It’s finally time to see what Daniel Cormier is really made of. You thought I was going to say Jon Jones, right? Well, we know what he’s made of. We know all about the UFC light heavyweight champion. We know his sole loss was to Matt Hamill via disqualification for illegal elbows to the head. We know that the cocky, brash superstar is currently surfing an 11 fight win streak, and that his 6’4 frame, 84.5 inch reach, and supernatural ability to strike from just about any angle help make him the most dominating light-heavyweight fighter in MMA history. We know that he can take a beating, dig deep into his soul, and in the face of certain defeat, impose his iron-clad will to win – as evidenced by his war with Alexander Gustafsson – a fight that many, many fans wanted to see happen again. In short, we know what we’re going to get from Bones Jones – dynamic striking that could come in the form of spinning elbows, spinning back kicks, flying knees, or whatever his expansive imagination comes up with. We also know that when we watch Jones fight, we’re going to see something exciting and equally unexpected. Ultimately, though, we know that when Jones steps into the cage, we are going to get “greatness”. But what of his opponent?
On the surface, Daniel Cormier is the anti-Bones Jones. He does not usually win in spectacular fashion (one-third of his victories have come via decision). He is somewhat cerebral, often respectful of his opponents, and not seemingly the type to tell you how great he is, just because he wants to tell you how great he is. While Jones has brutal striking ability, Cormier is a world-class wrestler. He won 3 state championships in high school (his only 2 losses, post 9th-grade, were due to injury), and eventually competed at one of the greatest wrestling programs in the country, Oklahoma State – where he amassed an impressive 53-10 record, achieving “All-American” status. Of his 10 losses, 6 came at the hands of the greatest collegiate wrestler of all-time, Cael Sanderson (who graduated with an astounding 159-0 record). He is also an Olympic athlete, competing in the 2004 Summer Olympics (just losing out on a bronze medal). Cormier’s foundation in wrestling – competing against the best of the best – have provided him with the tools necessary to succeed at the highest levels of mixed martial arts, and so far, he has used them to his advantage.
Cormier brings with him into the cage a perfect professional mma record of 15-0. Six of his wins have come via knockout/technical knockout, and 4 have come via submission. He has knocked out Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, scored a technical knockout over long-time badass Dan Henderson, and also defeated an aging Frank Mir, by decision. He is experienced, fundamentally sound, and technically proficient. Cormier, also, has never been taken down.
Why you MUST watch!
Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier are not only the 2 best fighters in the light heavyweight division, they also pretty much hate each other. These guys have been taking shots at each other online, during interviews, and at press conferences. At a recent promotional event aimed at hyping the fight, getting some interesting quotes and perhaps a couple of pictures of the two “staring each other down”, Jones pretty much crossed “that line” by pushing his forehead into Cormier’s, prompting Cormier to put his hands on Jones’ throat, and Jones taking a couple of swings at his adversary. The set was knocked over as mayhem ensued, and we were suddenly aware of how truly deep the ill will runs.
The first Press Conference to announce the fight: Jones And Cormier Brawl
If you enjoy the art of mma, the strategy, the technical aspects of it – then you will undoubtedly drool at the thought of of Jones’ aggressive, overwhelming and unpredictable style vs Cormier’s staunch take down defense and uncanny ability to completely overwhelm his opponent. If you are the casual fan, and just like to see a couple of guys at the top of their game beat the hell out of each other, then this fight is definitely for you, as well. It is the unstoppable force vs the immovable object – a clash of contrasting styles, and personality. After a severely disappointing 2014 UFC pay-per-view year crippled by cancelled events and injured headliners, the first event of 2015 could be the most exciting in the company’s storied history (UFC predicts over 750,000 pay-per-vew buys, which would be the most ever for the company).
What will happen?
Frankly, who the hell knows? Jon Jones loves to surprise, creating personal challenges for himself to overcome. For example, Daniel Cormier has never been taken down – and you can be sure that Jones will make it a mission to do just that. Jones himself also has exceptional takedown defense, and is incredibly dangerous on his feet – so you can expect that Cormier will take advantage of his own strengths and work to make this a wrestling match.
Alexander Gustafsson put Jon Jones through hell. Jones had never been beaten so severely prior to his last fight, and may have come face to face with his own mortality as a fighter. Will that experience transform him and bring out his most ferocious and dominating performance to date, or is he damaged? Daniel Cormier has only fought a 5 round fight once in his career. Will he have the tenacity and heart to win the championship rounds, should it come to that?
Gun to the head prediction: Jones has dominated like none other we have seen for a long time – and he is due to lose. Like Anderson Silva, his greatness has taken on a life of it’s own, and Jones often feels as if he can just “turn it on” whenever he wants. We have seen that happen frequently against inferior opponents; men who are not as hungry, confident, and skilled as Daniel Cormier. It’s difficult, perhaps even foolish, to predict a Jon “Bones” Jones defeat. But that is exactly what we are doing.
Jones will succeed at taking down Cormier for the first time in his career. He will batter the challenger, and delight the crowd with a dizzying array of elbows and spinning head kicks. He will also be warned for poking Cormier in the eye, and perhaps lose a point for illegal elbows or punches the head. Cormier will wear on the champion, trading punches with him and taking him down in turn – multiple times. In the end, Daniel Cormier will become the new UFC light-heavyweight champion, via a 4th round submission of Jon Jones (rear naked choke).
Cormier recently stated that he has yet to meet a man that is his equal, and has been praying that Jones is that man. What does that mean, exactly? We have no idea… but you will regret not tuning in to find out.
Media day square off: Jones apparently told Cormier, “I’m going to fuck you up so bad”.