Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson went to war in the Octagon in the main event of UFC 192 and in the end it was DC who retained his light-heavyweight title, though only by a narrow split decision verdict.
The main event 205lb title fight is underway. Gustafsson working the jab and moving on the outside. Cormier with a leg kick. Gustafsson with one in return. Another from Cormier.
Again with the leg kick from Cormier and one ot the body from Gustafsson. Now Cormier into the clinch and he’s looking for an early takedown. He hoists Gustafsson way up into the air and slams him down, practically flipping him over in the process.
Cormier in half guard and right where he wants to be. Gustafsson gets him back to full guard. Cormier with a few strikes to the body and head. He stands up momentarily, Gustafsson tries to stand, but Cormier bundles him back to the mat and is back in his guard.
Half the round remaining as Cormier lands a right hand. Now an elbow strike to the head and a few punches to the body. Cormier grinding his elbow into the challenger’s face. Gustafsson tried to throw up his legs for a triangle choke, but Cormier immediately moves out of danger and remains on top.
Cormier in half guard, then to side control and Gustafsson manages to stand. Gustafsson looks at his corner for some reason. Now he lands a nice body kick.
Right hand and a leg kick from Gustafsson. Another kick from the Swede. Cormier with a nice strike of his own. Gustafsson with an uppercut that misses.
Gustafsson reaches for a takedown, perhaps just faking. Cormier slips, but gets straight back up.
Gustafsson with a nice body shot. Quick jabs from him. Now a right hook. Gustafsson with a leg kick now and Cormier looking to do the same.
Left hand from Cormier. Gustafsson fakes a takedown attempt. Solid left hooks from Gustafsson and Cormier has a little blood to his right eye.
Gustafsson lands a brief takedown on Cormier, but the champion is quickly back up. There’s a shift in momentum here though as the challenger really gets to work in this second round. Gustafsson with an offensive flurry and Cormier is in a bit of trouble here.
Cormier marching forward regardless. Into the clinch and lands a few body punches. They break apart and Cormier’s right eye is sporting a fair amount of blood and he’s wiping at it.
Gustafsson continuing to land shots with relative ease. Cormier clinches and lands some hard uppercuts though and Gustafsson doesn’t like that and backs away.
Cormier trying to chase down Gustafsson relentlessly, not giving him room to operate. Cormier winging the right hand and at times finding a home for it.
Left hand to the chin from Cormier. Now two big uppercuts from the champion. Those are hurtful blows. Gustafsson catches Cormier off-guard again with a takedown. That’s big for him. Cormier up, but Gustafsson remains clinched as the final seconds of the round ride out.
Cormier pushing the pace right from the off again as Gustafsson moves on the outside. Gustafsson with a nice right hand. Leg kick for Cormier and Gustafsson with a counter punch. Cormier with a leg kick again. In close Gustafsson lands a hard uppercut.
Right hand lands for Cormier and then a more powerful one behind it. Gustafsson bleeding now fromo his nose as a result of that one.
Cormier moving forward with purpose, but Gustafsson tags him with a short combo. Cormier to the clinch and back to landing those hard uppercuts which are taking their toll.
Gustafsson away. He tries a takedown and Cormier sprawls hard. Solid jabs from Gustafsson shunt Cormier’s head back. Now Cormier landing his jab.
Gustafsson targets the body with a punch. Cormier lands a punch and one comes in return from the Swede. Right hook and a left hand from Gustafsson.
Leg kick from Cormier. Gustafsson with one, but Cormier counters. Clinch and more uppercuts from Cormier. Cormier cuffs him with a right as he moves away. Again Cormier clinches with that single collar-tie, again he lands uppercuts.
Back again to the clinch. Cormier clearly knows this is being effective for him. They separate. Gustafsson pushes Cormier against the cage and blasts a big knee to the head of the champion and it rocks him. Cormier staggers to the mat, but shows great heart to get back up and clinch and makes it to the end of the round.
Body kick from Gustafsson. Now a leg kick and Cormier takes a back step. Left and a right snap Cormier’s head back. Cormier trying to pump out his jab, but Gustafsson tags him again with strikes.
Gustafsson tries a takedown, but it doesn’t work out for him this time. Now Gustafsson with a jab. He lands a good body kick.
Cormier trying to land strikes against the bigger man. Gustafsson lands. Cormier chases him and lands a few blows while Gustafsson has his back to him.
Cormier continually pressuring, but Gustafsson catches him with a nice right. Overhand lands for COrmier. Left hand cuffs Cormier.
Cormier moving on the oustide now looking for an opening. He steps forward but eats a jab. Now a right hand connects for Gustafsson.
Front kick to the body from Gustafsson. Cormier relentless in pursuit of the challenger and lands a right hand. Gustafsson with a knee.
Gustafsson with the clinch and a knee. Cormier practically runs after him to land a right hand. Left hands land from Gustafsson. Right gets through for Cormier.
They clinch and Cormier immediately goes for the uppercuts. They break apart and Gustafsson reaches down and trips Cormier for a moment. Cormier regains his balance and in the final 10 seconds he lands a combo with two big right hands getting through.
Both men being urged by their corners to give everything they’ve got in the final round. This one is going down to the wire and there’s all to fight for.
Cormier lands a low leg kick to start. Gustafsson misses with a couple of left hands but does then score with a left hook. Cormier with a leg kick. Gustafsson lands a good right hand that Cormier definitely felt.
Cormier presses forward and lands a big right hand and Gustafsson moves quickly away. Another right for Cormier. Now it’s Gustafsson who gets a right hand through.
Cormier with a short, solid connection. Cormier ducks a punch and comes back with two of his own. Tries for more pressure and Gustafsson runs away and resets. Gustafsson tries a takedown, but nothing down.
A couple of times in quick succession Gustafsson turns his back, runs away a bit and then resets. Cormier clinches in the center of the cage. He lands a light knee. Gustafsson trying to stop him from landing those uppercuts and is successful in that regard before moving away.
Gustafsson tries to clinch against the cage, but they quickly seperate. Not for long, they are back to the clinch in the center of the cage again. Uppercuts from both men. Slight space and a right hand lands for Cormier. Cormier to the clinch again and landing the better shots in these in-close exchanges.
Constant clinch work here in the final minute. Both men tired so not a whole lot of offense, but some uppercuts from Cormier getting through. Gustafsson lands a final knee and the final horn sounds with both men streaked with blood. This one’s going to the judges and it’s going to be very close.
This was a real war with both men leaving it all in the Octagon. The close nature of the fight is reflected in the fact that it’s ended by split decision, but there can only be one winner and it’s Daniel Cormier who retains his title (48-47, 49-46, 47-48).