Many people look at the UFC 182 main event between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and undefeated former Olympian Daniel Cormier as a match-up that centers around whether Cormier can impose his wrestling on the top pound-for-pound fighter.
In reality, it’s a complicated stylistic paring with endless variables. Cormier is more than a wrestler, and Jones isn’t exactly a fish out of water on the ground.
“You know, there’s no one way for anyone to win a fight. I think people are kind of getting very narrow-minded in terms of how this fight can play out. How one guy has to win or one guy has to win. There is no set way in how I have to win this fight. I mean, if I don’t secure takedowns that doesn’t mean that I cannot win this fight,” said the challenger during a recent media conference call. “I think we need to look at it a little broader, instead of being so narrow minded.”
Jones, who has faced several accomplished wrestlers in his career, finds it interesting that people are simplifying the fight and reducing it down and focusing mainly on the wrestling aspect.
“I love the fact that people assume that if Daniel takes me down he wins the fight. I love how people assume that he needs to get close to me and then I’m suddenly at some type of a disadvantage. Honestly man, I’m so secure in my abilities as a fighter; in the clinch, dirty-boxing, my jiu-jitsu, my top game, my bottom game, about my wrestling,” said the champion.
“I have no insecurities when it comes to my skill-set. Rashad Evans… he’s like, ‘to beat Jon you’ve got to get in his chest.’ I’m like, ‘Okay. With me knowing that, you think I’m not preparing anything close range, anything from the bottom? I just find it very fascinating. The whole thing is very fascinating,” added Jones.
UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier takes place on Jan. 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The pay-per-view event kicks off the UFC’s 2015 schedule.