Saturday Night did not go as Daniel Cormier had hoped it would, and now after suffering the most devastating loss of his life, the question must be asked: what's next for DC?
In my honest, and unbiased opinion, I think it's time for Daniel Cormier to hang-up the gloves for good, and walk away from the sport of MMA. DC will leave behind an incredible legacy, with his name forever hanging in the conversation of top-5 Light Heavyweight's ever, with a genuine title reign to back that up.
I think DC has run his course in the 205-pound division, because as we know, all roads in this division lead to Jon Jones, and as DC himself said after the fight, there is no rivalry if Jones wins every fight. Cormier is 38 years old, and will be coming off of the only fight in his life where he was finished by an opponent.
The way things shook out of Saturday will mean one of two things in DC's mind; 1. being that he wants to come back and make one last run in the sport, or 2. being that he has come to face the fact that he has accomplished all that he can accomplish in this sport, and has every night to turn and walk away forever.
However, if DC is to stick around, I think the only logical move would be for him to move up to the Heavyweight Division, because the weight cutting at this stage of his life is not worth it. Cormier had a great run at Heavyweight before his time in the UFC, and while he has always dodged the division because his good friend and training partner Cain Velasquez has been a key figure in that division, I think it is still worth it for DC to make the move up, and do all he can to avoid any fight with Velasquez.
I am far from a DC fan, but at this point, there is nothing left for me to hate, because he has truly accepted defeat against Jon Jones, and for 8 years has left every single thing he has mentally and physically in the cage, beating everyone in his way, aside from Jon Jones, a feat that no one has been able to do.
As Jon Jones said, he has been a model champion, and a model human being, and I have no doubts that whatever he chooses to do next, he will attack it full-force.
Make no mistake about it folks, on Saturday Night, Jon "Bones" Jones solidified the fact that he is the greatest fighter in MMA history.
For years, it has been debated about just how good Jones is, with many people placing him among the greats like Anderson Silva, GSP, and Mighty Mouse, but with his KO victory over Daniel Cormier, he proved once and for all that he reigns supreme.
Jon Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history, when he defeated Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at the age of 23 years old, in dominant fashion. From that moment on, Jones never looked back, defending his belt 11 straight times, finishing 6 of those opponents, all while leading up to the record of most UFC Light Heavyweight victories with 17.
Jon Jones has never be beaten in a fight, even if his record of 23-1 says otherwise. His controversial DQ against Matt Hammill in 2009 due to "illegal" elbows is the only blemish on his absolutely perfect (fighting) resume.
He holds just about every record for the Light Heavyweight Division, and even after a 2+ year layoff, he came out Saturday and had quite possibly the biggest, and most defining victory of his storied career. When it's all said and done, Daniel Cormier is one of the greatest Light Heavyweight's of all time, up there with the likes of Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Rampage Jackson, and many more. For Jon Jones to not only come back from the hell that he brought himself into over these past 2 and a half years, but to do it in the fashion that he did, is phenomenal, and says everything that needs to be said about just how incredible of a talent he is.
At just 30 years of age, Jones' already 7 year reign of terror in the UFC seems to only be getting started, as this new chapter in his career will likely be the best yet, with him being truly healthy mentally and physically inside and out of the Octagon, and with his head finally on straight, he will continue to look to prove to himself and to everyone else that he is exactly who we thought he was when he first burst onto the UFC scene.
These numbers from Jones are staggering, and show just how brutal he has been, and will continue to be towards his opponents.
As far as what's next for him, I would love to see him fight and beat Alexander Gustafson, the only man who has ever pushed Jon Jones to the true brink of his mental and physical will, and finally put to rest any doubts over their first encounter. However, I would love to see him dominate Brock Lesnar, a fight in which I would have Jones winning easily, by 2nd or 3rd round TKO.
The world is once again at his fingertips, and this time, he will look to hold onto it closely and dearly.
Whether it be a KO, a submission, or an easy 5-round unanimous decision victory, Jon Jones will beat you in any way possible and any way necessary. I have a feeling we are going to see some incredible things from this young man in the near future.
Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to strap-in, because Saturday night's UFC 214 is going to be absolute madness. Five fights on the main card. Three title fights. Two other fights that easily could headline any PPV this year. Everything a fight fan could ask for will be delivered Saturday.
I'll start out with the first fight on the main card, one that could very well dictate how the Light Heavyweight Title picture shapes out after Jon Jones and DC throw down. Jimi Manuwa will face off against Volkan Oezdemir, in a battle of the heavy hitters. Manuwa, who is coming off of two straight KO wins, bouncing back from his vicious KO loss to Anthony "Rumble" Johnson in 2015, believes that he is already deserving of a title shot, let alone if he defeats Oezdemir Saturday. I for one, disagree, and think Manuwa, even with a victory, will either need to fight Alexander Gustafson to determine the rightful contender, or wait until Gustafson get's his title shot first. Oezdemir is on a 4-fight win streak, the most recent being a brutal KO over Misha Cirkunov, and will look to continue to push his name towards the title contention with a win.
Prediction: Jimi Manuwa via 2nd-round KO
Next, we have quite possibly the greatest fan-favorite fight we could ever ask for, as two absolute warriors square off at 170-pounds, with Robbie Lawler taking on Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. Talk about a war; these two guys are going to stand and trade blows all night long, and eventually, one of them is going to be the last man standing. Two of the toughest guys to ever step foot into the octagon, and both hungry for a win, with both of them coming off of difficult losses. Ultimately, it is going to come down to who's chin can hang in the longest, because I don't see this fight going to decision.
Prediction: Robbie Lawlwer via 3rd-round TKO
Then we have the first of our three title fights, with Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino taking on Tonya Evinger for the vacant Women's Featherweight Title. Finally we will get to see Cyborg fight for the belt that the UFC virtually created only for her, and I can't wait to see what she does in this opportunity. While Tonya Evinger is no push-over, I just don't believe in my heart of hearts that anyone, and I mean anyone, can stop the power and strength of Cyborg.
Prediction: Cyborg via 2nd-round TKO
Now we start getting into the two awesome title fights, the first being for the Welterweight Title, as Tyron Woodley looks to defend his strap against Demian Maia. This is the definition of "styles make fights", because Maia comes into every fight with the same game plan, and executes it to perfection. The jiu-jitsu phenome makes a living off of strangling the life out of his opponents, however, he has never, and I mean never, faced anyone with the size, strength, and wrestling pedigree of Tyron Woodley. This fight will go one of two ways, as Maia will either find a will to slip his arms around Woodley's gigantic neck, or Woodley will land one of his patented overhand right's and put Maia to sleep just like he has done to so many others in the past, or at least use that power to win in a decision. I ultimately think Woodley is too strong, and too good on the ground to let Maia control him in any way, shape, or form, and because of that, he will walk away victorious.
Prediction: Woodley via Unanimous Decision
Finally, the rematch we have been waiting over two and a half years for, Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier 2, for the Light Heavyweight Title. If this fight doesn't get your blood pumping, you may need to see a doctor immediately. This fight is a career defining fight for both of these men, as one looks to put 2+ years of mistakes, embarrassments, and shame behind him, and the other looks to avenge the only loss of his career, and erase the doubt and shadow that has been cast over his reign as the Light Heavyweight Champion. Make no mistake about it, Jon Jones and DC genuinely hate one another, and this fight will be the culmination of the past 2 years of verbal, and mental warfare that these two have engaged in. If Jones comes out and fights smart, and fights the way he has for the last 7+ years, he will have his hand raised, but if he comes out with his emotions running wild, and lets any bit of ring-rust affect him, he might be in for a long night. DC has to finish Jon Jones in my opinion, because I think it is just too hard to beat him in 5-rounds. DC better pray that Jones lets his emotions get the best of him, because that will be his key to victory. But as a diehard "Bones" Jones fan, I need this win for Jon Jones almost as badly as he does.
Prediction: Jon Jones via Unanimous Decision
This weekend was an awesome weekend for the UFC, even after taking a big blow at the last minute.
Friday night, we had the Ultimate Fighter Finale, where Jesse Taylor defeated Dheigo Lima, earning himself a second chance at a UFC contract, almost 10 years after his original UFC shot. This TUF season was all about Redemption, and Jesse Taylor has just about the greatest "Redemption" story of anyone, and it was awesome to see him get himself back onto the biggest stage.
The Main Event for Friday night was absolutely incredible. Michael Johnson welcomed Justin Gaethje, the undefeated former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) Lightweight Champion, to the UFC. The fight had a lot of hype, with the two talking a lot of trash to each other in the weeks leading up to the fight, and boy did the fight deliver. Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje put on a no-dobut, Fight of the Year candidate fight, with Gaethje coming out on top with a second-round KO.
Then, Saturday night, UFC 213 had a ton of hype going into it, but at the 11th hour, Amanda Nunes dropped out of her Bantamweight Title Fight with Valentina Shevchenko, citing an "illness". However, almost everyone around the UFC, including the big boss Dana White, called bullshit on that excuse.
Amanda Nunes basically just pulled herself from the fight, for zero legitimate reasoning, and this fight will be moved to September, so we will still have to wait and see what happens.
Although the original main event was pulled, we had an epic new main event, with Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero facing off for the Interim Middleweight Title. First off, Michael Bisping is genuinely a coward, who is still begging for a fight with GSP, when his division is overflowing with worthy contenders.
But as far as Saturday's fight, Robert Whittaker left no doubt that he is no joke and is here to stay. After losing round 1 and 2 closely, Whittaker came out for round 3, 4, and 5, dominant and ruthless, burying Yoel Romero and leaving no doubt as to who the Interim Middleweight Champion was.
Of course, after the fight, Michael Bisping had to do his usual pathetic tactics, trying to belittle everyone, meanwhile he's a joke, with one title defense and more career loses than any of the top contenders, so I cannot wait for Robert Whittaker to dominate him, and for this 185-pound division to get back on track with a true champion.