Ahead of each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown of all MMAOddsBreaker.com takes a look at a few of the key contests at each function. 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 in 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 among the best light heavyweights of all time. Of his 20 bouts, the only time he saw defeat was to Jones at the first meeting. Since that setback in 2015, Cormier has won four straight bouts, with victories over Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson (twice) and Anderson Silva.
Being undersized has never been an issue for Cormier in MMA. He really made a name for himself in Strikeforce, beating the likes of Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva to be the final heavyweight champion from the organization before it was obtained by the UFC. Once in the UFC, Cormier immediately transitioned to light and has become 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 around a foot at reach and six inches in height.
Statistically, Cormier is very strong. He lands 3.78 significant strikes per minute despite consuming just 2.07. He enrolls almost two takedowns a 15 minutes from the cage using an astonishing 42 percent achievement rate on takedowns. Cormier has very good footwork for the weight class and does nicely to close space and force opponents to fight him at close range. He does not possess the knockout power to put quality opponents off early, but he has a very good chin, forcing rivals into a physical, energy draining bout. He is shown to be among 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 all-time. Back in 23 fights, his hand was increased in all but one of those games. The only time it wasn’t increased was because of a disqualification in a fight he was winning decisively. Jones returns to action for the first time since an April 2016 decision win over Ovince Saint Preux, This battle will truly clean out any applicable contenders in his weight class.
The Jackson’s MMA merchandise is the top fighter in the world for many reasons. To begin, physically he is very talented because his 84.5-inch hit is right near the top of the game. Jones uses his span very nicely, as he lands a whopping 2.25 more important strikes a minute than he consumes. He puts him right near the top of this UFC in that category too. He combines that with 94 percent takedown defense, which makes him hard to hit and difficult to take to the mat.
Jones combines that defensive prowess having a creative striking game using a lot of unorthodox kicks. On the ground, Jones has as brutal of ground-and-pound as anyone in MMA. He delivers barbarous elbows at prime control and is capable of completing in any struggle with that position. Jones has spent a great deal of time on the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats in his time off from MMA and it’s certainly possible he integrates a significant submission grappling focus to his MMA prowess.
At the most expected MMA bout of 2017, the former champion Jones returns to recover his light heavyweight championship against the current champ Cormier. Within their first bout, the struggle was fairly even after two rounds, but Jones‘ body function really begun to pay dividends in the third round, as he really began to out-land Cormier to acquire a determination. Furthermore, Jones even out-grappled Cormier, securing three takedowns when compared with the one his opponent had in the bout.

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