UFC Light Heavyweight Daniel Cormier won a three-round 30-26 unanimous decision in a non-title bout against Anderson Silva on Saturday at UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Cormier was scheduled to face Jon Jones, but the interim light heavyweight champion was pulled Wednesday night due to a potential anti-doping violation. Silva, 41, stepped in on 48-hours notice just two months removed from gall bladder surgery. The former Oklahoma State All-American wrestler improves to 18-1 with his third consecutive victory, while the former UFC Middleweight king Silva drops to 33-8 (1 NC).
Cormier displayed his wrestling early and often in the fight. He opened the fight with a takedown then went to work on Silva in the guard for the rest of the first round.
Silva started the second with a crisp kick and a knee to Cormier, but the champion responded with quick right and a takedown. Official John McCarthy stood the two up after Cormier was unable to find a spot to finish Silva, who threw some strikes before Cormier pinned him agains the fence to end the second.
Cormier scored another takedown in the third which elicited more jeers from the capacity crowd. McCarthy stood them up once again after a "stand them up" crowd chant. Silva connected with a kick to the midsection before the final bell.