Daniel Cormier is still the UFC Light Heavyweight champion, but it’s the co-main event that everyone will be talking about when they look at Saturday’s MMA picks.
Daniel Cormier went into UFC 210 as the Light Heavyweight champion, but he was a +120 underdog against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson – the second time he’s been on the wrong side of the UFC odds against the popular challenger. However, just like the last time they met nearly two years ago, Cormier retained his title Saturday via rear-naked choke. There won’t be a third chapter in this story; Johnson announced his retirement afterward, saying he had another job commitment outside the Octagon. Huh.
This would normally be the biggest story of the night, but the co-main event overshadowed everything else that happened Saturday. Gegard Mousasi (–115) was awarded a TKO victory over former Middleweight champion Chris Weidman, after a series of events that doesn’t quite add up – and may even lead to a declaration of “no contest” if it hasn’t already by the time you read this.
The problem happened in the second round, which saw Mousasi getting in his licks after Weidman appeared to take the opening frame. Mousasi delivered a pair of knees to Weidman’s head; it looked like the former champ had both his hands on the canvas during the second knee, which would have made it an illegal strike. Referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in to call time and give Weidman a chance to recover.
And then the crazy happened. Viewers at home saw via review that Weidman did not have both hands down when the second knee connected. Apparently someone at ringside noticed, too, because Murgliotta advised Weidman that the strike was indeed legal. Then the doctors who were attending Weidman during the stoppage ruled that he couldn’t continue, even though he appeared ready to fight. Therefore the TKO victory for Mousasi.
I'll be going off on this weidman/mousasi controversy in the #UFC210 post-fight show. There's NO instant replay. Can't change original call.— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) April 9, 2017
I don’t want to go too far here about whether this decision will stand or what the chances are, or how this might affect your UFC picks, but something is amiss here. The doctors wouldn’t have been in the Octagon checking on Weidman if the fight hadn’t been stopped, and there is no official review process for these things in the state of New York – although maybe there should be after this nonsense. Anyway, stay tuned and see what happens, just in case.