Daniel Cormier
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By In Mixed Martial Arts

What I Talk About When I Talk About MMA

“This weekend served as a reminder of why this sport is great. Better yet, it was a representation of what makes MMA great. With one 25-minute-long exception, UFC 214 was a gift from the violence gods. By the end of the card on Saturday, even the most cynical onlookers were forced into begrudging applause.

It wasn’t just the main card that was great, either. The prelims had a little bit of everything. There were quick, brutal knockouts for Drew Dober and Ricardo Lamas. There were several entertaining back-and-forth battles: Jarred Brooks-Eric Shelton, Aleksandra Albu-Kailin Curran and the Brian Ortega-Renato Carneiro donnybrook that rightfully won “Fight of the Night” — no small feat considering the rest of the card. Finally, there was a coming out party/passing of the guard when Aljamain Sterling put a beatdown on former champion Renan Barao. None of the fights were less than good.

For the most part, it only got better on the main card…”

 

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

UFC 200 Statistical Matchup Analysis – Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier

“Of all the big fights coming up this weekend, this one deserves to be the main event’s main event.

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier have been the centerpieces of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight division for the past two years. They were originally slated to fight at UFC 178 in September 2014, but an injury to incumbent champion Jones postponed it to UFC 182 four months later. By then, Jones had already strung together a record-setting seven light heavyweight title defenses, while Cormier was 2-0 at 205 pounds. “Bones” took a clear though at times competitive decision win over Cormier before the UFC stripped him of his title for outside-of-the-cage shenanigans. After a lengthy time away, Jones made his comeback in April, when he coasted through Ovince St. Preux for the interim light heavyweight title. This will be the first time since 2013 that Jones fights more than once in a year.

On the other side of the cage at UFC 200 on Saturday in Las Vegas will be the former Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion and current UFC light heavyweight champion, though the latter accolade was only available once Jones was out of the picture. Since losing to Jones, Cormier has won two straight, choking out Anthony Johnson for the title and defending it in a razor-close decision against Alexander Gustafsson. Cormier has solidified his spot as the best 205-pounder in Jones’ absence, but that absence has always loomed over his championship claims, making this a high-stakes fight for his legacy in the promotion and the sport. Since joining the UFC, Cormier has fought at least twice every year, but this will be his first fight of 2016.

There is a lot to unpack in this fight, both from narrative and statistical perspectives. Let us see how the Tale of the Tape can shed some light on the matchup…”

 

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

The Intrigue of Newness

“Who would have guessed that it would be an injured Daniel Cormier and not an incarcerated Jon Jones who would derail the highly anticipated rematch between current and former light heavyweight champions?

After it was announced that Cormier would be unable to make it to the April 23 showdown with his nemesis due to a leg injury, there was a brief period of uncertainty. After all, this is the same Jones that turned down a short-notice fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 in 2012. Thankfully, Jones remained the card’s anchor, but instead of a grudge match for the undisputed championship, he will now face a new opponent in Ovince St. Preux for an interim belt at UFC 197. It is hard to deny the intrigue that a second Jones-Cormier fight piqued, but if I’m being honest, I think I prefer the St. Preux fight. At least, I like what it represents: a change.

The genius of Jones is in his lethal adaptability. In both his pre-fight preparation and in the heat of a fight, Jones seems to have all the answers for whatever is thrown at him. Cormier on the other hand is an imposing force if he can assert his grappling-predicated pressure, but his one and only loss showed that he has few tools to pull off a win if he can’t get his wrestling in gear. At 37 years old, it’s not likely that Cormier has added any significant wrinkles to his game that would make a second go-around at Jones much different…”

 

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