When you consider that Jon Jones is widely considered to be the planet’s best P4P fighter, and that he defeated Daniel Cormier in January, one might conclude that Anthony Johnson thinks he has an easier fight now on May 23rd. That conclusion, however, would be incorrect.
As everybody knows, Johnson was set to face Jones at UFC 187, but the latter got arrested, stripped of the title, and now “Rumble” will fight “DC”. Of course, Cormier is a ridiculously talented and well rounded fighter in his own right, and according to Johnson, he believes the decorated wrestler is tougher match-up.
The UFC recently held a media call to promote UFC 187, and here is some of what Johnson had to say about facing Cormier, instead of “Bones” (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“Daniel has power, he has speed, good technique,” Johnson said. “His wrestling is top notch. Nobody can deny that. For me, that’s great. And for him, that’s great. To me he’s just gonna be a tougher opponent. He might be shorter than me, but the dude packs a lot of power.”
“‘DC’ is a grinder,” Johnson said. “He brings it. This is his second chance, so I know he’s going to bring it even more.”
How about that huh? Now sure, some will argue that perhaps Johnson is just saying this, as some form of mental warfare. But, there’s no question that Cormier possess power, and in terms of offensive wrestling, he may have the better pedigree than Jones (yes, yes, Jones out wrestled Cormier at UFC 182, but more so from a defensive perspective).
It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. Johnson does not have the length and reach that Jones possesses, but on the flip side, his hands are much heavier than the former champ’s.
UFC 187 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.