Daniel Cormier (+150) vs Jon Jones (-185)
Third time’s the charm, right?
Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier II has been in the works for some time now, but the much-anticipated rematch has always found a way to fall through. An injury forced Cormier (19-1) to pull out the first time, and a positive drug test from Jones (22-1) derailed it once again.
The rematch has been booked for UFC 214 (July 29), but the promotion will also be placing title contender Jimi Manuwa on the card, and he’ll be ready to step in if anything happens to either fighter.
The first fight was a relatively one-sided affair. Jones successfully defended his title, winning convincingly by decision. It was his eighth light heavyweight title defense. Cormier’s wrestling was neutralized by Jones, who has one of the best takedown defenses in MMA. He kept the fight mostly on his feet and outclassed Cormier with his striking.
However, since then Jones has been on a downward spiral. From hit-and-run charges to doping allegations to recreational drugs, Jones’ career has been in limbo for the last few years.
He’s only fought once since January of 2015, and that was an uninspiring bout against the sub-par Ovince Saint Preux. Jones won by decision but he was nowhere near as dominant as we’re accustomed to seeing him.
That was over a year ago and Jones has been inactive since. He’s only 29 years old, so there’s still time for him to reignite his career. But what we’ve seen from him lately doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Meanwhile, Cormier has looked phenomenal lately. Since losing to Jones, Cormier picked up the vacant light heavyweight title and has successfully defended it twice. His last bout against Anthony Johnson was one of the most dominant fights we’ve seen from him.
At 38 years old, Cormier probably only has a few more fights left in him. But he seems to be in spectacular form despite his age. At his best, I wouldn’t pick anyone over Jon Jones. But we haven’t seen much from him lately, and we just don’t know what kind of form he’s in.
Daniel Cormier is the light heavyweight champ in the eyes of the UFC, but Jon Jones is still the champ in the eyes of the people. Cormier needs to beat Jones in order to silence his critics. I think his chances are good.
Pick: Daniel Cormier (+150)