UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier faced all-time great Anderson Silva on just two days notice at UFC 200 in a three-round, non-title fight. Cormier, the -450 favorite, won the fight via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26).
In the first round, Cormier immediately claimed the center of the octagon and began backing Silva to the fence before shooting in for a double leg takedown and landing in Silva’s guard. Silva managed to control the posture of the former Olympian, minimizing the effect of his ground and pound. Cormier, however, managed to advance to half guard before the end of the round.
Silva landed a head kick in the beginning of the second round followed by a body kick that Cormier managed to catch and take him down with into half-guard. The former middleweight champion was able to neutralize the majority of Cormier’s ground and pound leading to a referee stand-up. Silva managed to find success on the feet in the last minute of the round before Cormier initiated a clinch to end the round.
The third round was similar to the second and the fight was stood up after Cormier was unable to land anything significant from the top position. Anderson was able to pick up the pace in the last thirty seconds of the fight, hurting Cormier with a body kick before the light-heavyweight champ initiated another clinch to ride out the round.
Cormier was booed for a lackluster fight as the official decision was announced but his safe approach was justifiable. “I was a little nervous. He’s so good,” said the champion. “I did what I had to do. I worked hard to fight Jon Jones—most guys would not take this fight, I felt like I needed to.”