Jon Jones v Daniel Cormier – UFC 182 – Saturday 4th January 2015
Rounding off my countdown of the fights to look out for in the UFC in early-2015, there was only ever one winner. At #1 it’s to be the light heavyweight matchup finally going down at UFC 182 between vicious rivals Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier
The bitter grudge match seeing Jon Jones and top contender Daniel Cormier do battle kicks off 2015 with a bang for the UFC.
Jones is aiming to extend his record breaking run of light heavyweight title defences to eight by beating wrestling specialist Cormier, unbeaten in his MMA career and looking as dangerous as ever having confidently submitted veteran Dan Henderson last time out.
The dust may have settled since the postponement of their scheduled fight at UFC 178, where during the build-up they brawled in the lobby of the MGM Grand and were recorded trading vicious insults after an interview, but if they truly do hate each other as much as previous antics suggest both are primed to blow the roof off the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Jon Jones is coming off the back of two decision victories against Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira and Daniel Cormier has been impressive in putting away both Henderson and Patrick Cummins since stepping down from heavyweight. The challenger will be a tough test for a champion who despite destroying Teixeira over five rounds in his last fight was previously taken to the absolute limit by Alexander Gustafsson.
Jones’ points win over the Swede was somewhat fortunate with many believing the decision should have gone to the other way. A rematch was booked, however Gustafsson was cruelly denied his chance through injury. He will though finally get another shot at the belt if he emerges victorious in his homecoming bout with Anthony Johnson at ‘UFC on Fox’ in Stockholm on 24th January.
If Cormier can upset the odds and end the longest current championship reign in the UFC it will blow the light heavyweight division wide open, setting 2015 up for an unpredictable ride no one could have anticipated.
‘Bones’ Jones demonstrated his full array of skills against Teixeira at UFC 172. He didn’t get the finish but as a master of fighting on his terms you would expect him to attempt to avoid letting Cormier take the bout to the mat and keep it contested in the stand-up. Cormier is a world class wrestler but Jones is no slouch in that area either.
The fight is maybe much closer too call than many observers would like to suggest, and the challenger has not backed down from Jones in any way whatsoever so far. Its been a long time coming, what a way for the UFC to see in the New Year.