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Prior to each UFC battle card, Jay Primetown of all MMAOddsBreaker.com takes a peek at a few of the essential competitions 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 confront Daniel Cormier at a bitter grudge match to 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 that he watched defeat was to Jones at the very 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 business before it was acquired by the UFC. Once from the UFC, Cormier quickly 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 a problem 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 consuming just 2.07. He secures almost two takedowns per 15 minutes from the cage with 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 fight him at close selection. He does not have the knockout capability to put quality opponents off early, but he has a very good chin, forcing opponents into a bodily, energy draining bout. He’s shown to be among the toughest fighters to deal with 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 best mixed martial artists of all-time. In 23 fights, his hand was increased in all but one of those matches. 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 conclusion win over Ovince Saint Preux, This battle will clean out any relevant contenders in his weight class.
The Jackson’s MMA merchandise is the top fighter in the world for many reasons. To start, physically he’s very talented because his 84.5-inch hit is right near the surface of the game. Jones uses his length very well, as he lands a whopping 2.25 more important strikes a minute than he absorbs. He places him right near the top of this UFC in that class too. He combines that with 94 percent takedown defense, which makes him hard to strike and difficult to take to the mat.
Jones combines that defensive prowess having a creative striking game by means of a lot 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 completing in any struggle with that position. Jones has spent a lot of time around the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats at his time off from MMA and it is certainly possible he integrates a significant submission grappling attention to his MMA prowess.
In the most expected 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 struggle was rather even after two rounds, but Jones’ body work really started to pay dividends in the next round, since he really began to out-land Cormier to win a decision. Furthermore, Jones even out-grappled Cormier, securing three takedowns compared to this one his opponent had from the bout.

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