Pick Jones To Ground And Pound Cormier At UFC 200

Monday, July 4, 2016 3:52 PM GMT

UFC 200 is closing fast and the headliner is the rematch between Jon "Bones' Jones and the reigning champ Daniel Cormier. Let's review the UFC odds in this one and cash a winner.

Jones vs Cormier II at UFC 200

Tale of the Tape

Jon Jones (22-1, 9 KO's, 6 Subs)
Age: 28
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 205 pounds
Reach: 85 inches
MMA Background: National JUCO Wrestling Champion, Black Belt in Gaidojutsu

 

Daniel Cormier (17-1, 7 KO's, 4 Subs)
Age: 37
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 205 pounds
Reach: 72 inches
MMA Background: NCAA D-1 and Olympic Freestyle Wrestler, Brown Belt in BJJ

 

The Previous Encounter
The initial meeting between these two archrivals occurred at UFC 182 in January of 2015, and the first two rounds lived up to all the pre-fight hype. Cormier was a raging bull bent on closing the distance and battering Jones in the clinch. The surprise was that Jones allowed it, even embraced it and deliberately fought Cormier in the phone booth that would have seemingly played perfectly into Cormier's strategy. Both fighters landed ferocious shots from short range and two of three judges actually gave the second round to Cormier. That was clearly the only round he may have won because by the third round it was apparent that the former Olympian was visibly gassed from the searing inside elbows to the bludgeoning knee strikes, courtesy of his relentless opponent.

Although one judge, Cardo Urso, gave the third round (and not the second) to Cormier, it was all Jones as the championship rounds commenced. Cormier was beaten at his own game yet valiantly soldiered on, enduring a Jon Jones thrashing without quitting or submitting. It was not completely surprising that Jones elected to engage in the close quarters' combat that would remove his substantial height and reach advantage out of his plus column. We had seen Jones wrestle the wrestlers and box the boxers simply to prove he could beat them at their own game and this was essentially more of the same. Jones believed he could enter the lion's den and exit with its head and he did just that. But what was more shocking was the way Jones used his own wrestling prowess to stuff Cormier's takedown attempts and put the former Olympian on his back on more than one occasion.

In short, Jones dominated the match and proved he was not only a better fighter but a better wrestler. Nobody had ever dared impose their grappling will against Daniel Cormier outside of the elite wrestling competition he faced as an Olympian and Team USA member in the World Championships. It was perhaps the most stunning display of mat mastery in Jones' career and yet ultimately the victory was a bit dampened by Cormier's ability to weather the storm and force the judge's to render what was an obvious verdict.

 

Will History Repeat Itself?
At 37-yars-old Daniel Cormier is another year older and Jon Jones has involuntarily avoided the wear and tear of the cage wars over the past 18 months due to his problems with law enforcement and the UFC itself. Drugs, in one form or another, have derailed Jones' storied career and stripped him of his championship belt. His ring rust was evident in his first fight back from exile as he defeated Ovince Saint Preux by unanimous decision in April at UFC 197. Jones was clearly not at his best but even an average JBJ is better than virtually all others at 205.

The UFC odds back in January of 2015 pegged the then champion at approximately -200 over the previously unbeaten Daniel Cormier. But now you will find those odds have soared to Jones at anywhere from -265 to as high as -325. There is a good reason for that and it is because we now know that Cormier's wrestling cannot overwhelm Jones. That was the big unknown and Jones answered that question with several resounding takedowns of the elite mat technician. The only way Jones loses this fight is if his hunger for championship glory has waned because Jones has all the physical tools at his disposal to neutralize Cormier and emerge with gold around his waist. Thus, Jon Jones is a lock to be included in my UFC picks on Saturday night - you can bet on it.

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Free UFC Pick:  Jon Jones -265
Best Line Offered:  at BetOnline