UFC 182 fight card primer: Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier

UFC 182 kicks off a busy 2015 of fights with THE biggest championship bout of Jon Jones' career. For the first time since 2011…

By: Mookie Alexander | 8 years ago
UFC 182 fight card primer: Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

UFC 182 kicks off a busy 2015 of fights with THE biggest championship bout of Jon Jones’ career. For the first time since 2011 and for the first time as light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones (20-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) heads to Las Vegas for a showdown with bitter rival Daniel Cormier (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), the undefeated wrestling standout and Strikeforce HW Grand Prix winner. By the end of this evening, one of the sport’s fiercest grudge matches will conclude with a titanic clash between these two standouts of the sport.

Of course, Jones vs. Cormier came about when Alexander Gustafsson withdrew due to injury, and then Jones’ injury forced this fight to be delayed from September to January. In some ways, it’s worked out for the UFC, as this is about the biggest possible match-up they could have imagined for this New Year’s show. As always, the main card starts live on PPV at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT, with preliminary card bouts broadcast on Fox Sports 1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, as well as Fight Pass at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT.

How do these two stack up?

Jones: 27 years old | 6’4″ | 84.5″ reach
Cormier: 35 years old | 5’11” | 72.5″ reach

How have these two done recently?

Jones: W – Glover Teixeira (UD) | W – Alexander Gustafsson (UD) | W – Chael Sonnen (TKO)
Cormier: W – Dan Henderson (SUB) | W – Patrick Cummins (TKO) | W – Roy Nelson (UD)

How did these two get here?

Jones only fought once in 2014, wiping out Glover Teixeira and doing everything except record a finish. That win was supposed to set up a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson, but once Gustafsson got hurt, Cormier stepped in, and he’s not let go of that spot. “Bones” has defended his LHW belt successfully more than anyone else in UFC history, and other than the Alexander Gustafsson fight, he’s beaten up everyone and finished the bulk of his opposition in emphatic fashion. Against Cormier, he has an almost comically huge reach advantage, which will benefit him in the striking game.

If not for his good friend Cain Velasquez, Cormier could be ruling the heavyweight division instead of fighting at 205 lbs. He took home the Strikeforce GP as an alternate in the eight-man tournament, and he took out top 10 ranked Antonio Silva in the semifinal and then Josh Barnett in the final to stamp his place among MMA’s best fighters. After beating Frank Mir and Roy Nelson in the UFC, Cormier finally made the drop to 205 lbs and has been virtually unscathed. He predictably destroyed Patrick Cummins, who replaced Rashad Evans on short notice, and then choked Dan Henderson unconscious after ragdolling him throughout the fight. It goes without saying, but Cormier is far and away the best wrestler Jones has ever faced, if not the best fighter.

Why should you care?

What, are you kidding? This fight rapidly became a much bigger deal than Jones vs. Gustafsson 2, and for very good reason. This is Jones’ biggest and most hyped PPV since the Rashad Evans fight and it could be his toughest one yet.

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About the author
Mookie Alexander
Mookie Alexander

Mookie is a former Associate Editor for Bloody Elbow, leaving in August 2022 after ten years as a member of the staff. He's still lurking behind the scenes.

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