UFC 178 doesn’t take place until next month, but don’t tell Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier that. Daniel got in Jon’s face and the champ shoved him during UFC 178 Media Day. Eventually Jones knocked Cormier off the stage in Las Vegas before the two were separated.
The two fighters regret their infamous dust-up, but bad blood aside, what matters in the ring is more important than some schoolyard brawl. Yet, their distaste for each other extends as far back as 2011’s World MMA Awards.
So the question on every MMA fans minds is this: Does Daniel Cormier even stand a chance of finishing this fight, let alone pulling out the upset victory? To be honest, a Cormier upset win would be tantamount to the shock Chris Weidman over Anderson Silva win in July 2013. According to ESPN, Dan clearly doesn’t believe that.
“I believe I’m going to be the champion,” Cormier told reporters at UFC 173 media day in May of this year. “I believe with every fiber of my being that I’m going to be the champion. I’m supposed to be the champion.”
To be fair to Cormier, he isn’t just some bum. He’s the pride of Louisiana and a former Heavyweight champ with the now defunct Strikeforce promotion. If you remember, the UFC’s parent company Zuffa, LLC. purchasedStrikeforce back in 2011. The UFC then proceeded to cut some fighters and the Strikeforce banner was dissolved completely. But Cormier was among those who made the transition to the major leagues of MMA.
And Cormier hasn’t disappointed the UFC’s Dana White yet. He’s mowed down Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, Patrick Cummins and legend Dan Henderson in convincing fashion. Thus, Cormier is 4-0 in the UFC and he’s yet to allow a fight to be decided via split decision in his entire five-year Mixed Martial Arts career.
If Daniel Cormier was fighting pretty much any other man in the world he’d be the unanimous favorite to win, but “Bones” Jones is a different breed of fighter. In order for Cormier to have a fighting chance (mind the pun) in this fight he will need to get the champ on his back early on. Cormier is second to Jones in striking, kicking, quickness and explosiveness. However he is a much better wrestler due to his Olympic pedigree. Cormier was also the captain of the U.S. Men’s Freestyle Wrestling team in 2008. But Cormier will have a devil of a time attempting to engage Bones.
Standing at 6-feet, four-inches tall with a gargantuan reach of 84.5 inches Jones is a tall order for any fighter to tackle. ESPN’s Sports Science program even crafted a whole show around Jones’ devastating wingspan. The program’s host John Brenkus remarked that Jones was full of “explosive power” and “raw athleticism.” Jones is also the youngest champion in UFC history and trains and lives out of Ithaca, NY.
Fight Prediction: The fight goes the distance, but Jones wraps up a unanimous decision win over Cormier.
Do you believe the Jones vs. Cormier brawl was legit? Some say it’s all a giant publicity stunt. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Photo Courtesy of Fox Sports]