Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier fought the biggest grudge fight of the year. Jones and Cormier put on a show early on but it was the UFC light heavyweight champion who wound up shining with an impressive, statement win
The fight started out hot with both guys coming out swinging. Cormier closed the distance more than I ever thought he would in the first two rounds. Jones took Cormier down for the first time in Cormier’s career, which was the difference in the first round. Cormier kept coming and won the second round with some dirty boxing and clinching. I was impressed with Cormier as I expected Jones to dominate the fight.
Jones came alive in the fourth round. Jones took down Cormier twice and was more effective in the clinch throughout the round. Cormier looked tired and sluggish as the round continued. Jones looked strong throughout including taking down Cormier as the buzzer sounded. Jones also nailed Cormier with a short elbow. Jones looked best by far in this round as opposed to the early rounds. The body shots Jones nailed earlier had obviously taken their toll.
Cormier came out swinging and tried to get in some dirty boxing. Jones withstood the storm and the two wound up tying up along the cage. Jones doesn’t look tired at all which is amazing considering how sluggish he looked in the third round. Jones worked for Cormier’s back. Cormier spun out. Jones had the fight in hand by this round. Both grappled a bit on their feet towards the end of the round. Jones blocked all of Cormier’s takedown attempts. This was easily the most boring round of the fight. Cormier just had nothing left in the tank while Jones looked strong. Cormier was working for a takedown in the final minute as Jones dropped elbows. Cormier nailed a huge takedown in the final minute only for Jones to jump right back to his feet. Jones nailed a spinning elbow in the final thirty seconds. Jones gave Cormier the “D-X Crotch Chop” when the buzzer sounded.
Jones wins the fight via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
The grudge was deep between the two as Jones cut a pro wrestling style heel promo after the fight. Jones was awesome if you are into that kind of thing and told Joe Rogan that he really doesn’t like Cormier. Jones embracing the role of villain is money as UFC fans will continue to pay top dollar in hopes of seeing a hero take him down.
Did the fight live up to the hype? Well it depends. I never got caught up in it. It seemed like a total mismatch to me. Cormier’s record is nice but it is a bit suspect if you ask me. He only had two light heavyweight fights, one against an inexperienced Patrick Cummins and one against an aged fighter in Dan Henderson. I never thought he was in Jones’ class of fighters and thus the fight went like I thought it would. That said, I was shocked to see Cormier do as much damage as he did and survive without getting knocked out.
What’s next for both fighters? I am not sure. Cormier will be at a crossroads as to whether he goes back to heavyweight or not. The obvious fight for Jones is a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson but Gus is already signed to fight Anthony Johnson in a couple of weeks. I think you have to go with whomever wins that fight against Jones.
The truth is that Jones is much better than anyone I see fighting in the UFC right now. Whether it’s Gus, Johnson, or anyone else, I don’t see Jones ever losing the title. I see Jones going to heavyweight and fighting Cain at the end of the year, should Cain recover.
And that will be a hell of a fight!
Jon Jones defeated Daniel Cormier via decision (unanimous)
Donald Cerrone defeated Myles Jury via Decision (unanimous)
Brad Tavares defeated Nate Marquardt via Decision (unanimous)
Kyoji Horiguchi defeated Louis Gaudinot via Decision (unanimous)
Hector Lombard defeated Josh Burkman via Decision (unanimous)
Paul Felder defeated Danny Castillo via KO (spinning back fist) in Round 2
Cody Garbrandt defeated Marcus Brimage via TKO (punches) in Round 3
Shawn Jordan defeated Jared Cannonier via KO (punches) in Round 1
Evan Dunham defeated Rodrigo Damm via Decision (unanimous)
Omari Akhmedov defeated Mats Nilsson via Decision (unanimous)
Marion Reneau defeated Alexis Dufresne via Decision (unanimous)
UFC 182 Post-Fight Press Conference