Daniel Cormier forces Anthony Johnson into retirement with identical outcome in rematch
The UFC has lost its hardest hitter.
Anthony Johnson has hung up his gloves after succumbing to defeat to Daniel Cormier for the second time with the UFC light heavyweight title on the line.
'Rumble' was on top for the majority of the opening round but put an unexpected strategy into action as he opted to grapple with the defending champion throughout the first frame of the UFC 210 main event.
Johnson had some success too as he took down the former Olympian but it was a thudding roundhouse kick that was the most telling blow of the entire fight as he smashed Cormier's nose.
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.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) April 9, 2017
Just like he did at the beginning of 2015, 'DC' sneaked his forearm under Johnson's chin and drew the tap in what was Johnson's fifth career defeat to a rear naked choke.
Shortly after the official decision was read by Bruce Buffer, Joe Rogan visited with Johnson, who had an unexpected announcement.
"This was my last fight," a tearful Johnson said.
"I didn't even tell Dana White. I didn't tell anybody. My coaches knew, my family knew, my friends knew.
"But I didn't want any distractions. I just want to thank you all for being there for me.
"I gave my commitment to another job, something I've wanted to do for a while. It's not MMA-related or anything like that. It's just time for me to move on to something else.
"I'm tired of getting punched by guys and rolling around on the ground with guys. There ain't nothing fun about that."
As for Cormier, he has no shortage of options next and he made that clear as he engaged in some post-fight smack talk with perennial rival Jon Jones and England's own Jimi Manuwa, both of whom were in attendance in Buffalo's KeyBank Centre.
But considering his age and the difficulty with which he made 205lbs on Friday, perhaps his days in the division are numbered.
We'll just have to wait and see.