UFC 214 Play: Jon Jones (-255) vs. Daniel Cormier (+235)

UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones II

Date: July 29, 2017
Arena: Honda Center
City: Anaheim, CA

Light Heavyweight title bout: Jon Jones (-255) vs. Daniel Cormier (+235)

Fight Breakdown: The main event for UFC 214 will be a light heavyweight title rematch between former champion Jon “Bones” Jones and current champion Daniel “D.C.” Cormier, with Jones currently sitting as a -255 favorite (bet $255 to win $100) with the return on the underdog Cormier +235 ($100 to win $235) based on Reduced Juice at Several Bookmakers.

Jon Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in all of mixed martial arts today, as he is a phenomenal athlete who excels in every facet of the sport. Coming from a wrestling background, Jones has excellent Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling skills. He feints well and works great takedowns, including a solid double leg and a nice inside trip. He scores a lot of his takedowns from inside the clinch, from where he is also very effective with his limbs. “Bones” is brutal with his ground-and-pound whenever finding himself in top position on the mat. He delivers vicious elbows, possessing some of the best elbow strikes in the sport, both on the mat and on the feet. Complementing his offensive grappling are his equally excellent defensive grappling skills, as he has fantastic takedown defense, having only ever been taken down by Alexander Gustafsson in their five-round “Fight of the Year” war back in 2013. However, he displayed that when taken down, he does a very good job of working his way back to his feet.

Despite only being a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Jones has a very good submission game, both offensively and defensively. The 29-year-old has evolved into an elite striker. He possesses good footwork and head movement, and he is great at using his reach to his advantage. Jones has solid Muay Thai skills and puts together some very effective combinations on the feet, implementing all of his limbs in his offensive striking attack. He is capable of getting the job done in both southpaw and orthodox stances.

The Cortland, NY native has a nice left hook, a great jab and likes to go for the superman punch from time to time. He likes the uppercut as well, and sometimes throws it with his elbow. “Bones” loves to put his knees and elbows to work, and he is especially active with his elbows, including a beautiful spinning elbow he has perfected. Jones is a complete striker, so it goes without saying that he has a phenomenal kicking game too, owning a variety of them in his arsenal, and having the ability to throw them from many angles. He has nice leg kicks, as well as solid head and body kicks. He is very good with his sidekicks, especially his front leg sidekick. In addition, Jones has a tremendous spinning back kick, and while he has a variety in his arsenal, the kick he throws most is the oblique kick, which has become a signature of Jackson-Wink MMA trained fighters. Training out of the aforementioned Albuquerque, NM gym in high altitude, Jones is a very well-conditioned athlete who will be able to go all five rounds against the Olympian, if necessary. He is a very durable fighter with a ton of heart, and this Saturday night, he will be out to cement his status as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) is a former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner and current UFC light heavyweight champion who is very aggressive from start to finish in his fights. He likes to dictate cage control from the opening bell and keeps constant pressure on his opponents. He is an NCAA Division I All-American wrestler who competed for the United States in the Olympics. He is great at closing the distance on his opponents and scoring takedowns. He is powerful with them, especially at 205 pounds, and he is powerful from top position on the mat, as well, displaying heavy ground-and-pound. On the canvas, he does a phenomenal job of advancing positions and has a solid submission game, owning a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The 38-year=old moves well on his feet, does a good job of feinting and setting up his takedowns. He has an excellent single leg, a solid double leg and a great body-lock takedown, which he does a good job of securing following a combination. To complement his offensive wrestling, he has tremendous defensive grappling skills, using his strong hips and incredible takedown defense.

“DC” continues to improve as a striker from fight to fight. He has very fast, heavy hands and packs a lot of power in his punches, not to mention he has the technique and precise accuracy to go with it, which makes him a very dangerous threat, especially at 205. He is very strong in the clinch, whether it be in the center of the Octagon or up against the cage, where he prefers to keep his opponents and do damage with his fists, knees and elbows. The Louisiana native puts together some great combinations on the feet, including some quick two-punch combinations, such as a jab-overhand right, which is a combo he is often quite effective with. He also has a nice left hook and a solid uppercut, which he sometimes leads with. There’s no doubting that Cormier is a threat with his hands, but he has developed a solid kicking game as well. He has some good leg kicks and nice high kicks too, going both to the head and body with them. While he is effective with his kicks, it is worth noting that Cormier sometimes makes the error of telegraphing them. He is not afraid to let loose inside the cage and attempt “spinning shit” maneuvers on his opponent. Even at 205 pounds and with his body frame, he is one of the fastest competitors in the division. The champ has outstanding cardio, and I believe he will be able to go hard all five rounds of action, should this fight hit the judges’ scorecards for a decision.

Gabe’s Thoughts: Contrary to popular opinion, I think Cormier should be a slight -140 betting favorite in this rematch, so I see value in him at his current offering underdog price of +235.

Gabe’s Call: Daniel Cormier by Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)

Gabe’s Recommended Play: Cormier (+235)

Written by Gabe Killian

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UFC 214 Betting Breakdown: Cormier vs. Jones

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