Daniel Cormier V Rumble Johnson
DC likes to drop his level and go for a single leg takedown.
When he secures a hold on the leg, he turns it into a “run the pipe” takedown attempt (circle away from opponent’s body, holding his leg, then bow down); he then often finishes the “run the pipe” with a high crotch, or some time of slam, throwing his opponent in the opposite direction.
I can’t see him being able to do this against Rumble. Not unless he does it right from inside boxing range and times it perfectly.
Even then, Rumble stands very square-on, and tends to use subtle side steps to avoid takedowns; and is ridiculously explosive and difficult to control.
DC obviously has a chance of a takedown, he’s an Olympian, Rumble has long, relatively skinny legs, which if they weren’t so explosively powerful, would be tailor made for DC. I just think DC and his camp may need a specific trick up their proverbial sleeve to pull it off. It’s definitely not going to be straight-forward, it will need a specific set-up and/or finish. Maybe something really unorthodox, like a hard inside leg kick to pick the leg off the floor, before shooting for the single.
DC demonstrating ‘run the pipe’
Assuming I’m right, and DC can’t get to Rumble’s leg. I think Rumble wins a striking match-up 9 times out of 10.
DC has good power with his looping, short hooks and his overhand right; but Rumble can generate more power with his shots. Even his jabs and crosses are immense and powerful. He may also choose to take advantage of his height, and start using elbows, knees and his left head kick.
I hope DC wins. He did well against Jon Jones, but his offence was generally limited to uppercuts from a wrestling clinch. Jones had more tools, elbows, and body-kicks which ultimately slowed DC down.
I’d like to see DC have a specific game plan, and a contingency plan if he can’t get the takedown. Lots of low kicks, level changes, and somehow – avoiding the power of Rumble. He may look to grind-out the first 2 rounds, and tire the larger fighter -Rumble out.
Prediction – Johnson KO 2nd Round
Vitor V Weidman
I think Weidman takes this one; mainly because Vitor is off the ‘magic sauce’.
TRT Vitor was one of the scariest and most powerful middleweights ever. But that’s just the issue; his power was his strength and his asset. After (probably) taking steroids most of his career, now the UFC are clamping down on PEDs; Vitor looks a lot smaller than a year or so ago.
How will this effect his headkicks? Well, I guess a headkick is 85% flexibility, dexterity and technique. But it’s that fast-twitch explosive power that catches people out when he’s circling to his left in a south-paw stance.
Weidman is very consistent, you usually know what to expect from him – generally a ‘very good’ performance. Vitor was pulling off amazing wins, but I’m not sure he’s up to it without his juice.
Prediction – Weidman, Ground n Pound TKO, Round 3