By Justin Golightly
It wasn't the kind of fight the crowd wanted, but according to Daniel Cormier, it's the kind of fight that had to happen.
After the absolute insanity that preceded, Anderson Silva got in the Octagon on 48 hours notice against the UFC Light Heavyweight champion. It was a mad gauntlet of an incredible list of opponents ready to step in for a Jon Jones before the UFC finally landed upon Silva. Daniel Cormier got to step in to the Octagon with the previous "greatest of all time" candidate, but to some it disappointed.
Cormier used the Chael Sonnen method and took Silva down in the first round. This is where the fight stayed, for that round, the next round and the last. Hard short elbows, dirty boxing, classic grinding wrestling. As soon as Silva had opportunities to get up, albeit very short opportunities, the techniques from the Matrix came in.
Lucky for Silva, every round starts standing and the strikes were vintage: flying knee, precision straights and kicks. When Silva is at distance on the feet, magic happens no matter how old he is. However, Cormier took Silva at will and took away the best of his tools. Even his Olympic level wrestling neutralized Silva's Jiu Jitsu.
The most exciting action took place in the closing moments of the final round, where Silva landed a piercing body kick that doubled Cormier over. Silva swarmed awkwardly and Cormier was able to clinch up and survive the last seconds. "The fight went how it had to go", Cormier matter-of-factly said to Joe Rogan after taking the decision.
With an onslaught of emotions left behind him, who can dare pass blame on Cormier for fighting the smart fight against the former UFC Middleweight champion and an absolute legend.