Daniel Cormier is a man on a mission right now and that mission is to dethrone pound-for-pound king and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. At UFC 182 on Saturday, January 3rd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, Cormier will look to become the first fighter to ever truly defeat Jones.

While Jones does technically have a loss on his record, it came in the form of a disqualification for the use and an illegal 12 to 6 elbow strike. Since defeating Shogun Rua to become the youngest champion in UFC history at UFC 128, Jones has been nothing short of spectacular.

Jones has defeated a “who’s who” of MMA elite and he has defended his title a light heavyweight record seven consecutive times. The truly scary thing is Jones is only 27 years old, so he is just now entering his physical prime; Jones is going to continue to get better and better.

As unbeatable as Jones has looked over the course of his career, no one is unbeatable in the octagon and eventually everyone gets caught. Cormier has the tools and the drive to be the man to knock Jones off of his pedestal. It’s not going to be easy but it can be done.

Close the Distance

If there is one thing Jones does better than any other fighter in the UFC today, it’s use of distance. Jones has an incredible 84.5” reach and he uses it to perfection to keep his opponents on the outside. On top of that, he uses the oblique kick to further maintain distance while inflicting damage on his opponents.

Cormier will have to overcome a 12” disadvantage in reach, so he is going to have to get inside if he is going to have any kind of success. Getting inside is much easier said than done, but Jones does have a habit of wanting to beat his opponents at their own game. Just look at the Glover Teixeira fight, Jones got in the clinch with Teixeira and he beat him with effective dirty boxing.

If Jones doesn’t look to initiate the clinch, Cormier is still going to have to find a way to get on the inside. His best bet will be to try to catch one of Jones’ effective oblique kicks and push him towards the cage to clinch up.

Force Jones to Wrestle

Once inside, Cormier must force Jones to wrestle and grapple for position. Even though Jones in a talented wrestler in his own right, he is nothing compared to Cormier. Cormier is one of the most decorated wrestlers in the UFC today as he is a two-time Olympian.

If Cormier can force Jones to fight a gritty, grinding, wrestlingesq fight, he will leave UFC 182 as the new light heavyweight champion.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.