Pre fight hype approaches many levels. Sometimes it is scripted and comes off as a rivalry with no passion. The next level has personalities with mic skills that are adapt at whipping up interest. The zenith can be reached when you have two top flight athletes that have a personal distaste for their opponent. Fortunately for us, UFC 182’s main event has this level of animosity. Jon Jones (20-1) defends against Daniel Cormier (15-0) after what seems like years since this has been announced. UFC knows how to usher in the New Year with a bang providing their fans with this elite level event on Saturday, 1/4/2015.
There is not even a hint of momentum lost by either fighter for this one. Jones has vanquished seven straight challenges to his belt. Cormier has not even felt the hint of being threatened in the ring. Let us first look at the Daniel. His wrestling pedigree is better than probably any other in the sport. He was runner up in the NCAA championship and represented his country at the Games in 04 and 08. Some of the speed factors in the grappling game might have lessened but at the UFC level this is not a great concern. A couple of focused over aggressive forward bursts should get Jones on the ground at least once. Does he have enough to make him submit while horizontal?
Keep it Horizontal for the Champ
Jones and his reach are legendary. He can inflict damage from a great distance against wary foes. When they get close, he can clinch with the best of them. It is in his best interest that if it comes to this phase to not let the fight hit the matt. During any prolonged take down phase, he knee can inflict enough damage to thwarts most fighters. Cormier should be able to absorb at least one of them.
Attrition is not something that the champ solely likes to rely on. It will be his trump card in this fight. He will slow down the Cormier aggression over the course of a long fight. For Daniel, if it goes the distance he loses. It is not a matter of fitness rather than the absorption of punishment. Cormier is near +160 at our favorite out which is America’s Bookie. Look for a short fight and this favors Cormier. There will be a rematch but Daniel takes the belt home on Saturday.