Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight rivals Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier clashed once again last night (July 29, 2017) at UFC 214 inside Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Jones had a lot to prove last night. His talent and ability in the cage were undeniable, but could they hold up under the weight of all his drama? At some point, burning the candle from both ends has to have some sort of negative effect, but Jones was intent on proving that day far off. Perhaps no one was more motivated than Daniel Cormier heading into UFC 214. Aside from their personal grudges, Cormier’s place in mixed martial arts (MMA) history largely revolved around his bouts with Jones, and Cormier did not want to end his career without smacking “Bones” around.
The fighters waited approximately zero seconds to begin exchanging. Jones landed some kicks, but an uppercut from Cormier shot Jones’ mouthpiece across the Octagon. The two continued exchanging unconcerned, but neither man was able to gain the early advantage.
Cormier pressured, while Jones backed away and fired with kicks. Jones landed good shots from his back foot, lots of crosses from both stances and knees up the middle. Meanwhile, Cormier just kept advancing, throwing combinations and attacking the lead leg.
In the final minute, Cormier ripped some big combinations that seemed to hurt his opponent, bring a close round to an end.
“Bones” opened the second round with a series of blows to the body, but Cormier returned fire with some nice low kicks. Jones returned the favor moments later. Jones stuck to his strategy, circling and picking his moment to plant and fire to the body. Meanwhile, Cormier fell away from the low kicks a bit, but he did connect on some punching combinations as Jones circled away. At one point, Cormier nailed a foot sweep, but Jones showed his brilliance to avoid the follow up front headlock.
Once again, it was an extremely close round.
The fight slowed down a bit but followed the same pattern. Jones’ cross to the body kept landing, but Cormier continued to pressure his opponent. Suddenly, Jones’ shin connected with Cormier’s skull, and “DC” stumbled away. Cormier tried his best to recover, but Jones jumped on him with true violence. Walking his foe down, Jones tripped his opponent and just kept punching. Eventually, Cormier crumbled along the fence, and Jones loomed over him with massive punches.
It was all over in an instant.
There’s not much to say about Jones other than that he’s the best. Against an incredible opponent with a smart game plan, Jones stuck to the script. He kept working to break Cormier down and stop his pressure, and that eventually set up a home for a picture-perfect high kick.
There were shades of Alistair Overeem in Jones’ performance last night. He circled to both directions from both stances constantly, and his ability to plant and fire a hard cross was on point. He’ll never hit quite as hard as “The Reem,” but every other part of his game is an elevated version, as Jones is more effective on both offense and especially defense.
Now that Jones is back, a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson seems likely. That said, he did call out Brock Lesnar, which would certainly be neat.
It’s hard not to feel for Cormier. He fought really well, controlling his emotions and putting the pressure on Jones. Up until the high kick, Cormier was landing the hardest and most significant shots of the fight. He was up two rounds on my scorecard, and while it very easily could have been even instead, Cormier was fighting much smarter than the initial fight.
It’s a shame for him that Jon Jones is so damn good.
Last night at UFC 214, Jon Jones returned to capture the title with a brutal knockout win. What is next for the all-time great?
For complete UFC 214: “Jones vs Cormier 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE!