UFC 182 Fight Breakdown: Shawn Jordan vs. Jared Cannonier

Shawn JordanOne of the prelims at UFC 182 is a three-round heavyweight bout between Shawn Jordan and Jared Cannonier. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Jordan is a -230 favorite (bet $230 to win $100) while Cannonier is a +190 underdog (bet $100 to win $190). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Jordan at -175 and Cannonier at +135, and the public so far likes the favorite Jordan. This is a heavyweight fight that could go either way, but I do lean towards the dog Cannonier at the price. Here’s why. Jordan (16-6) is more-or-less a gatekeeper in the UFC heavyweight division at this point. The 30-year-old American is 4-3 overall in the UFC with wins over Jack May, Pat Barry, Mike Russow and Oli Thompson and losses to Matt Mitrione, Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo. Jordan is a short, explosive heavyweight with knockout power. He has 12 career T/KO wins on his resume, and he’s a guy that if he connects with his opponents’ chin, they can be knocked out quickly. He also has a solid, underrated wrestling game. The problem with Jordan, though, is his chin. He has been knocked out four times so far in his career and he gets rocked badly in seemingly every fight. Going up against a powerful puncher like Cannonier, Jordan is going to have to watch out for the knockout punch. Yes, he can get the KO himself if the fight stays standing, but if Jordan was smart, he would look to wrestle in this one. And with his wrestling advantage, he enters the fight as the favorite, but with that chin, there’s no doubt in my mind Cannonier is a live dog. Cannonier (7-0) is making his UFC debut. The 30-year-old American is undefeated in his pro career and recently picked up a win over regional circuit vet Tony Lopez to get a shot in the UFC. There is not much tape available on Cannonier but from what I have seen he is a fast, athletic heavyweight with good boxing and knockout power. His wrestling also looks solid, but he has been fighting a low level of competition so it’s hard to read into that too much. But there’s no doubt he has good striking. He was the boxing coach at Gracie Barra Alaska up until this training camp, where he made the move to the MMA Lab in Arizona to work on his game. Going to that camp of winners should help him out, and working with a great coach like John Crouch should help him a lot as well. There’s a lot of question marks about Cannonier, and it’s hard to tell just how good he is, but from what I have seen this is a heavyweight with good potential and I think he is definitely a live dog here against the chinny Jordan. There’s only two ways I see this fight ending: Jordan winning by knockout late, or Cannonier winning by knockout early. I don’t see anything in between. Basically, putting money on either side in this fight is a gamble. In my opinion, this is closer to a Pick ’em fight with a slight lean to Jordan, but since the line is so much in his favor, I think the betting value is on Cannonier. From what I have seen he has very good boxing, is fast and agile, and I think he has the tools to take Jordan and his questionable chin out in devastating fashion. This is not a confident pick because Cannonier’s level of competition has been poor and we haven’t seen his own chin tested yet, but I could never put my money on Jordan given his inability to absorb damage, so at nearly 2-to-1, I have to play Cannonier small in this spot. Again, it’s a fight that could go either way, but the risk is worth the reward on the dog here, and I think he has a very good chance of pulling off the upset in his UFC debut.

Written by Adam Martin.

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