There’s no better way to prep for “the biggest rematch in UFC history” (according to UFC president Dana White) than to watch the original fight over again.
Then-UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier initially danced at UFC 182 in January 2015 inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The animosity was at an all-time after the bitter rivals had just brawled at a pre-fight press conference months prior.
When I watched their original fight live, I thought Jones dominated Cormier to retain his title. At best, Cormier only won the second round.
However, after re-watching the scrap for the first time today I thought the opening three rounds were far more competitive than I recalled. In fact, it can be argued that Jones took the first round and Cormier won the second and third periods.
My opinions of what took place in the championship rounds didn’t change, though. Jones cruised to take the last two frames.
FYI, I thought Jones won the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds after watching the scrap again.
Judges Marcos Rosales and Tony Weeks gave Jones Round 1, 3, 4, and 5, while Cardo Urso gave Jones 1, 2, 4, and 5.
Much has changed since their first fight. Jones ran into some more legal troubles and was stripped of his title, flunked a pre-fight drug test that canceled their rematch just days before the curtain was drawn on UFC 200, and Jones was stripped of the interim belt he won by beating Ovince St. Preux last August.
Cormier claimed the gold that Jones was forced to relinquish and has since defended it twice.
And just in case you thought the beef between the archenemies had fizzled, it’s actually still burning white hot.
I don’t look forward to many MMA fights anymore, but this one is must-see for me. The rest of the card is pretty solid, as well. UFC 214 might be the UFC’s first pay-per-view in a while that I believe is worth the $54.95 price tag.
UFC 214 goes down Saturday inside Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Please click the media player below to watch Part 1: