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Cormier retains in slugfest with Gustafsson

Daniel Cormier started his fight against Alexander Gustafsson with a bang, flipping him over on his back in the first round.

Daniel Cormier started his fight against Alexander Gustafsson with a bang, flipping him over on his back in the first round.

Bother were bloodied. Both looked tired. Both looked like they got hit with a truck.

That was how physical of a fight it was between Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier and challenger Alexander Gustafsson, but it was the champion who retained with a 49-46, 48-47, 47-48 split decision. That sets up a huge rematch between Cormier and former champion and rival Jon Jones upon his inevitable return, possibly UFC 200.

When Bruce Buffer announced that one judge saw the fight go in Gustafsson’s favor the tall Swedish fighter lifted his head and had a shocked look on his face. It was far from crazy to see how the fight went his way but Cormier gutted out a victory and made a huge impact in the fight right away.

Early in the first round Cormier hooked Gustafsson under his legs and flipped him high up and over, slamming him on his back and taking complete control on the ground in the first round. But Gustafsson bounced back after the fight round and Cormier was hampered by a deep cut under his right eye.

In the third Gustafsson threatened to knock the champion out with a knee to the face and a left hook that sent him to the ground followed by hard fists to the side of the head. But Cormier was able to scramble out of the bad situation and get to his feet.

In the end, Cormier was just a little more active. He threw 354 total strikes and landed 219. Gustafsson landed 130 of 264 strikes.

With the victory a rematch between Cormier and Jones has been set up. Jones was stripped of his title and suspended after leaving the scene of an accident in New Mexico. He is expected to return to the Octagon in October 2016 but the return and the rematch might be too juicy to pass up for a UFC 200 event on July 2 that is searching for a high interest and high money-making headliner.

Cormier may be forced to defend his title some time before that event and could go against Ryan Bader, who earned the biggest win of his career by beating Rashad Evans by a unanimous 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 victory in the co-Main Event spot on the card.

Bader moved into second place in all-time UFC Light Heavyweight victory with 13 and earned his fifth-straight victory. There is debate whether Bader would be a big enough draw or could actually challenge Cormier enough in a fight but he has been the most successful Light Heavyweight Contender over the past two years.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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