Prior to each UFC battle card, Jay Primetown of MMAOddsBreaker.com takes a look at a few of the essential competitions at each event. In the latest installment, we look at UFC 214’s blockbuster primary event as Jon Jones returns to the Octagon to face Daniel Cormier in a bitter grudge match to 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 among the best light heavyweights of all-time. Of his 20 bouts, the only time that he watched defeat was to Jones in the very first meeting. Since that setback in 2015, Cormier has won four consecutive bouts, with victories over Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson (twice) and Anderson Silva.
Being undersized hasn’t been a problem for Cormier in MMA. He really made a name for himself in Strikeforce, beating the likes of Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva to be the last heavyweight champion from the business before it was acquired by the UFC. After from the UFC, Cormier quickly 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 rarely had a problem with competitions even giving up to a foot at reach and six inches in height.
Cormier is strong. He lands 3.78 significant strikes per minute despite absorbing only 2.07. He secures nearly two takedowns a 15 minutes in the cage with an percent success rate on takedowns. Cormier has very good footwork for the weight class and does well to shut distance and force opponents to fight him at close range. He doesn’t possess the knockout capability to put quality opponents off early, but he has a very good chin, forcing rivals to a physical, energy draining bout. He’s proven to be one of the toughest fighters to deal with in a cage over 25 minutes.
Jon Jones (Record: 22-1, -255 Favorite, Power Ranking: A++)
The 30-year-old Endicott, New York native is among the best mixed martial artists of all all-time. In 23 fights, his hand was raised in all but one of these matches. The only time it wasn’t raised was because of a disqualification in a fight he was winning . Jones returns to action for the first time as an April 2016 decision win over Ovince Saint Preux, This battle will truly clean out any relevant contenders in his weight class.
The Jackson’s MMA product is the top fighter in the world for many reasons. To start, physically he is very gifted because his 84.5-inch hit is right near the surface of the game. Jones uses his span very nicely, as he lands a whopping 2.25 more important strikes a minute than he consumes. He puts him right near the very top of this UFC in that class as well. He combines that with 94 percent takedown defense, making him hard to strike and difficult to take to the mat.
Jones combines that defensive art with a creative striking game by means of a lot of unorthodox kicks. On the ground, Jones has as barbarous of ground-and-pound as anyone in MMA. He delivers barbarous elbows in prime control and is capable of completing in any fight with that position. Jones has spent a lot of time on the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats in his time off from MMA and it is certainly possible he incorporates a significant submission grappling attention to his MMA prowess.
At the most anticipated MMA bout of 2017, the former champion Jones returns to recover his light heavyweight championship against the current champ Cormier. In their first bout, the fight was fairly even after two rounds, but Jones’ body function really started to pay dividends at the third round, as he actually started to out-land Cormier to win a decision. What’s more, Jones even out-grappled Cormier, securing three takedowns when compared with this one that his opponent had in the bout.
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