UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
When Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones enter the octagon together for the second time at UFC 214, it isn’t just a fight between two of the greatest mixed martial artists today. The fight represents an opportunity for Jon Jones to redeem himself as the pound-for-pound king of the sport and get his life back on the right track.
Height: 5’11” (181cm)
Reach: 72.5″ (184cm)
Daniel Cormier is already going to go down in the books as a legend of the sport and one of the best UFC light heavyweights ever. Cormier has lost only to Jon Jones, and since then has dramatically improved while defeating Anthony Johnson (twice), Alexander Gustafsson and Anderson Silva. A win over Jon Jones this weekend could forever cement him as one of the best mixed martial artists ever.
Height: 6’4″ (194cm)
Reach: 84.5″ (215cm)
On the topic of the greatest mixed martial artists ever, Jon Jones is a focal point of that conversation. Described as a freak of nature and one of the most athletically gifted stars in the sport, Jones has defeated everyone in his path. The only blemish on Jones’ record is a disqualification loss in a fight with Matt Hamill at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale. Now, Jones looks to regain his title of UFC light heavyweight champion and begin another path of destruction in the UFC.
The First Time
The unanimous 49-46 scorecards aren’t entirely representative of the challenge that Daniel Cormier brought to Jon Jones at UFC 184. Cormier had turned it into a slugfest. If you were watching Jon Jones for the first time, it wouldn’t have been obvious that he was one of the greatest to have ever competed in our sport. Despite the result, the fight speaks volumes to the capabilities of Daniel Cormier. Jones didn’t stick and move as Coach Winkeljohn wanted, and rather he engaged in a hard-fought war in the clinch, effectively negating all of his significant reach advantage against Cormier. Jones is an exceptional fighter in almost every aspect, but the clinch is one of the areas in which he is most dangerous.
In the early stages of the fight, Daniel Cormier had success with landing heavy uppercuts to the face of Jon Jones as he engaged with him in the clinch. Cormier, being the much smaller fighter, had plenty of room to operate with these punches and it looked to be troubling Jones. Jon Jones is a masterful on-the-fly tactician, as we saw in his fight with Lyoto Machida, and by the time the third round had commenced Jones had found a way to stop Daniel Cormier from inflicting damage in the clinch. Jones battled for wrist control, and with a firm grip, he was able to prevent Cormier from striking. It was the most subtle of changes but proved to be the separating factor between these two fighters.
There are many questions ready to be answered when Cormier and Jones step inside the octagon again at UFC 214.
In the first bout, Jones heavily employed his tactic of extending his arm out towards his opponent in an attempt to block their vision while moving away from any potential danger. Now, with the rule changes that were implemented on January 1, 2017, Jon Jones will need to be careful about extending his fingers out towards his opponent as a measure of distance. Jones has habitually relied upon this technique during his career, so it will be interesting to see how he adapts to these changes.
I also believe that Daniel Cormier has fully realised that he can defeat Jon Jones after he had great success finding a home for his shots in their first fight. If Cormier pressures Jones and continues to strike in the ‘middle-range’ (between the clinch and Jones’ optimal striking distance), it could spell trouble for Jones who seemingly has trouble at this ‘middle-range’.
There are ways for Daniel Cormier to win this fight without him having to employ his usual strategy of getting fighters down to the mat. Jon Jones is deservedly the favourite in this contest as he is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) to have ever competed inside the octagon, but I can sense Daniel Cormier snatching a shocking victory this weekend at UFC 214. If that’s the case, we’re in luck because there are incredibly enticing odds over at BetVictor this weekend.
Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones
Daniel Cormier to Win
Saturday 29th July – 11:30 pm (ET) / 3:30am GMT
Odds: +225 – BetVictor