Jon Jones successfully defended his light-heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier tonight at UFC 182, getting the better of the wrestler even although he largely fought him at close range in the clinch.
The main event of the evening is underway! Jones with a front kick to the body and then an axe kick attempt. He lands a knee too.
Cormier pressing forward and wings a big overhand. Jones lands a knee in close.
Cormier looking to engage again in close and another knee from Jones. Jones manages to get Comrier down to the mat, but he’s back up fairly quickly.
Jones with a kick to Cormier’s thigh. Cormier still stalking forward and Jones looks to clinch up and get a trip takedown, but Cormier denies it.
Big left hand from Jones sends Cormier backwards. Kick to the leg from Jones. They clinch up and start fighting in close. Another knee to the body from Jones in there.
Cormier lands a nice punch over the top. Big knee to the body from Jones. Powerful body punch from the champ.
Cormier lands a leg kick. Jones tries a spinning back kick but doesn’t find a home for it. left hook blocked from Jones and then follows up with one to the body that connects well.
Cormier pressing forward with punches but coming up just short. They clinch and Cormier lands a nice uppercut.
Cormier lands a nice little flurry. Flying knee from Jones may have just glanced Cormier’s head. They engage in close to end the round with both men connecting.
Big body kick from Jones. He throws another one, not quite such a good connection this time. Cormier with a head kick attempt, but blocked easily. Another body kick from Jones and then defends a takedown attempt from Cormier while also trying a standing guillotine that doesn’t work out.
Back to the striking and a kick from Jones knocks Cormier backwards off-balance. Nice punch over the top lands from Cormier, but Jones then presses him into the clinch against the cage. DC thinks about a guillotine but then lets it go and they separate.
Cormier with a body kick. Jones clinches and Cormier lands a couple of uppercuts. Cormier backing Jones up and staying in close which is where he wants to be. Having siad that, Jones lands a solid elbow.
Dogfighting in the clinch now with a nice elbow from Jones and those uppercuts paying dividends from DC.
They break apart and then into the clinch again and lots of dirty boxing going on here. DC lands a knee to the midsection. They break apart with an elbow strike from Jones.
A strike from DC lands hard and Jones looks to clinch, maybe felt that one. DC breaks away and then gets back into it with aggressive action. They exchange hard body kicks.
Jones seems to be willing to get into the clinch with Cormier a lot even although it’s where the challenger is doing best. Potentially a risky strategy, he’s playing with fire a little.
Exchanging kicks to start the third. Then they exchange jabs. Nice body kick from Cormier. Jones lands a front kick to the body and then targets the legs.
Cormier clinches and lands hard uppercuts. Jones breaks away and soon after lands a big side kick. Jones backing up a bit now trying to find a little space to work. Cormier pressing still though to close the distance and is met with an elbow.
Eye poke from Jones and Cormier takes a stoppage then they go back to it. Big body kick from Jones. He goes in on a single, but Cormier denies him and then tries for one of his own. However, Jones also does equally well to defend it.
Jones presses Cormier into the fence and lands a nice elbow before they separate. Upward elbow from Jones partially lands. They clinch again in the center of the Octagon. Elbow from Jones, uppercut from Cormier as we’ve seen in previous exchanges.
They separate. High kick and low kick from Jones. Then they clinch again and Cormier tries to press him against the cage, but Jones reverses him and gets him up to the fence. They continue to battle for supremacy here and then break.
Nice knee to the midsection from Jones and uppercuts from Cormier. FLying knee attempt from Jones and then Cormier flurries with punches. Jones gets a little reckless going for a flying submission attempt that doesn’t work out, but despite landing on his back there’s not enough time for DC to take advantage.
Into the championship rounds then and it’s a close fight at this stage. Front kick to the body from Jones. Leg kick from Cormier and a jab in return from the champion. Jones targest the body with a punch.
Jones goes upstairs with a kick that’s blocked. He tries it again soon after. Elbow and then a knee to the body from him. The champion pushes Cormier up against the cage and then dumps him to the mat. Cormier right up again though.
Jones continues to press him to the cage and then manages to get another solid takedown – a big feather in his cap against an elite wrestler. Jones keeping him down for a while this time. Cormier works hard to get back up and does so, but looks a little tired.
Jones continues to keep this clinch work going with two minutes of the round to go. Punches to the body and then one upstairs from him. Cormier has not had much of a chance to get going in this round, but finally he manages to break free.
He presses forward with purpose, but Jones uses his reach to keep him at bay so Cormier settles for a kick. Now into the clinch again in the middle of the Octagon. Stalemate so they separate. DC continues to come forward and they clinch again with Jones getting him up against the cage, then DC reversing the position. Just as the round is coming to an end Jones whips him around and dumps him to the mat.
Into the final round with momentum shifting in Jones favor in that previous five minute spell. How much does Cormier have left in the tank? We’re about to find out.
High kick from Jones to start. Then another kick and Cormier unleashes a nice flurry of punches in response. Cormier clinches and looks for the takedown, but Jones stuffs it and begins walking him backwards to the cage.
Jones controlling DC against the cage, but not too much offense along with it. Cormier tries to let his hands goa little in close, but Jones stays tight and thinks about the takedown. The clinch continues and it’s a little bit of a stalemate with just a few short knees being thrown. Jones works around to Cormier’s back, but then DC works around and is trying to push Jones back to the fence. He’s unable to though and they move further away from the cage.
DC trying for the takedown and fails at the first attempt. He tries a trip and it almost works, but not quite. Jones with a knee to the body and Cormier presses him back to the cage. Cormier going in deep for a single leg as Jones peppers him with a few elbows to the body.
Cormier going all out to get a takedown and he does manage to hoist him up and dump him down to the mat. Jones immediately wriggles free though and is back up.
They exchange strikes in close. Cormier looks for a final single leg takedown and Jones decides to hold his hands aloft in triumph. That must have confused Cormier into thinking the fight was over and he lets go and stops fighting.
There’s still a couple of seconds left though and Jones punches him which leads to Cormier firing back just as the bell sounds with referee Herb Dean having to separate them.
A competitive fight throughout here and Cormier did a good job of negating Jones’ usual reach advantage, but the champion impressed by fighting DC where he’s strong in the clinch and also took him down too. Overall Jones had the edge and rightly walks away as the unanimous decision winner (49-46 x3).