Prior to every UFC battle card, Jay Primetown of MMAOddsBreaker.com takes a look at a few of the key contests at each event. In the most recent installment, we look at UFC 214’s blockbuster main event as Jon Jones returns to the Octagon to face 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 become one of the very best light heavyweights of all-time. Of his 20 bouts, the only time he watched defeat was to Jones in the very first meeting. Since that blow in 2015, Cormier has won four consecutive bouts, with successes over Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson (double ) and Anderson Silva.
Being undersized has never been a problem for Cormier in MMA. He actually 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. Once in the UFC, Cormier immediately transitioned to light heavyweight 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 a problem with competitions even giving around a foot in reach and six inches in height.
Cormier is powerful. He lands 3.78 significant strikes per minute despite consuming just 2.07. He enrolls nearly two takedowns per 15 minutes from the cage with an percent achievement rate on takedowns. Cormier has very good footwork for the weight class and does well to close space and force opponents to fight him at close range. He does not have the knockout power to put quality opponents off early, but he has an excellent chin, forcing opponents into a bodily, energy draining bout. He is shown to be one of the most difficult 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 one of the best mixed martial artists of all-time. Back in 23 fights, his hand has been increased in all but one of those games. The lone time it was not raised was due to 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 fight will clean out any relevant contenders in his weight class.
The Jackson’s MMA merchandise is the top fighter in the world for many reasons. To begin, physically he is very talented because his 84.5-inch reach is right near the surface of the sport. Jones uses his length very well, as he lands a whopping 2.25 more important strikes a minute than he consumes. That puts him right near the very top of the UFC in that category as well. He combines that with 94 percent takedown defense, which makes him difficult to strike and difficult to take to the mat.
Jones combines that defensive art with a creative striking game using a lot of unorthodox kicks. On the ground, Jones has as brutal of ground-and-pound as anybody in MMA. He delivers barbarous elbows at top control and is capable of finishing in any fight from that position. Jones has invested a great deal of time around the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats in his time off from MMA and it is certainly possible he incorporates a considerable submission grappling attention to his MMA prowess.
At the most anticipated MMA bout of 2017, the former winner Jones returns to reclaim his light heavyweight championship against the current champ Cormier. In their first bout, the struggle was fairly even after two rounds, but Jones’ body function actually started to pay dividends at the third round, since he actually began to out-land Cormier to acquire a decision. What’s more, Jones also out-grappled Cormier, procuring three takedowns compared to this one that his rival had in the bout.
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