Key Points from Jones vs Cormier 1
Jones’s array of weapons at long range
Possessing a 5-inch height advantage & 12-inch reach advantage Jones was able to strike Cormier with kicks and punches from a fair distance away. Jon was extremely effective with a wide variety of techniques when the fight was kept at kickboxing range.
Cormier’s success at close range
Although closing distance on long, tall fighters is a headache once you manage to get inside the shorter levers on a smaller fighter can generate more power at a close distance. Jones did land some good elbows in close but they were few and far between compared to the power strikes DC was able to score with.
Jones neutralising Cormier’s wrestling
Both fighters have a wrestling base but Cormier’s wrestling credentials are more impressive, having represented his country 16 times at the World Championships & Olympic Games.
Coming into the first fight Cormier’s superior wrestling background was a huge reason why he was perceived to be a threat to Jones’s title reign. Jones stuffed 8 takedowns as well as taking DC down 3 times, completely eradicating the wrestling threat Cormier was expected to pose.
Jones’s tempo and fight IQ
The phases of the fight where not much is happening can be just as vital as the fast paced striking/grappling exchanges. When there’s a lull in the action control becomes a major player in the criteria of scoring a round, in other words, when activity is low the fighter who is in a dominant position sways the round in his favour.
This fight produced lots of clinching, according to the graphic above the total clinch time was 4 minutes & 23 seconds which is almost a whole round. During the clinch exchanges, Jones used his championship fight experience to ensure he was in the controlling position.
Jones’s had already gone the distance 3 times prior to the first meeting, Cormier only once. This was Cormier’s first time going the distance as a Light Heavyweight, it was clear that the 5 rounds with Jones were completely different to the 5 rounds with Josh Barnett.
Stats tell us, Cormier, although less accurate managed to keep up with Jones’s strike output for the first three rounds. In the last two the deficit in strikes attempted was close to or more than ten, more importantly, less than 5 strikes landed in both of the championship rounds for Cormier.
Factors to Consider for the Rematch
Jones’s inactivity and personal problems
Since the first fight, Jon Jones has been prosecuted for a hit and run incident, spent time in rehab, and suspended for a doping violation due to a contaminated supplement.
Two years and three months have passed since Jones vs Cormier 1, Jones has competed only once in that period. Jones got the win but that outing was in my eyes the least impressive performance of his career, you could put it down to Cormier (who was the original opponent) pulling out 3 weeks from the scheduled date causing a late change of opponent.
Another possibility is Ring rust, or perhaps all the personal issues have finally caught up with Jon Jones and he’s not the fighter he used to be.
Cormier fighting regularly
On the flip side, you’ve got a guy who’s fought four times since Jones & DC first locked horns. Not only has Cormier been active but against tough opposition such as Anderson Silva, Alexander Gustafsson, and Rumble Johnson (twice).
The one thing Cormier lacked in the run up to Jones vs Cormier 1 was a decent run at quality opposition. He got the first fight after beating Dan Henderson who’s small at the weight and in no way ideal preparation for Jones, also a win over Patrick Cummins who was unproven.
The experience of already having fought Jones as well as the following hard fights with tall, rangy, elite Light Heavyweights gives DC a better chance of winning this time around.
It’s never just positives gained from participating in these competitive fights, inevitably you will catch some wear and tear along the way. Hard fights put serious mileage on a fighters career and at 38 years old Cormier is treading on thin ice.
Cormier learned some valuable lessons whilst Jones has been away, but what have those lessons cost him?
If Jones’s was fighting Rumble Johnson this weekend instead of Cormier, the ring rust would be a huge factor as the margin for error would be minuscule.
Cormier’s style is more about grinding opponents down through pressure which gives Jon time to find his feet, even if Cormier takes two of the first three rounds (which I think he will) Jones is still there to adjust and turn the fight around. Once an explosive fighter like Rumble finds his mark you don’t get the same chance to work yourself back into the fight, It’s all over in an instant.
Jones vs Gustafsson gave us a clear example of how Jones deals with difficulties in the cage, his response was inspiring during the final few rounds digging deep at the crucial moments.
I must admit I see this fight being closer because Cormier has had better preparation this time around, but I don’t see the outcome being any different.
Jones wins by decision