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Cormier defends light heavyweight title at UFC 220 - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Cormier defends light heavyweight title at UFC 220

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Daniel Cormier UFC Light  Heavyweight Champion, Courtesy: Facebook Daniel Cormier UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Courtesy: Facebook

BOSTON (AP) - Daniel Cormier locked a choke hold on Volkan Oezdemir with such force that the crowd exploded when the horn sounded to end the first round, thinking the fight was over.
  
Not yet.
  
Oezedmir was saved by the bell briefly. But the inevitable defeat was just moments away.
  
With a Boston crowd roaring and chanting his intitials, Cormier put on a dominant effort that showed why he's the best active light heavyweight fighter in UFC and defeated Oezdemir via TKO to retain the 205-pound belt.
  
Cormier raised his hands in triumph as UFC President Dana White wrapped the title belt around his waist. He dropped to his knees on the canvas and said this fight was the validation he needed to prove he was worthy of being called champion.
  
Cormier was awarded the title after Jon Jones was stripped of his light heavyweight championship when he failed his latest doping test.
  
Cormier has lived in Jones' shadow for the last few years of his career.
  
But against Oezdemir, he proved worthy of the title.
  
Cormier nearly put away Oezdemir in the first until the bell ended the violent round. But Cormier pinned Oezdemir against the canvas early in the second and finished him off with a series of shots to the face.
  
"I've lost twice to Jon Jones," Cormier said. "I said coming in here that I felt like I was fighting for a vacant title again. I got the job done, so I'm the UFC champion again. I can't ignore what happened in July. I'm a competitor. Even though I came in here as a champ, I needed a win to feel like one."
  
UFC stripped Jones in September of its light heavyweight title for a third time and reinstated Cormier as the 205-pound champion after Jones' latest failed doping test. UFC made the call after the California State Athletic Commission changed the result of Jones' victory over Cormier at UFC 214 in July to a no-contest. Cormier had lost the belt to Jones in a third-round stoppage.
  
Jones' backup sample also failed a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency test for the same substance, the banned steroid Turinabol.
  
"I proved I'm worthy of being called champion, but Volkan's on that level," Cormier said. "Every guy who makes it to this point is on the level. Volkan Oezdemir, I leave a piece of myself with every opponent. I'm glad you can take a piece back with you to Switzerland."
  
Oezdemir walked to the cage with his native Swiss flag draped over his shoulder to almost no reaction from the Boston crowd. Cormier, known for getting split reactions from the crowd, had fans standing on their feet, snapping pics and cheering. He took a lap around the canvas with his right arm raised in triumph, backed by "Let's go DC!" chants.

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