Prior to every UFC fight card, Jay Primetown of MMAOddsBreaker.com takes a look at a few of the key contests at every function. In the most recent installment, we look at UFC 214’s blockbuster main event as Jon Jones returns to the Octagon to confront Daniel Cormier in a bitter grudge match for the light heavyweight championship.
Daniel Cormier (Record: 19-1, +235 Underdog, Power Ranking: A+)
The 38-year-old Olympic wrestler turned MMA fighter has turned into one of the best light heavyweights of all-time. Of his 20 bouts, the only time that he saw defeat was to Jones at the very first meeting. Since that blow in 2015, Cormier has won four straight bouts, with victories over Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson (double ) and Anderson Silva.
Being undersized has never been an issue for Cormier in MMA. He actually made a name for himself Strikeforce, beating the likes of Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva to be the final heavyweight champion from the business before it was obtained by the UFC. Once from the UFC, Cormier immediately transitioned to light and has come to be a Hall of Fame-caliber fighter. Despite being under six feet tall with just a 72.5-inch reach, Cormier has seldom had an issue with competitions even giving up to a foot in reach and six inches in height.
Cormier is powerful. He lands 3.78 significant strikes per minute despite absorbing only 2.07. He secures almost two takedowns a 15 minutes from the cage with an percent success rate on takedowns. Cormier has very good footwork for the weight class and does nicely to shut distance and force opponents to fight him at close selection. He does not have the knockout power to put quality competitions away early, but he has an excellent chin, forcing rivals into a physical, energy draining bout. He’s shown to be among the most difficult fighters to handle in a cage within 25 minutes.
Jon Jones (Record: 22-1, -255 Favorite, Power Ranking: A++)
The 30-year-old Endicott, New York native is one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time. In 23 fights, his hand has been raised in all but one of those matches. The lone time it wasn’t raised was because of a disqualification in a fight he was winning . Jones returns to action for the first time since an April 2016 conclusion win over Ovince Saint Preux, This battle will truly clean out any applicable contenders in his weight class.
The Jackson’s MMA product is the very best fighter in the world for a lot of reasons. To begin, physically he’s very gifted in that his 84.5-inch reach is right near the top of the sport. Jones uses his span very nicely, as he lands a whopping 2.25 more significant strikes a second than he consumes. He places him right near the very top of this UFC in that class as well. He combines that with 94 percent takedown defense, which makes him hard to strike and hard to take into the mat.
Jones unites that defensive art with a creative striking game using a great deal of unorthodox kicks. On the ground, Jones has as barbarous of ground-and-pound as anybody in MMA. He delivers vicious elbows in top control and is capable of completing in any fight from that position. Jones has spent a lot of time on the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats at his time away from MMA and it’s certainly possible he incorporates a significant submission grappling focus to his MMA prowess.
At the most expected MMA bout of 2017, the former champion Jones returns to reclaim his light heavyweight championship against the current champ Cormier. Within their first bout, the struggle was rather even after two rounds, but Jones’ body work actually started to pay dividends in the next round, as he really began to out-land Cormier to win a determination. Furthermore, Jones even out-grappled Cormier, procuring three takedowns compared to the one his rival had in the bout.