Jon Jones Outwrestles the Wrestler in UFC 182 Grueling Grudge Match

Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier Steve Marcus Photo AP
AP/Steve Marcus

Do believe the hype.

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier delivered an exciting main event to meet the anticipation at UFC 182. In the end, the champion beat back a game but fading challenger by outwrestling the wrestler.

Jon Jones brought Daniel Cormier down for the first time in his career and scored with a strong straight left just past the three minute mark of the first round. Cormier found his rhythm in the frame’s final minute, after coming up gimpy on the takedown, with a combination and several clean punches.

DC continued to shift momentum in his favor with strikes, kicks, and knees in the second. Both men attempted guillotines. DC failed in a takedown but closed the distance. Jones landed crisp elbows. DC countered with hard power shots to dominate the round.

The champion scored with a side kick to the neck and a big kick to the body in the third to recover his stride. Cormier stalked his prey. But he again fails a single leg nearing the three-minute mark. The champion scores with elbows and knees against the cage. The round ends with several bizarre leaping misses by Jones, including a flying knee that fell short of the mark and an awkward aborted maneuver that ends with Jones punishing the mat with his back. The round, like the fight, plays as close and exciting.

The champion comes alive in the championship rounds.

Jones landed consecutive big double-leg takedowns about a minute into the fourth that brought the crowd alive. Cormier suddenly appeared tired and in trouble. Jones went for a guillotine without success. Jones relied on clinch work against the cage for the entirely of the middle of the round. Jones dumped DC again to finish the frame.

The men entered the center of the octagon exhausted to finish the fight. Cormier opened with a flurry. Jones pinned Cormier against the cage, where the exhilarating fight suddenly becomes a boring one. Small knees and punches dominate the (in?)action. Cormier tried in vain for a takedown until he finally landed a big one, elevating the champion and dumping him on the mat. In the final seconds, the fighters react as though hearing a horn silent to everyone else. Jones punched an unprotected Cormier in the confusion. When the horn really sounds, an angry Cormier responded with several postfight punches. Jones made a rude gesture in response.

Breitbart Sports scores the fight 49-46. All three judges agree. Jon Jones retains his title in a grueling fight.

“I just couldn’t find my rhythm tonight,” Cormier reflected after the fight. “Jon is the best for a reason and he was the better man tonight.”

“Hey, for everybody who bought a ‘Break Bones’ shirt,” Jones announces. “Take it, back.” He confesses, “All the crap he talked–it motivated me.”

A fight promoted by trash talking and unsanctioned skirmishes ends with more of the same.


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