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UFC 210 results: Daniel Cormier submits Anthony Johnson, who retires

MMA: UFC 210-Cormier vs Johnson Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Johnson came up short in his second attempt at the UFC light heavyweight championship Saturday night, getting finished by champion Daniel Cormier in the UFC 210 main event.

That’s apparently turned out to be the final night in the career of the Georgia native known as “Rumble,” as he lost via rear-naked choke at 3:37 of the second round at Buffalo’s KeyBank Center.

“I don’t have any excuses, I lost again to the better man,” Johnson (22-6) said as he fought back tears. “This is my last fight, I didn’t want any distractions, but I want to thank you all for being with me.”

Johnson, a knockout artist, took a curious approach to the fight, as he attempted to outwrestle Cormier (19-1), a former Olympic wrestler. 

He found some success, scoring a pair of takedowns, and appeared to break Cormier’s nose with a head kick.

In the second round, Johnson continued to focus on grappling, but he gassed and Cormier took over. Cormier got Johnson’s back, rained down punches, and finally sunk in the choke for the victory.

“I couldn’t believe he was forcing me to wrestle,” Cormier said after his second successful title defense. “We were OK taking the first round, he hit me with the head kick, but it was cool. Rumble has that big burst and then he kind of panics.”

After the fight, Cormier had words for former champion Jon Jones, who was cageside. Cormier won the title vacated by his biggest rival when Jones ran into legal trouble in 2015, then a planned title fight at UFC 200 last summer between the two was called off at the last minute when Jones failed a USADA drug test. Jones is eligible for reinstatement in July.

“When you get your s**t together and you’re ready to fight, I’ll be ready for you,” Cormier said. “As a fighter I respect him, but we don’t see eye to eye.”

Johnson ends his career on a 12-2 run, with the only two losses in that span to Cormier.

“I hope he is not walking away from this sport,” Cormier said of his foe. “He has so much to offer the sport of mixed martial arts.”

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