#UFC200 – Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier preview – by @P_GreatWhite_J

#UFC200 – Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier preview – by @P_GreatWhite_J

Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz, Chuck Lidell and Tito Ortiz, Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate, Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber – What do all of those fabled rivalries have in common? Seemingly genuine animosity between the fighters.

In case you have been living under a rock, UFC 200 is headlined by a similar rivalry with Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, fighting for the second time. Both men are phenomenal athletes with proven pedigrees.

Let’s start with the current champ, Daniel Cormier. Daniel is a former Olympic wrestler. He has a record of 18-1. The only defeat being the loss to Jon. “DC” was a former heavyweight contender in Strikeforce, blasting through competition and eventually culminating in him winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in 2012.

He defeated such luminaries as Antônio “Big Foot” Silva (on five weeks notice and via TKO), Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett, Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir and perennial top 15 contender, Roy “Big Country” Nelson at Heavyweight.

He then made the drop to Light Heavyweight to avoid a potential meeting with his friend and teammate, Cain Velasquez. Whilst I don’t necessarily agree with that attitude, I can certainly understand it. These guys and girls train together on a daily basis, so they must become more like family than just teammates (hence why we always see Cain, Daniel and Luke Rockhold at the others fights – “DC” usually corners Cain and Luke).

After the drop to Light Heavyweight, Cormier continued to leave destruction in his wake. Firstly, TKO’ing Patrick Cummins and then rag dolling the legend (and former Olympic wrestler himself), Dan Henderson, in a display of grappling supremacy.

After Jon was stripped of the title, Daniel stepped in and defeated “Rumble” Johnson before man handling Alexander Gustafsson and getting the victory via split decision.

Any other division within the UFC would likely be dominated by Cormier, such is his ability. The problem is a 6’ft 4in, freak of nature by the name of Jon “Bones” Jones.

We cannot start a Jon Jones section without remembering the good ole’ days… Back when Jon was a fresh faced 23 year old prospect, one day destined to receive a Light Heavyweight Title shot.

Jon’s (former) team mate “Suga” Rashad Evans was due to fight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the title. Rashad pulled out of the fight and was replaced by “Bones”. Rua was dispatched with minimal problems and with this domination, Jon became the youngest UFC champion.

“Bones” then defended the title against a laundry list of top Light Heavyweight contenders (& Chael Sonnen – sorry Chael, I love you and your style, but you were never a top Light Heavyweight contender), “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Alexander Gustafsson and, of course, “DC” himself.

As I said in my Jon Jones preview for UFC 197, Jon has a seemingly endless list of controversies that have left a bad taste in some people’s mouths throughout his career. “Bones” is the current Interim Light Heavyweight Champion but in reality he only “lost” his full title due to misdemeanours outside of the Octagon.

At UFC 197, Jon returned… “my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes”… Unfortunately, Jones was lackluster and never truly got out of second gear. Despite this, he was still able to dominate the fight and secure the victory.

My Pick… Jones. Why?
In my mind, Jon Jones will go down as one of the greatest fighters in MMA history (should he allow himself to – i.e. avoiding further misconduct!). I expect Jon and Daniel to go to war, but ultimately expect Jon to walk out as the Undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion.

But if you are feeling adventurous? Jones to win by decision… his last four opponents; Ovince St Preux, Daniel Cormier, Glover Teixeira & Alex Gustafsson have all fallen to a “Bones” decision. Jones last finish was against Chael Sonnen with a TKO. In my mind, whilst Jones is one of the greats, “DC” isn’t far off in terms of ability. I personally cannot see Jon finishing the fight.

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