LAS VEGAS -- An "H-bomb" did not go off inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night. Daniel Cormier made sure of it.
Cormier (15-0) kept his unbeaten record intact at UFC 173, submitting Dan Henderson via rear-naked choke at 3:53 of the third round. The outcome was never in doubt, as Cormier dominated Henderson on the ground throughout.
"If I decide to take Jon Jones down 100 times, I will take him down 100 times," Cormier said. "This is my Octagon."
Cormier didn't need 100 takedowns to beat Henderson. Three proved to be more than enough. He took Henderson down in the opening moments of each round in highlight-reel fashion.
He sent Henderson (30-12) flying in the first round with an outside trip. Early in the third round, he outdid himself, lifting Henderson up over his head and slamming him to the mat.
As effective as the takedowns were, the real story of the fight was what occurred after them. Utilizing technique and a visible size advantage, Cormier easily held Henderson on his back, landing punches and passing his guard along the way.
He moved into full mount at one point in the first, although Henderson quickly escaped back into half-guard. Even when Cormier wasn't landing punches, it was clear the effort of defending them was wearing out Henderson.
He had little left by the third round -- and the vaunted right hand never came into play. He finally gave up his back with 90 seconds left in the fight. Cormier slipped the right arm under his chin shortly after and that was that.
Henderson, 43, is now two fights into a six-fight UFC extension he signed earlier this year. He is 1-4 in his last five bouts, including a knockout loss to Vitor Belfort in November. He promised this would not be his last fight.
Cormier is now 2-0 as a light heavyweight. He was scheduled to fight Rashad Evans earlier this year at UFC 170, but Evans withdrew due to injury. Cormier went on to knock out UFC newcomer Patrick Cummins on short notice.
Robbie Lawler is officially back on the horse -- and galloping toward the UFC welterweight title.
Referee Herb Dean called the bout 3:06 into the final round, when Lawler dropped Ellenberger with a knee after trapping him near the fence. The strike didn't knock out Ellenberger (29-8) out, but it was the final straw of a pretty one-sided beatdown.
"I wanted to get in there and really push him to get the stoppage," Lawler said. "I hit him with that one-two (combination) and followed it up when he went down.
"I have great coaches who guided me through this quick, two-month turnaround after my last fight. I felt strong out there because they never let my body get weak during training. I had plenty of time to rest and fight off the fatigue of back-to-back camps."