The most highly anticipated showdown of the year was postponed when Jon Jones injured his leg during trainingcamp but the day of reckoning is coming quickly as we see if the UFC odds have changed since this match was moved to January 3.
Every fight is better when there's bad blood between the combatants. Sometimes it's all just manufactured hype to sell tickets but other times the acrimony is real. I don't think anyone out there but the most jaded skeptic will view the brawl at the media day this past August between Jones and Cormier as anything but authentic.
In case you missed it, the two premier light heavyweights in the world had their obligatory stare-down on August 4th in anticipation of their September 27th date with destiny but the man who normally referees these media events, Dana White, was not in attendance so that job fell to the UFC's director of public relations Dave Sholler. The tension was thick as the champion and the challenger rose to the dais and walked quickly to exchange unpleasantries.
With the UFC strap hanging over his right shoulder the champ immediately removed his oversized sunglasses to meet the stocky challenger. Jones, towering above the glowering Daniel Cormier, lowered his head as if to say "I'm looking down at you now and I'll be looking down at you then when I knock your sorry ass out". However, things got hot when Jones made contact by ever so slightly head butting Cormier in this battle of Alpha males. DC didn't take kindly to this space invasion and violently pushed the champ back which proved to be the spark that lit the fire as the canvas backdrop caved in and mayhem commenced. Punches were thrown, bodies were tossed and security officially had their hands full.
And now the next media day awaits for UFC 182 and I'll lay the heavy lumber you will see Dana White in attendance for that one.
Trending UFC Odds
Clearly Daniel Cormier is getting some respect from the gambling public at large. Prior to their September 27th date getting scrapped the UFC odds were trending down on the champion as Jones opened as a -227 favorite at WilliamHill.com but ended at -188 due to the influx of money being wagered on the underdog Cormier. 5Dimes.com was another offshore who installed Jon Jones as a favorite north of -200 but by the time the fight was cancelled the champ was at a more palatable -170 which was precisely where most of the books were on this one.
But the betting windows have reopened since the fight was moved to January 3rd and we have a few brave souls offering UFC odds months in advance of this light heavyweight title clash. 5Dimes remains where they left off as of this writing, installing Jones as the -170 favorite but there are others who have Jones even a click lower at -167. Depending on the sportsbook's number and margin, you can get the contender Cormier at anywhere from + 133 to +153 in UFC odds depending upon where you shop.
I am an unapologetic dyed-in-the-wool Jon "Bones" Jones fan. I have been since I saw him launch those trademarked spinning elbows at a poor Russian dude who calls himself the Janitor. Clean up on aisle one please - blood spill! While I realize Daniel Cormier is not only a world class grappler but also possesses the ability to send his opponents to a violent sleep, Jones has those qualities and more.
When evaluating your UFC picks in this battle of the light heavyweight kings keep in mind the caliber of their competition. Since Cormier's drop from heavyweight to 205 pounds, he has had only two fights in the light heavyweight division. He defeated the lightly tested Patrick Cummins and in his subsequent match DC dispatched Dan Henderson but it was a forty-something version of the former light heavyweight Strikeforce champion and a shadow of his former self. Jon Jones is an enormous jump in competition for Cormier and he will find out just how steep that climb is when he meets Jones inside the Octagon where this time there is no one to break them up.