Daniel Cormier nearly lost a spot on the UFC 200 card, a historic event in the company's history, when his opponent Jon Jones was pulled from their light heavyweight title unification bout after failing a mid-June drug test. The UFC and president Dana White scrambled to find a last-minute replacement, and longtime middleweight champion Anderson Silva, widely regarded as one of the best fighters of all-time, stepped in on two-days notice.
Silva was just six weeks removed from gall bladder surgery, which forced him off the UFC 198 card, but his insertion into the event kept fans interested after learning Jones wouldn't fight. It presented an interesting stylistic matchup between a dynamic striker in Silva and an Olympic wrestler in Cormier, a classic striker versus grappler match up.
The fight failed to live up to expectations. There was some light striking at the beginning of each round before Cormier would go for the take down and hold Silva down to wear off the clock. A couple of times the fight was stood up, and when the fighters were on their feet, Silva showed flashes of brilliance despite being unprepared.
But Cormier got a dominant win, scoring 30-26 on all three judges' cards. The fight was only three rounds, a request from Silva, and Cormier's light heavyweight title wasn't on the line as a result so it won't count as a title defense, but Cormier notched a win against one of the best of all-time.
In the end, it might have been a good thing for Cormier because he didn't necessarily look prepared to beat Jon Jones. In the post-fight interview Cormier attributed that to preparing for a different fighter.
Who is next for Cormier is a bit wide open. Jones would be the logical choice, but he is facing a two-year suspension and doesn't appear to be a factor in the division anytime soon.