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UFC 210: Cormier retains light heavyweight belt

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — With a vicious choke, Daniel Cormier forced Anthony Johnson into submission and retirement. Cormier’s next title challenger? Pick a fighter outside of the cage.

Daniel Cormier, UFC

Daniel Cormier (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Cormier easily defeated “Rumble” Johnson for the second time in two years, using a rear naked choke to retain the light heavyweight championship in the main event of UFC 210 on Saturday night.

With tears in his eyes, Johnson announced his retirement inside the octagon, saying “it’s time for me to do something else.”

It’s time for Cormier to figure out what’s next — and he has options for a major fight later this year.

Cormier jawed with No. 4 ranked contender Jimi Manuwa immediately after the bout and then talked trash with perhaps the class — and considered, the uncrowned champ —of the division, Jon Jones.

Cormier wanted nothing to do with Jones’ posturing, saying, “don’t talk to me about a guy who’s ineligible. When you get your (act) together, I’ll be here waiting to fight.”

Cormier was awarded the light heavyweight belt only after Jones was stripped of it in early 2015, when he was suspended by the UFC following his involvement in a hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Jones had successfully defended his title eight times through 2013. But he’s fought just three times over the past four years.

He had joked that he would confront Cormier in the cage but stayed in his seat and hung out with several members of the Buffalo Bills.