Daniel Cormier is taking the right path to becoming an elite heavyweight. He's working out of a high-level MMA gym and staying as active as possible. He just won the King of the Cage heavyweight title last weekend and made quick of work of Jason Riley tonight in the final fight on the non-televised undercard at Strikeforce: Houston.
In the opening seconds, Cormier (5-0) charged Riley looking for a single-leg takedown. He didn't get it but his aggressiveness put Riley on the defensive. When the fighters stood apart for a few seconds, Cormier leapt into an overhand right and hurt Riley badly. Riley hit the deck and that's where Cormier turned on the jets. He pounded away with a half-dozen left hands. Riley covered up and took the abuse for a few more seconds before tapping due to strikes at 1:02 of the first.
Cormier, an Olympic level wrestler out of Oklahoma State, is a little short for the division at 5-foot-11 and 249 pounds but he manhandled the much bigger Riley. His work with guys like UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose is paying off. His conditioning looks better and his hands are improving with each fight. His next fight is scheduled against Soa Palelei in Australia. Odds are he'll take a few more fights between now and Nov. 21.
Riley has dropped 3-of-4 fights including losses to Tim Sylvia and Devin Cole.
Jorge Patino took his fight against Andre Galvao on short notice and did all he could to steal the fight in the first round. Galvao weathered the storm and was able to wear down the fill-in. Galvao scored a takedown early in the third and wailed away with shots to Patino, who couldn't improve position. After dozens of elbows and punches to Patino, who was just covering up, Galvao got the stoppage at the 2:45 mark of the third round.
Patino did a great job in the opening round attempting several punch-kick combos. The 37-year-old would charge Galvao, fire off a left and a right followed by a head kick. He shocked Galvao by landing a huge left with 1:40 left in the round. Galvao scrambled and was hurt badly when he got drilled by another left on his knees. Patino poured it on but just couldn't get the finish. The effort probably sapped Patino a bit for the rest of the fight. Galvao was able to score takedowns throughout the second to take back control of the fight.
The 27-year-old Galvao (5-1) is a highly decorated world champion in jiu-jitsu. His ground control was impressive and so was the toughness he exhibited in withstanding a dangerous situation in the first.