Ahead of every 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 primary event as Jon Jones returns to the Octagon to face Daniel Cormier at 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 turned into among the best light heavyweights of all time. Of his 20 bouts, the only time that he saw defeat was to Jones at the first meeting. Since that blow in 2015, Cormier has won four consecutive bouts, with victories over Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson (twice) and Anderson Silva.
Being undersized has never been a problem for Cormier in MMA. He actually made a name for himself 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 from the UFC, Cormier immediately transitioned to light and has come to be 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 opponents even giving around a foot at reach and six inches in height.
Statistically, Cormier is very powerful. He lands 3.78 significant strikes per minute despite absorbing only 2.07. He enrolls nearly two takedowns a 15 minutes from the cage using an astonishing 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 battle him at close range. He does not possess the knockout power to put quality competitions off early, but he has an excellent chin, forcing opponents into a physical, energy draining bout. He is proven to be among the toughest fighters to handle 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. In 23 fights, his hands was raised in all but one of these games. The only time it wasn’t increased was because of 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 fight will 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 talented because his 84.5-inch reach is right near the top of the game. Jones uses his span very well, as he lands a whopping 2.25 more significant strikes a minute than he absorbs. He puts him right near the very top of this UFC in that category as well. He combines that with 94 percent takedown defense, which makes him difficult to strike and hard to take into the mat.
Jones unites that defensive prowess with a creative striking game using a lot of unorthodox kicks. On the floor, Jones has as brutal of ground-and-pound as anyone in MMA. He delivers vicious elbows at prime control and is capable of completing in any fight from that position. Jones has spent a great deal of time on the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats at his time off from MMA and it is certainly possible he integrates a considerable submission grappling attention to his MMA prowess.
At the most expected MMA bout of 2017, the former champion Jones returns to recover his light heavyweight championship against the current champ Cormier. Within their first bout, the fight was rather even after two rounds, but Jones’ body function really begun to pay dividends in the next round, as he really began to out-land Cormier to win a determination. What’s more, Jones even out-grappled Cormier, securing three takedowns when compared with the one that his opponent had in the bout.
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