Prior to every UFC fight card, Jay Primetown of all MMAOddsBreaker.com takes a peek at some of the key contests at every event. In the most recent installment, we look at UFC 214’s blockbuster primary event as Jon Jones returns to the Octagon to confront 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 become among the very best light heavyweights of all time. Of his 20 bouts, the only time he saw defeat was to Jones at the very first meeting. Since that setback in 2015, Cormier has won four straight bouts, with successes over Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson (twice) and Anderson Silva.
Being undersized has never 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 are the final heavyweight champion in the organization before it was acquired by the UFC. After in the UFC, Cormier quickly 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 a problem with opponents even giving up to a foot at reach and six inches in height.
Statistically, Cormier is powerful. He lands 3.78 significant strikes per minute despite absorbing only 2.07. He enrolls nearly two takedowns a 15 minutes in the cage with an impressive 42 percent achievement rate on takedowns. Cormier has very good footwork for the weight class and does well to shut distance and force opponents to fight at close range. He doesn’t have the knockout capability to put quality opponents away early, but he has an excellent chin, forcing opponents to a bodily, energy draining bout. He is 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 among the greatest mixed martial artists of all all-time. In 23 fights, his hand has been raised in all but one of those games. The lone time it was not increased was due to 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 clean out any relevant contenders in his weight class.
The Jackson’s MMA product is the very best fighter in the world for a lot of reasons. To start, physically he is very gifted in that his 84.5-inch reach is right near the top of the game. Jones uses his length very well, as he lands a whopping 2.25 more significant strikes a minute than he absorbs. That places him right near the top of this UFC in that category too. He combines that with 94 percent takedown defense, which makes him hard to hit and difficult to take into the mat.
Jones unites that defensive art having a creative striking game using a lot of unorthodox kicks. On the ground, Jones has as barbarous of ground-and-pound as anyone in MMA. He delivers barbarous elbows at top controller and is capable of finishing in any fight with that position. Jones has invested a great deal of time around the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats in his time away from MMA and it’s certainly possible he integrates a significant submission grappling attention to his MMA prowess.
At the most anticipated 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 fight was rather even after two rounds, but Jones’ body work actually begun to pay dividends at the third round, as he actually began to out-land Cormier to win a determination. What’s more, Jones also out-grappled Cormier, securing three takedowns compared to the one his rival had from the bout.
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