Cormier, a former Olympic wrestler, utilized a grappling-heavy gameplan in their first championship bout in 2015, submitting Johnson with the same submission at UFC 187.
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson is out to prove that history can be written when he steps into the cage at UFC 210 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo tonight.
"Bones" Jones is now serving a ban for one-year ban after testing positive for a banned substance in a June 2016 out-of-competition sample.
It seems as if his commitments now lie elsewhere, and showed just how classy he is by praising Cormier, as well as Jon Jones who was in attendance to watch the fight.
Two years after their first meeting at UFC 187 in an nearly exact repeat where Cormier won by rear-naked choke, he survived the early striking power of Johnson and forced a submission at 3:37 of Round 2.
Johnson, a two-time UFC title challenger, retires from MMA as one of the most feared knockout artists in the sport with a professional record of 22-6.
However in the second round, Cormier put forward typical pressure and wore on the suspect cardio levels of his opponent before he got him right where he wanted him.
Johnson, a power puncher in the light-heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, won 12 of his final 14 fights, but couldn't keep the thread of his plan against Cormier. "I didn't even tell [UFC president] Dana White", Johnson said. "So of course I'd fight Jon Jones".
It's now all over, but the fighting as all 26 fighters made weight for UFC 210. I'm not all that interested in the "Shogun" fight though because a victory over him doesn't really do any good to my goals. "I want to do something besides going to the gym everyday punching and kicking and rolling around with another dude".
Jones went as far as to call Cormier's weigh-in "one of the dirtiest things I've ever seen in sports", but Cormier could only laugh off that assertion.
"If Jones fights, Jones is going to be a co-main event anyway. He's done so well knocking people out and when it doesn't go his way, he goes back to wrestling and I knew I'd get him". It's time for me to move on to something else. It kind of depends on what they do with Jones.
Jones wouldn't say whether he'll immediately return to the cage for UFC 213, which is scheduled a week after his suspension is lifted. By the time he tried to get out, Cormier was all over him.