On Saturday, January 3, the UFC touched down in the fight capital of the world to bring fans around the world the first fight card of the year, UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier.

In the night’s main event, fans witnessed the highly anticipated title fight between the reigning UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones and his bitter rival Daniel Cormier. The two were originally scheduled to meet in the main event of UFC 178 before Jones pulled out with a knee injury, forcing the UFC to postpone the grudge match.

Jones (20-1), who entered the bout atop the UFC’s pound-for-pound ranking list, was coming off a one-sided beat down of Glover Teixeira in their main event title fight at UFC 172 in April. Prior to this win, the man known as ‘Bones’ earned a hard-fought decision victory over Alexander Gustafssson in their 2013 Fight of the Year performance at UFC 165. Jones entered this bout with the most wins (14) and finishes (9 – tied with Chuck Liddell) in UFC light heavyweight history. Additionally, he had defended the title (7) more times than any other 205-pounder in history, while his 11-fight win streak was the longest active streak on the entire roster. Cormier (15-0), the former Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix champion, was coming off a third round submission victory over MMA icon Dan Henderson in their co-main event matchup at UFC 173 in May. Prior to this victory, ‘DC’ walked away with first round knockout over Patrick Cummins in the co-main event of UFC 170. This marked Cormier’s first trip to 205-pounds after five years of competing as a heavyweight. Before making the drop in weight, the former 2008 Olympic wrestling captain emerged victorious over such fighters as Roy Nelson, Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva and former UFC heavyweight champions Josh Barnett and Frank Mir.

Also appearing on the card was pivotal lightweight battle between the surging Donald Cerrone and Myles Jury, which served as the co-main event of the night

Cerrone (25-6), a former WEC title contender, entered this bout as one of the hottest fighters in the entire organization. In his last outing, ‘Cowboy’ picked up a fast paced decision victory over former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in the co-main event of UFC 178 in September. This victory not only pushed his win streak to five straight, but also marked his fourth victory of 2014, which trailed only Neil Magney’s five wins for most in the year. Jury (15-0), a veteran of season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter, entered this fight having won all six of his bouts under the UFC banner. Prior to his matchup with Cerrone, fans saw the man known as ‘Fury’ become the first person to ever earn a TKO victory over former Pride FC legend Takanori Gomi in their co-main event matchup at UFC Fight Night 52.

The pay-per-view card kicked off at 10 p.m. ET the preliminary action preceded that on both Fox Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

FULL RESULTS
MAIN CARD SUMMARY

MAIN CARD – Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET

Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier – For UFC light heavyweight championship

Immediately both fighters engaged, throwing power shots. Cormier immediately moved in for the clinch and went for a takedown, but Jones was able to stuff and land knees and punches. As the fighters continued to find their range, Jones caught a kick and was able to take Cormier down. Cormier immediately popped back to his feet. The remainder of the round was both fighters trading shots, with Jones able to set the pace with his leg kicks and kicks to the knee. Cormier finished the round strong, landing some dirty boxing, but he did not capitalize on his opportunities.

Round 2 started off with both fighters trying to connect and swinging for the fences. Both fighters landed shots and tried to impose their wills. Jones was able to continue to land leg kicks and kicks to the knee and attempted to stay on the outside. Cormier continued to try and walk Jones down and get the clinch and engage in dirty boxing. Both fighters landed shots and had their opportunities, but neither was able to gain a significant advantage.

Round three was more of the same, with both fighters trading shots. However, it was Cormier that was able to back Jones up. With Jones on the retreat, Cormier stalked Jones down, landing shots before an accidental eye poke by Jones. After the fighters resumed, it was right back where they left off with both fighters looking to connect. Cormier continued to look for the clinch and keep the fight close and Jones was willing to oblige. The remainder of the round was fought in a phone booth with both fighters successfully connecting.

As the championship rounds began, Cormier already looked like a beaten man. Though he had fought his ass off in the first 3 rounds, he looks completely gassed and Jones immediately took advantage of that. Jones pushed Cormier up against the cage and slammed Cormier to the mat and when Cormier got up, Jones put him right back down. Cormier was able to work back to his feet, but he had nothing left in his gas tank. Jones was able to land his strikes and began to pick Cormier apart.

As the final round began, Cormier came out looking for a takedown but Jones’ defense continued to be too much. Jones was able to land his shots and beat Cormier up in the clinch. After multiple failed attempts, Cormier was finally able to get a takedown, but Jones immediately stood up and continued to punish Cormier. Cormier continued to attack but at this point he had very little in his gas tank and very little to offer Jones.

After five rounds, this fight went to the judges’ scorecards, with Jones winning a unanimous decision Jon Jones def. Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

Donald Cerrone vs. Myles Jury

Kicking off round one, Cerrone charged the center of the Octagon and both fighters looked to land some strikes. As the fighters circled away it was Jury that was able to secure a takedown and Cerrone immediately transitioned into an omaplata and was able to work a sweep and take Jury’s back. Jury showed no fear and great defense as Cerrone worked for a rear naked choke. Cerrone landed some short shots, attempting to soften Jury up. Jury continued to show good defense as both fighters worked for position. Cerrone was able to sink in the rear naked choke but was not able to get the submission before the round ended.

Round 2 started with both fighters looking to establish their range. Jury appeared tentative and attempted some soft takedowns that Cerrone was able to shrug off. As the round progressed, Cerrone was able to take advantage of the striking and began to dictate the pace of the fight. Cerrone stalked Jury down and landed strikes when he wanted too. As the round reached the half way point, Jury continued to appear tentative while Cerrone continued to walk him down and land the strikes that he needed to. Cowboy continued to out-strike Jury for the remainder of the round, taking the fury out of Jury.

The final round started with a little more action, with both fighters landing early combinations. However, it was Cerrone that was able to continue to walk down Jury, land his strikes and dictate that pace of the fight. Halfway through the round, Cerrone landed a head kick that wobbled Jury but was unable to move in for the finish. Jury was able to recover but still not able to mount any offense. Cerrone began to turn it on and punished Jury with punches and leg kicks. The fight ended with Cerrone throwing Jury to the ground and soccer kicking Jury’s legs like his life depended on it.

After 3 rounds, this fight went to the judge’s scorecards with Cerrone winning a unanimous decision Donald Cerrone def. Miles Jury by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Nate Marquardt vs. Brad Tavares

Round 1 began with each fighter looking to find their range early. Both fighters traded shots back and forth with neither gaining an advantage. Both fighters pawed with jabs and landed some leg kicks, but neither fighter was able to impose their will. Halfway through round one, both fighters were fighting like they were scared with neither fighter willing to commit on anything. As the round continued, the fighters engaged in a few skirmishes, but the action was slim. The round ended with little action from the fighters and a lot of boos from the crowd.

Round 2 started with a touch of gloves and a couple of faints but very few strikes. Again, both fighters appeared to be tentative. Marquardt attempted a take down after eating a knee, but Tavares stuffed the attempt and both fighters popped back up to their feet. As the round progressed Marquardt continued to work the clinch and attempt takedowns, but Tavares was able to keep the fight on the feet and punish Marquardt with leg kicks. Once Tavares found a home for the leg kicks, he landed them at will. Again the fighters had a few skirmishes but very limited action. Both fighters attempted to work the clinch, but neither was able to gain an advantage. As the round ended it was Tavares that was able to land the better strikes.

Round 3 started the same way round 2 ended, with Tavares able to land the better strikes and dictate the pace of the fight. Marquardt attempted to work the clinch and secure a takedown, but Tavares was just too strong and continually shrugged him off. As the round wore on, it was obvious that Marquardt was feeling the effects of the leg kicks suffered in round 2 as he limped around the octagon. As Marquardt slowed down, Tavares picked his shots and cruised to victory.

After three rounds, this fight went to the judge’s scorecards with Tavares winning the unanimous decision Brad Tavares def. Nate Marquardt by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Louis Gaudinot vs. Kyoji Horiguchi

Round 1 started out with both fighters bouncing around looking for their range, with neither fighter really throwing any strikes. 90 seconds into the fight neither fighter had thrown more than 5 strikes. As the round went by, both fighters began to loosen up but neither landed any significant strikes. Gaudinot looked to be the aggressor, but Horiguchi was able to get the better of the striking by countering Gaudinot. The majority of round one was spent with both fighters dancing around, but with 20 seconds left Horiguchi was able to secure a takedown and then control Gaudinot against the fence as he attempted to get back to his feet.

Round 2 started off with a little more action as both fighters threw power punches, but it was Horiguchi that was able to land a big right sending Gaudinot back to the fence. As with the first round, the pace quickly slowed and both fighters went back to dancing around the octagon. Horiguchi, however, started to find his range and open a bit more. Gaudinot was able to get the clinch and attempted a standing arm triangle but was unable to finish as Horiguchi was able to power out and continue to land strikes. As the round wore on, Horiguchi was able to find his range, landing punches and kicks at will. Gaudinot attempted to mount his own offense, but Horiguchi was just too fast and too crisp with his own striking for Gaudinot to do anything. And just like the first round, the second round ended with Horiguchi securing a takedown.

Round 3 started with a touch of gloves and then Gaudinot came out swinging, landing a few shots but nothing significant. Horiguchi continued to dance around Gaudinot and land strikes at will. Gaudinot showed good defense but was not able to do much to slow down the attack of a relentless Horiguchi. No matter what Gaudinot did, Horiguchi had an answer for. Horiguchi was a step ahead of Gaudinot all night long and punished Gaudinot with his strikes in the 3rd round.

When it was all said and done this fight went to the judge’s scorecards, with Horiguchi winning the unanimous decision Kioji Horiguchi def. Louis Gaudinot by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Josh Burkman vs. Hector Lombard

Round 1 started out with both fighters trying to find their range. Burkman was on his bike early forcing Lombard to chase him and then catching him with counters as Lombard came in. Both fighters would trade shots back and forth with neither doing any significant damage. Throughout the round, both fighters worked to land combinations but both fighters kept the pace slow, not wanting to over commit to anything. The round ended just as it started with Burkman circling around the cage and Lombard stalking him down.

Round 2 started with both fighters throwing power punches, but neither fighter really landed until the second set of exchanges. Both fighters appeared to land significant shots, but it was Lombard who began to find his range. Lombard was able to loosen up with his striking and kept Burkman against the cage where he was able to land some strikes. Burkman did his best to fight back, though, firing off counter shots when he could and doing his best to move off the fence. The majority of he round was dominated by Lombard as he was able to find a home for his striking and dictate the pace of the fight.

Round 3, Burkman came out tentative and Lombard immediately secured a takedown. While on the ground, Lombard was able to transition to side control and take Burkman’s back before Burkman was able to work back to his feet. Once on the feet it was more of the same with Lombard landing strikes at will. Burkman proved that he has a tough chin as he took shot after shot from Lombard. Dazed and confused with nothing to lose, Burkman did his best to fire off his own shots but it was Lombard that was able to land his shots at will and really punish Burkman.

After 3 rounds, the fight went to the scorecards where the judges awarded the decision to Lombard. Hector Lombard def. Josh Burkman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

PRELIMS SUMMARY

PRELIMINARY CARD – FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET

Paul Felder def. Danny Castillo by KO (spinning back fist) Round 2, 2:09
Cody Garbrandt def. Marcus Brimage by TKO Round 3, 4:50
Shawn Jordan def. Jared Cannonier by KO Round 1, 2:57
Evan Dunham def. Rodrigo Damm by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

DIGITAL PRELIMS CARD – UFC Fight Pass, 7 p.m. ET

Omari Akhmedov def. Mats Nilsson by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Marion Reneau def. Alexis Dufresne by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.