Prior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown of all 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 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 very best light heavyweights of all time. Of his 20 bouts, the only time that he watched defeat was to Jones in the first meeting. Since that setback in 2015, Cormier has won four consecutive bouts, with victories over Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson (double ) and Anderson Silva.
Being undersized hasn’t 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 final heavyweight champion from the business before it was obtained by the UFC. After in the UFC, Cormier immediately transitioned to light heavyweight and has become a Hall of Fame-caliber fighter. Despite being under six feet tall with merely a 72.5-inch reach, Cormier has rarely had an issue with competitions even giving up to a foot in reach and six inches in height.
Statistically, Cormier is extremely 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 impressive 42 percent achievement rate on takedowns. Cormier has very good footwork for the weight class and does nicely to close space and force opponents to fight him at close range. He does not possess the knockout power to put quality opponents away early, but he has an excellent chin, forcing opponents to a physical, energy draining bout. He’s proven to be among 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 greatest mixed martial artists of all-time. Back in 23 fights, his hand has been increased in all but one of those matches. The lone time it was not increased was because of a disqualification in a fight he was winning . Jones returns to action for the first time since an April 2016 decision win over Ovince Saint Preux, This fight will clean out any applicable contenders in his weight class.
The Jackson’s MMA product is the top fighter in the world for a lot of reasons. To begin, physically he’s very talented because his 84.5-inch hit 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 absorbs. That places him right near the top of this UFC in that class too. He combines that with 94 percent takedown defense, which makes him difficult to hit and difficult to take into the mat.
Jones combines that defensive prowess having a creative striking game by means of a great deal of unorthodox kicks. On the ground, Jones has as brutal of ground-and-pound as anyone in MMA. He delivers barbarous elbows at prime control and is capable of finishing in any struggle from that position. Jones has spent a great deal of time on the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats at his time away from MMA and it is certainly possible he integrates a considerable submission grappling focus to his own MMA prowess.
In the most anticipated MMA bout of 2017, the former winner Jones returns to recover his light heavyweight championship against the current champ Cormier. In their first bout, the fight was rather even after two rounds, but Jones’ body function actually begun to pay dividends at the next round, as he really began to out-land Cormier to acquire a determination. Furthermore, Jones even out-grappled Cormier, procuring three takedowns compared to the one his rival had in the bout.