Now that everybody has had a day to recover from their New Year’s Eve celebrations, we can really start to prepare ourselves for UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier.

You can guarantee Dana White is telling these fighters to start off 2015 with a bang (too bad Julian Lane isn’t on the card) and there will be a lot of opportunities for New Year’s bonuses to be distributed when everything is said and done from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Everybody knows about the main event; UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is defending his belt against the undefeated Daniel Cormier. In the co-main event Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone meets Myles Jury in a fight with major title implications in the lightweight division.

Also featured on the card are guys like Hector Lombard and Kyoji Horiguchi who both have massive potential for bonus awards.

That being said, let’s try and predict where the extra money is going to land.

Performance of the Night

If there was ever such a thing as a lock to win a bonus award, it’s Donald Cerrone.

In his current five-fight win streak, Cerrone has earned four performance awards and the fifth one was a war with Eddie Alvarez, which probably would have won fight of the night had it not been for the slugfest that was Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero at UFC 178.

Cerrone is someone who can finish the fight anywhere. When he has somebody hurt, he swarms in for the finish and his opponents rarely have a chance to recover.

Myles Jury isn’t an easy person to beat, but this will easily be his toughest fight he’s ever had. If Cerrone stops the meteoric rise of Jury, “Cowboy” will be getting some extra cash to buy more snowmobiles, jet skis, hovercrafts, or whatever other extreme sports he has discovered.

My other pick to take home a performance award is Hector Lombard. No disrespect to the tough Josh Burkman, who has defeated welterweight veterans Jon Fitch, Aaron Simpson, and Gerald Harris while at the World Series of Fighting, but I just don’t see him getting past Lombard.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Lombard is fighting for the welterweight championship by the end of 2015 and he’d start his title run with a quick finish over Burkman.

Dark horse candidate: Jared Cannonier

Fight of the Night

I’ve been trying to lessen my astronomical excitement for the main event. It would be so disappointing if Jones vs. Cormier only lasted a few minutes and we all had to walk away saying, “Dang, thought that was going to be more exciting.”

With all the hype and hatred leading into this fight, it would be a shock to everybody if this ended up being a one-sided affair.

Barring some unforeseeable war taking place before it, Jones vs. Cormier is the most likely destination for Fight of the Night.

Whatever happens, there will be plenty to talk about following the results of UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier.

Dark horse candidate: Danny Castillo vs. Paul Felder

 

 

About The Author

Blane Ferguson
Associate Editor/Senior Staff Writer

Blane can trace his MMA roots, like many others, to the finale of the first Ultimate Fighter season between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin. After watching that incredible fight and cleaning the local Blockbuster of any recorded UFC pay-per-views they had, Blane was hooked on watching the sport and he carried that passion with him to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Blane is a four-year broadcasting veteran of ASU's campus radio including a founder and co-host of the station's combat sports show, The Final Round.