Two titles, the greatest heavyweight round in MMA history and a nasty head-kick finish.
That, in a nutshell, was UFC 187.
While it didn’t feature Conor McGregor – the biggest draw of 2015 – or Ronda Rousey – the most talked about – the event in May was one to remember.
Set inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Daniel Cormier earned the UFC light heavyweight title when he choked out Anthony Johnson in the third round. The belt had been declared vacant after officials stripped Jon Jones, and “DC” gladly took advantage.
After wearing on Johnson for two-plus rounds, the former Olympic wrestler locked up a rear-naked choke on an exhausted “Rumble” and was declared the winner.
Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort finally locked horns after having their middleweight title fight postponed several times, including after the UFC decided to enforce stricter penalties on the use of TRT.
What did all that end up meaning? An easy first round TKO finish for Weidman, as Belfort looked unlike the same “Phenom” that ran over Luke Rockhold, Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping to earn his shot.
Donald Cerrone landed a perfectly executed head kick that finished John Makdessi as part of his run to a fight for the UFC lightweight title, while Joseph Benavidez scored a hard-fought decision over John Moraga to begin the main card.
But what UFC 187 will be remembered for happened over the four of four-plus minutes, as Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne went toe-to-toe, strike-for-strike and move-for-move.
Arlovski weathered an early storm by Browne before finishing the fight with a flurry.
As part of the prelims, John Dodson earned himself a future flyweight title fight by besting Zach Makovsky, Dong Hyun Kim submitted Josh Burkman, Rafael Natal stunned Uriah Hall and Colby Covington picked up a decision over Mike Pyle.
Several other cards were in the running for the top one of the year, including UFC 185, UFC 189, UFC on FOX 16, UFC Fight Night 94 and UFC 194.