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Prior to every UFC battle card, Jay Primetown of all MMAOddsBreaker.com takes a look at a few of the key competitions at every 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 become one of the best light heavyweights of all time. Of his 20 bouts, the only time he watched defeat was to Jones in the very first meeting. Since that setback in 2015, Cormier has won four consecutive bouts, with victories over Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson (double ) and Anderson Silva.
Being undersized has never been a problem for Cormier in MMA. He really made a name for himself Strikeforce, beating the likes of Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva to be the final heavyweight champion in the business before it was obtained by the UFC. Once from the UFC, Cormier immediately transitioned to light heavyweight and has come to be a Hall of Fame-caliber fighter. Despite being under six feet tall with just a 72.5-inch reach, Cormier has seldom had an issue with competitions even giving up to a foot in reach and six inches in height.
Statistically, Cormier is powerful. He lands 3.78 significant strikes per minute despite absorbing only 2.07. He secures nearly two takedowns a 15 minutes from the cage using an percent success rate on takedowns. Cormier has very good footwork for the weight class and does nicely to close distance and force opponents to battle at close range. He does not have the knockout capability to put quality competitions away early, but he has an excellent chin, forcing rivals to a bodily, energy draining bout. He’s proven to be one of the toughest fighters to handle in a cage within 25 minutes.
Jon Jones (Record: 22-1, -255 Favorite, Power Ranking: A++)
The 30-year-old Endicott, New York native is among the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time. Back in 23 fights, his hands has been increased in all but one of those games. The only time it was not increased was due to a disqualification in a fight he was winning . Jones returns to action for the first time as an April 2016 decision win over Ovince Saint Preux, This fight will clean out any applicable contenders in his weight class.
The Jackson’s MMA product is the top fighter in the world for a lot of reasons. To start, physically he’s very gifted in that his 84.5-inch reach is right near the top of the game. Jones uses his length very well, as he lands a whopping 2.25 more significant strikes a minute than he consumes. That places him right near the very top of this UFC in that class as well. He combines that with 94 percent takedown defense, which makes him difficult to strike and difficult to take into the mat.
Jones unites that defensive art with a creative striking game using a great deal of unorthodox kicks. On the ground, Jones has as barbarous of ground-and-pound as anyone in MMA. He delivers vicious elbows in top control and is capable of finishing in any struggle with that position. Jones has spent a lot of time on the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats in his time away from MMA and it’s certainly possible he integrates a considerable submission grappling focus to his own MMA prowess.
At the most anticipated MMA bout of 2017, the former winner Jones returns to reclaim his light heavyweight championship against the current champ Cormier. In their first bout, the fight was rather even after two rounds, but Jones’ body work really started to pay dividends in the next round, as he really began to out-land Cormier to acquire a decision. What’s more, Jones even out-grappled Cormier, securing three takedowns when compared with this one that his opponent had in the bout.

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