• A humdinger of a fight

    Peter Cariño

    Conrad M. Cariño

    I saw the video clip over yahoo.com of the so-called “brawl” between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones and challenger Daniel Cormier, where Jones looked down at Cormier and Cormier pushing Jones away that resulted in a brief exchange of blows between the two.

    These two guys are supposed to behave like gentlemen during press events like that, and Jones must have gotten overeager in selling the fight to the public by trying to intimidate Cormier onstage. That was a big mistake since Cormier never backs down against bigger guys. And yes, this is one humdinger of a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight scheduled for September 27 for the UFC title Bones currently holds.

    Cormier and Jones come into the fight with impressive records, with the champion toting a 20-1 with 9 knockouts and 6 submissions, and the challenger 15- with 6 knockouts and 5 submissions.

    At this point, the 27-year old Jones is the favorite to win the championship fight, but it would be foolish to write off the 35-year old Cormier, who has campaigned much of the time in the heavyweight division with one of his key victories a win over the gargantuan Carlos Antonio Silva aka “Bigfoot” on September 10, 2010 via first round knockout.

    Cormier also holds decision wins over key heavyweight fighters Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. His latest win is a third-round submission victory over veteran Dan Henderson at light heavyweight on May 14 this year.

    Anybody who has seen Cormier fight will agree that he is no pushover, because he can heave the big guys at heavyweight and packs a wallop. He is also an accomplished wrestler and since he has no loss yet, we can assume that he has a tough chin and can take punishment. Anyway, MMA fighters like Silva and Nelson are also durable fighters who can hit hard.

    But at 5’11”, Cormier will have to make adjustments to battle the lanky and tall (6’4”) Jones who is considered among the top MMA fighters today.

    Jones, however, has shown some weaknesses in his September 21, 2013 fight against Alexander Gustafsson, who was able to take down the American and land his own haymakers. I never expected Jones to sustain a bloody cut in his fight against Gus–tafsson, but the Swedish MMA fighter put up a good show that won him some believers.

    The American MMA fighter would beat by unanimous decision Glover Teixeira on April 26 this year. I was expecting Jones to knock out Teixeira in that fight, but it looked like the Brazilian was more durable than expected.

    So the question is: How will the Jones-Cormier fight unfold?

    While Cormier is coming into the fight with a height and reach disadvantage, it is foolish to write him off as easy prey for Jones. For one, Cormier can take the punch of a heavyweight, and even if he is now fighting at light heavyweight he may still be bull strong at that lower weight and can manhandle 205-pounders.

    When it comes to punching power, Cormier definitely has the edge and heaven only knows what will happen to Jones if the challenger lands a good haymaker on the champion.

    But then, Jones with his reach advantage can keep Cormier at bay and land his own haymakers. And we all have seen how Jones is so adept in landing his elbows squarely on the opposition.

    Jones has to be careful though in trying to land kicks on Cormier, because the challenger can catch his kicks and take the champion to the ground where things could be very unpleasant.

    So I see this fight going either way, and I do not know how much anger and hatred both fighters have toward each other after that brawl on stage. This is definitely one humdinger of a bout that fight fans should never miss.


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