UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has fought in the Octagon with some of the hardest hitters the sport has ever seen, and out of all of them, one man stands out from the rest.
“Anthony Johnson, 100 percent,” DC said on the Opie & Jim Norton Show this week. “Anthony Johnson hits harder than any other person, no doubt. Every time he hit me, it made me kind of like fly all over the place. He was trying to take my head off. Even when he’d miss, you can hear it.”
It’s a good call as ‘Rumble’ truly does have the kind of power that most fighters can only dream about. What’s most remarkable about it is the fact that Johnson was known for knocking out people at 170lbs for a few years ago, but somehow managed to maintain that even when he went up to 205lbs, while in his only bout at heavyweight in the WSOF promotion he broke Andrei Arlovski’s jaw in the first round.
In total, 15 of Johnson’s 21 career victories have come by way of knockout, and his last four wins have all been finished inside the distance via strikes, though he wasn’t able to put ‘DC’ away when they fought in May of last year, eventually losing by submission in the third round.
‘Rumble’ is far from the only heavy-handed opponent Cormier has faced in the UFC, and he gave a shout-out to a couple of them too.
“Roy Nelson too, was swinging for the fences, and Dan Henderson,” Cormier said. “Dan Henderson, even when you’re close and he hits you from very very close, you can feel how heavy his hands are. His hands are pretty powerful.”
One man who’s power hasn’t made a big impression on Cormier, however, is his biggest rival, Jon Jones – the only man to defeat him in his 18 fight professional career.
“He cannot punch,” Cormier said of Jones. “He hit me, and I’m like ‘Wow! This is actually him punching me as hard as he can.’ He can’t punch, so he has to throw elbows, kicks, and knees, because he can’t punch. He doesn’t hit very hard, so he has to do something.”
“He does not punch very hard, I’ll be honest with you, man. He kicks very hard, he knees very hard, and he elbows hard, but he can’t punch.”
Some may say that’s just sour grapes, but despite his dominance at 205lbs, it is fair to say that Jones isn’t the hardest hitter out there. he’s never been known as a one-punch KO artist, instead gradually breaking down his opponents over the course of several rounds instead.
Over the course of his career, Jones has registered 9 of his 22 victories by knockout, while his last four wins have all come via the scorecards.
After reading Cormier’s thoughts there’s no doubt that Jones will be gunning harder than ever for a big KO finish when they meet for a second time in the main event of UFC 200 in July to unify the light-heavyweight title.