The fight was never close. Cormier dominated with his elite-level wrestling from the outset, beating him up on the ground and finishing with a rear-naked choke in the third frame. It was a complete performance that put Cormier on the map as Jon Jones' greatest test.
Henderson had no answer for anything Cormier brought into the cage. He was that dominant.
This is what we learned from the UFC 173 co-main event on Saturday night.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
We will remember Henderson being treated like a child. Cormier absolutely manhandled the former champion.
It was a big-time performance from Cormier.
He launched Henderson into the air on a couple of occasions, completely controlled him on the canvas and even dominated him with ground-and-pound when the opportunities presented themselves. Cormier is on another level.
Henderson is all man, and Cormier treated him like a child.
What We Learned About Dan Henderson
We knew that Henderson was past his prime, but Saturday night was the moment we learned that he is no longer in that upper-echelon class of fighters.
He was completely outclassed by one of the best in the sport today, and the same would likely happen against the other elite contenders of the light heavyweight division.
Time passes all by, and it has Henderson too. There is nothing wrong with that, but fans need to come to grips that, despite his power and credentials, his time has come and gone.
What We Learned About Daniel Cormier
The doubters learned that Cormier is, in fact, a very big threat to Jones and his title.
Cormier did not show too much in his UFC career. It was a display of grappling dominance, as it was Saturday night, but it was never in the manner in which he dominated Henderson.
He manhandled a legend. He sent him airborne. He finished him.
Jones looked like he had no challengers until Alexander Gustafsson surprised everyone in their encounter, and now Cormier has dropped to light heavyweight to give him another. Cormier is the real deal. That would be an electric fight.
What's Next for Dan Henderson?
It is hard to tell what is next. It cannot be another top contender; that is one thing for sure.
The UFC should identify another aging fighter for Henderson's next fight. It should be someone of the same ilk as Henderson. Perhaps a rematch against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira would be in order. That is where Henderson is at in his career, and that should be all that he does from this point forward.
What's Next for Daniel Cormier?
Whomever the champion is.
Gustafsson and Jones will fight for a second time. According to an ESPN report, it could happen in August. After that, Cormier is up next.
Cormier wants Jones, and that is who we all should want. That is the fight to make.
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