to a grand jury.

When the Blackzilians found out about the opponent change, Hooft said there was no hesitation. The coach never likes just preparing for one fighter -- he prefers his athletes just focus on themselves. What happens if there is an injury and someone falls out, which happens very often in today's UFC?

"Then people get nervous, because they have to fight somebody else," Hooft said.

Johnson was ready for Jones, but preparing for Cormier has been an easy transition, Hooft said said. Hooft is a fan of Cormier's game. He believes he sets up takedowns and his strikes well and has excellent coaching at American Kickboxing Academy. Cormier's offense, though, is pretty standard, per Hooft. Jones is extremely unorthodox with his game.

"I think 'DC' is more of a fighter and Jon Jones is more of a creative athlete," Hooft said. "Of course he's a fighter. He was the best fighter there. But I think 'DC' is more of a guy that's good for the style to fight 'AJ.'"

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