Daniel Cormier couldn’t quite execute the game-plan, and, with that, couldn’t quite secure a victory over the UFC’s Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.
“Bones” started the opening round wanting to make a statement. Jones circled Cormier, who cardinally followed his tread across the cage. With that, he was met with quick, chopping kicks, punches, and any other punishment that could be dished before the rotation continued. It wasn’t going well for Cormier over the first five minutes.
Fear not, DC did find some success in round two. As Jones grew more weakened from his own transgressions, Cormier locked him into the clinch and landed flurries of punches and knees. This would be as close as he would get to controlling the fight, however. The third round saw the fight gravitate further towards kickboxing at center ring, where Jones was usually flawless, but was a tight score due to a late attack by Cormier.
Round four was a miserable one for Cormier, who spent much of it against the cage, breathing heavily, and being tugged around as if he couldn’t resist. Late takedowns punctuated the round for Jones, who had just about snagged another win on my personal tally.
Round five was more competitive, as a desperate Cormier trudged onward with his second wind. He couldn’t score a serious takedown or come close to knockout finish, but he did make a good account of himself in a losing effort.
The judges unanimously rendered a 49-46 scorecard. I had the fight by a similar but slightly more aberrant margin, 48-46, scoring the second and third rounds for “DC”, while giving Jones a 10-8 hurdle for his fourth round eruption.
Of course, the fight wasn’t over yet. Referee Herb Dean struggled to separate an exultant Jones and frustrated Cormier from one another, and, as expected, Jones and Cormier still felt a certain distaste for one another after the fight. Some things just don’t change.
Either way, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier fought five rounds of world-class MMA, and should take nothing but pride in that.
No. Just Jon Jones embracing the villainous role to which he was proscribed by the sporting world. He’ll never be the hero, but deservedly lauded by those who realize what a special talent he has become. A condemned human being; a cherished athlete. Floyd Mayweather has done it. Many football players, basketball players, and team sporting icons have done it under much more severe conditions. Historically, Muhammad Ali epitomized it. Why can’t he, an MMA star, pull it off?
It’s not in the job description to be without pride or to be humble — just to fight and win.
Jones did just that against Daniel Cormier, and until someone can do it better than he has, he will remain the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
Next up for him: The Alexander Gustafsson-Anthony Johnson winner. The Light Heavyweight division is red-hot right now.
Other UFC 182 results:
Donald Cerrone UD 3 Myles Jury (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Brad Tavares UD 3 Nate Marquardt (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Kyoji Horiguchi UD 3 Louis Gaudinot (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Hector Lombard UD 3 Josh Burkman (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Paul Felder KO 2 Danny Castillo (Spinning back fist)
Cody Garbrandt TKO 2 Marcus Brimage (Punches)
Shawn Jordan KO 1 Jared Cannonier (Punches)
Evan Dunham UD 3 Rodrigo Damm (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)