During the UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier press tour, Daniel Cormier said that he hoped Jon Jones was his equal. On Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Jones proved he was more than Cormier’s equal. He showed that he was better.
After years of trash talk and months of build up including a brawl during a press conference in August, the Jones and Cormier rivalry was finally settled inside the octagon.
Cormier pressured Jones throughout the fight. He moved forward, limiting the champion’s 12-inch reach advantage. Inside the clinch, Jones delivered knees to the body and short elbows while Cormier landed uppercuts.
The fight was grueling and competitive through the first three frames. Once the bout got into the championship rounds, the champion began to take over.
The rivalry began when Jones told Cormier that he thought he could take him down when the two first met years ago, despite Cormier’s Olympian status in wrestling. Cormier took offense to the comments and the grudge began, but the argument was settled in fourth round on Saturday.
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Jones secured two takedowns on the former Olympian. The fourth frame was Jone’s most dominant round. He controlled Cormier inside the clinch and delivered elbows and knees.
Heading into the final round, Cormier’s corner told him that he needed a finish to win. He was unable to deliver. Instead of working for a stoppage, Cormier opted to show he could take Jones down. He elevated the champion and slammed him to the canvas. It may have been a moral victory, but it did little to win the fight.
In the closing seconds, Jones raised his hands in victory and then punched Cormier. Cormier fired back as the bell sounded. Jones earned a clear-cut unanimous decision win, but the rivalry with Cormier is hardly over.
“Hey, for everybody who bought a ‘Break Bones’ shirt, take it back now. You wasted your money,” said Jones after defending his title for the eighth time.
“It felt great. I told you he’s only human man. The undefeated DC, all the haters, all the crap he talked, it motivated me. I took him down, I think it’s like five takedowns to zero,” said Jones about putting the Olympian on his back several times.
“I’m sorry that I’m being classless right now. I do not like DC and that’s why I’m being this way,” he added.
Cormier was humble after his first career defeat, giving credit to Jones.
“I just couldn’t find my rhythm tonight. Jon is the best for a reason and he was the better man tonight,” said Cormier.