The light-heavyweight stars are booked to fight in the main event of UFC 197, which will go down on April 23rd in Las Vegas. When the rivals battled for the first time last January, Cormier’s vaunted wrestling skills were pretty much shut down by Jones, who earned the UD win.
Recently the UFC commentator Stann was asked to weigh-in on the upcoming match-up, while talking to “Heavy Hands”. While doing so, the retired fighter said this (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“Daniel [Cormier] is an excellent competitor and a very underrated athlete. I’ve trained with him personally. You don’t become an Olympian–this is a guy who turned down a full ride to go to LSU for football to go wrestle–he’s a massive athlete . . . In rounds two and three against Jones he was getting inside and he was striking him. I thought he was turning the momentum of that fight. But he took a round off in round four and that was the main difference. You can’t do that with Jon . . . I haven’t seen anything technically that leads me to believe he’s gonna be able to take Jon down consistently. Especially now that Jon has discovered weight lifting.”
Now, as Stann alluded to, it’s not like Cormier’s some slouch on his feet. The champ has taken out opponents with his striking, so to sleep on that aspect of his game would be silly.
But, getting past the ridiculous reach of Jones isn’t easy, and the former champ has a wide array of striking weapons to use in his own right. Not only that, as Cormier found out, Jones is more than capable of shooting in and taking the fight down as well.
It’s going to be fascinating to see what plays out on April 23rd. Can Cormier become the first man to hand Jones a real defeat?