Jones Jones willl be fighting Daniel Cormier at UFC 197 as Jones will be looking to get back his stripped title. Jones never lost his title in a fight, but fell into a bout of trouble as he was involved in a hit and run on April 26th 2015 where he fled the scene after hitting a pregnant woman in New Mexico, but then returning to the scene to grab a handful of cash and then fleeing once more. That being his second altercation with illegal drugs the UFC was forced to strip him of the belt and he was subsequently given 18 months probation and 72 hours of community service later that year. His last fight being Jan 3 2015 at UFC 182 with a successful defense of his title over the same champion who he will be facing at UFC 197 in Daniel Cormier.
With Daniel Cormier beating Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 for the vacant light heavy weight championship belt by rear naked choke in the third round Cormier has looked nearly unbeatable. Even defending his belt against Alexander Gustafsson taking the split decision also over a fighter many believed to have given Jones his toughest fight to date and maybe even have beaten him in their UFC 165 championship fight. With those two wins under his belt Cormier has been nothing more than confident in being able to keep his belt by beating Jon Jones this time around. With Jon Jones now taking training seriously and making drastic changes in his lifestyle even Dana White had to take notice stating:
“What’s fascinating about Jon Jones right now is if you look at what this guy was doing in the past and how hardcore he’s training now – It’s almost scary,” White said. “The guy who’s never taken it serious is literally taking it serious now. What’s the new Jon Jones going to be like now?
“He is in his prime right now – his physical fighting prime. He’s never been more serious than he is right now. It’s a scary combination.”
With Jon Jones coming back with a more muscular physique a lot of MMA fans are speculating that the extra muscle will actually slow Jones down for the rematch stating that Jones is going to need more speed to beat Cormier in the striking department. With Jones taking the unanimous decision over Daniel Cormier in their UFC 182 fight, Jones beat Cormier to the punch multiple times throughout the fight pressuring Cormier to come forward and into the range of Jones. A loss in speed could present a big problem for Jones who doesn’t engage in cage brawls in his fights if Daniel Cormier is able to corner and close the gap. But with extra muscle and power Jones could pose an even greater problem to Cormier who to many could never be taken down as he has never been taken down in his UFC career. Jones took Cormier down on multiple occasions seemingly for sheer enjoyment of it more than points before Cormier was able to scramble back to his feet. As the pre fight hype and the trash talk ramping up fight fans are all but ready for UFC 197 especially with Jon Jones stating that this fight was more to kick Daniel Cormiers’ ass than to get the belt back and send him to a permanent analyst role by saying:
“I actually love that he’s a commentator. More days he’s out there in front of the camera, I just get time to hang out in the gym and get that much farther ahead of him,” Jones said to FOX Sports after the press conference. “Let him stay in the limelight, practicing for his career after I beat him.”
With the promise of an even greater championship fight between the two, and Jon Jones ready to show us his new improved training and Daniel Cormier having the biggest opportunity to cement himself in MMA history, I’m holding out hope that we’re not buying wolf tickets here.