UFC 182 Play: Daniel “DC” Cormier (+160) vs Jon “Bones” Jones (-170)

Strikeforce: Cormier vs. MonsonUFC 182 Date: January 3, 2015 Arena: MGM Grand Garden Arena City: Las Vegas, NV Light Heavyweight title bout: Daniel “DC” Cormier (+160) vs Jon “Bones” Jones (-170) Fight Breakdown: The main event for UFC 182 in Las Vegas and on Pay Per View is potentially the biggest fight in mixed martial arts history and an instant classic is expected when former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel “DC” Cormier challenges champion Jon “Bones” Jones for his UFC Light Heavyweight gold. “DC” is the underdog at the sportsbooks heading into this war at +160 ($100 to win $160), with “Bones” being the favorite to win at -170 ($170 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Daniel “DC” Cormier (15-0, 4-0 UFC) is coming off a third round rear naked choke submission win over veteran Dan Henderson and is now 4-0 inside the Octagon, with two of those W’s coming in his newfound home, the light heavyweight division. The former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner is very aggressive from start to finish; he likes to dictate cage control 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 and is arguably the best wrestler in all of mixed martial arts. Cormier is great as 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 35-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 compliment his offensive wrestling, he has tremendous defensive grappling skills, as well, having 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 pounds. 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 1-2’s, such as a jab-overhand right, which is a combination of two punches 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 35 year old has outstanding cardio, even at 205 pounds, and I believe he will be able to go hard for all 25 minutes against the champion, should this war go the distance. Jon “Bones” Jones (20-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Glovera Texeira and will be looking to make his eighth consecutive UFC light heavyweight title defense against the undefeated Daniel Cormier tonight. Jones holds records for being the youngest fighter to capture a UFC title at 23 years of age and for owning the most consecutive title defenses in UFC light heavyweight history, breaking Tito Ortiz’s record not too long ago. “Bones” is arguably the best pound for pound fighter in all of mixed martial arts today; he is a phenomenal athlete who excels in every aspect 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. When in top position on the mat, Jones is brutal with his ground and pound. He delivers vicious elbows, and has some of the best elbow strikes in the sport, both on the mat and on the feet. Complementing the champion’s 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. 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 27 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 New York 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, a la Anderson Silva. “Bones” loves to put his knees and elbows to work, and 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, as well, 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. The 27 year old has a tremendous spinning back kick, as well, and while he has a variety in his arsenal, the kick he throws most is the oblique kick, he has become a signature of Jackson-Winklejohn MMA trained fighters. Training out of the aforementioned Albuqurque, 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 tonight he will be out to cement his status as the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. Gabe’s Thoughts: I really do not know how this one will play out. I can see it playing out several different ways, but more often than not, I think it plays out for all 25 minutes of action for a judges’ decision. At the current betting price of -105, I think there is a lot of value in the total of Over 4.5 rounds, as I personally think it should be -280. I believe they will both be able to survive whatever the other throws at them, and regardless of which fighter proves to be the better man tonight, I think he will be doing so with a decision on the judges’ scorecards. I don’t see either of these guys finishing each other, as they are both very tough and durable. I think there is great value here and I’m gonna try to take it all the way to the bank. Gabe’s Call: Cormier by Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Over 4.5 rounds (-105) 5.25u to win 5u

Written by Gabe Killian

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