A lot can happen in a year, no one knows that more than light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and challenger Daniel Cormier (well, except maybe UFC® fans).
In April of 2014 it was confirmed that Jones-Gustafsson 2 would be taking place, likely in a Swedish PPV. Then barely a month later, Gustafsson agreed to an Aug. 30th, UFC® 177 fight in Las Vegas. In June, Dana white confirmed that the rematch would in fact take place at UFC® 178, when just days earlier Jones expressed his interest in fighting Cormier. As chance would have it, Gustafsson was forced to withdraw from the fight after sustaining an injury and the Jones vs Cormier bout was set for UFC® 178.
Tensions ran high as UFC® 178 media day kicked off without a hitch, until Jones and Cormier were face to face and the now infamous brawl took place. With no love lost between these two, these former friends, have both been vocal about their readiness to get in the Octagon leaving them and everyone else in anticipation of UFC® 178.
As if destined to never take place, Jones suffered a leg injury during training and this highly anticipated matchup was moved once again, to Jan. 3, 2015 at UFC® 182.
Well folks, the time is now and it’s put up or shut up time as the #1 and #2 light heavyweights go toe to toe for UFC® gold in the Octagon. UFC® 182 is just days away, so before you ring in the New Year, check out our preview of the upcoming fight night.
Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier
What’s there to say about Jon “Bones” Jones that hasn’t already been said? The youngest UFC® champion ever, a highly skilled, well-rounded fighter, on a winning streak that comes around once in a blue moon in MMA. Check out the full profile here.
He faces one of his most dangerous opponents in, fairly new comer to the LHW division, Daniel DC Cormier. Since dropping from heavyweight to LHW, DC has been dominant within the division finishing Patrick Cummins in his debut with a round 1 KO and duking it out for another W via submission over Dan Henderson in his last matchup.
Jones will be facing an undefeated Cormier when they enter the Octagon.
DC’s background in wrestling, including various medal finishes at the global level, and Olympic appearances, isn’t just for show as his groundwork and grappling are extremely strong and his ability to finish standing up is without question.
They key points in this matchup will be:
- Ground control: did you see Cormier tossing Hendo around in his last matchup?
- Reach: this is something Jones’ opponents can’t seem to figure out (save for Gustafsson)
- Power punches: Cormier has a knack for hitting hard and accurately—then again so does the champ.
Those seem vague, but it will be what the fight boils down to. Cormier is the greatest challenge the champ will have ever faced and in the end…
Our Prediction: Cormier via decision
The rest of the main card is full of goodies for MMA fans, with fights including:
- Donald Cerrone vs Myles Jury (Our Prediction: Cerrone)
- Brad Tavares vs. Nate Marquardt (Our Prediction: Tavares)
- Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Louis Gaudinot (Our Prediction: Horiguchi)
- Hector Lombard vs. Josh Burkman (Our Prediction: Lombard)
Who do you think will come out ahead at UFC® 182? Will we ring in the New Year with a new LHW champ or will Bruce Buffer recite his famous “and still…”?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Official UFC VIP Experience Packages for UFC® 182 are sold out, and with the highly anticipated return of Anderson Silva and Nate Diaz at UFC® 183, those package won’t be available much longer. Get up close and personal and experience the UFC® as a VIP with an official package that includes all the VIP goodies and access a die-hard fan could want:
Holding out for a championship bout? How about two? At UFC® 184 Chris Weidman and Ronda Rousey put their straps on the line in a co-main event that will get any MMA fan’s heart racing! 2015 is jam packed with epic fight nights, be sure to book your official UFC VIP Experience package early so you can be there!