Daniel Cormier: Jon Jones’ Height & Reach Won’t Matter At UFC 178

Daniel Cormier: Jon Jones’ Height & Reach Won’t Matter At UFC 178


As the summer starts to wind down, the UFC’s fall schedule begins to loom ever closer on the horizon and with it, one of the biggest fights left on the 2014 calendar – Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier.

The two light-heavyweights, champion and No. 2 ranked challenger respectively, are accidental combatants of sorts. Jones was originally set to face Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch bout of their September, 2013, UFC 165 match, however, Gustafsson had to scratch from the fight last week (July 23, 2014) with an injury (torn meniscus) to his knee. As a result, Cormier was tapped to be “The Mauler’s” UFC 178 replacement. With the show transpiring in Las Vegas on September 27, fans have now, by way of the demise of Jones vs. Gustafsson II, been given a fight of equal, if not greater value, in “Bones” vs. Cormier.

Jones and Cormier have been trading barbs with one another since Cormier joined the UFC in April of last year. Even as a heavyweight, Cormier was throwing bombs at Jones, stating that he could and would drop down a weight class and take Jones’s belt. As such, the animosity or at least the rivalry between the two, has been growing steadily ever since. Now that fate has given him the title opportunity and fight that he has wanted, Cormier appears to be chomping at the bit for the bout’s date to arrive.

However, for as dominant as the 15 – 0 Cormier has been, he will be taking on a similarly undefeated fighter in Jon Jones – “Bones’s” DQ loss to Matt Hamill aside – and one that has a distinct height and reach advantage over him. Standing at 6’4” with an 84.5 inch reach, Jones is five inches taller than Cormier (5’11”) and has twelve inches of reach advantage on him (72.5). In short, Jones is a much taller and longer man.  

On Monday’s edition of the MMA Hour (July 28, 2014), Cormier addressed the height and reach issue, and as far as the 35-year-old Olympic wrestler is concerned, “none of that is going to matter.” As Cormier sees it, he is the man to beat Jon Jones.

His words:    

“You just got to watch and see. I believe in myself 110 percent. There is a badder man out there for every one of us. As good as Jon Jones is, there is somebody that can beat Jon Jones. I believe I am that guy. And there is somebody out there that can beat me. I don’t know who that is. It could be Rashad Evans, it could be Glover Teixeira, (or) it could be one of those guys that are just better than I am. But I believe that on Sept. 27, reach and height, none of that is going to matter, because I believe I have the ability to beat Jon, and I have the ability to compete with Jon, and the confidence in knowing that I can get the job done. This is the first time you have two undefeated guys fighting for the championship. This is a big deal, man. This is the type of fight we need in MMA to show that guys can sustain being undefeated for a long time, get to the top of the sport, and fight each other for the ultimate prize. This is a big deal. I can feel it. I know Jon can feel it. And I can’t wait for it.”

Truly if there is a man in the division, certainly aside from Alexander Gustafsson, that fans believe can dethrone the 27-year-old, 20 – 1 Jones, it is Daniel Cormier. However, in order for him to do it, Cormier is going to have to fight Jones on the inside and that might be easier said than done. Jones knows how to use every inch of his reach and he is also a very technically sound stand-up fighter. He also possesses a brutal clinch game and is a strong wrestler in his own right. In a nutshell, the defenses that Cormier must breach are some of the very reasons as to why Jones is a seven-time defending champion.

To be sure, Cormier has the power and explosiveness to deal with “Bones’s” battlements and erode his reach advantage. However, he might just as easily find himself eating a lot of shots to his damaged knee on the way in, as the champion targets Cormier’s impaired appendage. If this proves to be the case and Jones can successfully hobble Cormier, then it would be tough to see how the powerful wrestler would be able to pull out the win.  

On the point of targeting Cormier’s knee, it is a tactic that American Kickboxing Academy team member expects Jones to employ and indeed, one that he will be “very disappointed in” should Jones not elect to use it. As Cormier noted in interview, when it comes to targeting Jones’s own injuries, it is a stratagem that he himself is “going” to pursue.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Cormier

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  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Entity Entity

    I hope you beat his azz Cormier. You'll instantly go way up on my favorite fighters list.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Zip Zip

      Well, if it helps, a little birdie just told me bones has been talking to himself a lot lately:

      bones, "He's not Cain, he's not Cain, he's not Cain…
      Reality, "He's gunna f*ck you up.
      bones, "He's not Cain, he's not Cain, he's not Cain…
      Reality, He beats Cain everyday in practice.
      bones, "Shut up! He's not Cain, he's not Cain, he's not Cain…
      Reality, "He's Cain's wrestling coach.
      bones, " I don't care!! He's not Cain, he's not Cain, he's not Cain, not Cain, not Cain, no, not Cain, not ca, not c, not, no…

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/HATEOCRACY HATEOCRACY

        Zip shut your bored ass up!

        Reality Yours, HATE

        • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Zip Zip

          The little birdie also told me Hate was having struggles of his own:

          Hate, "Jon has beat EVERYONE they've put in front of him. Champions, ex-champions, all comers. He be the man".
          Reality, "So too has DC beat everyone they have put in front of him, wrecked them, most of which at heavyweight".
          Hate, "Shut the f*ck up, ain't nobody asked you.
          Reality, "Jon should have just fought Gus again, huh?"
          Hate, "Didn't I just tell you to shut the f*ck up? Keep talkin and I'll f*ck your ass up, hommie".

          Coming from the next room, "Hate, who you talkin to, fool?"

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/ripstic5021 ripstic5021

    Dan Cormier has done nothing but impress me with every fight he fights. With big wins at heavyweight over Nelson, Mir, Barnett and Silva and his dominating performance over Dan Henderson I have no reason to bet against him. I have a feeling Jones days as champ are numbered.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/HATEOCRACY HATEOCRACY

    Bones dominated everybody except Gus but DC dominating Dinosaur Danny HBomb has really gotcha all gassed up huh.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/matt1926 matt1926

    These are the same postings for every Jon Jones fight. Every time it's "Oh (insert fighter who's going to lose ie Shogun Rampage Rashad Machida Texeira Gus Sonnen) I hope you beat his ass" and "I think Jones days as champ are numbered". The outcome is the same and Jon Jones has quietly become one of the best UFC fighters ever and no one wants to admit it because they hate him. If he were white he wouldn't be hated nearly as much and that's real talk. He's going to beat Cormier quite easily.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/falcon4917 falcon4917

      The race card? Seriously? I agree with you that he is one of the best ever. You are right also that people don't like him and hope he loses but where do you get they hate him cause he's black? We all loved Rampage, Anderson Silva, DJ, DC and others. Don't be crazy. And as for "quietly" become one of the best ever is a bit of a stretch. He is a walking billboard with lights and sounds.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Ivy Ivy

      I agree with Matt (except for the race card part). Jones is outstanding, bigger, longer, dynamic and unpredictable. I say DC will have opportunities, but JJ doesn't let him get inside the pocket for long enough to capitalize on them.

      JJ by UD.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Entity Entity

      Ha, the next thing you'll say is we hate Obama because he's black….uh no, hate him because he's wiping his ass with the Constitution. Many of us dont like Bones because he has an arrogant GFY attitude. And with a name like yours, you should just lay down and let us wipe our feet on you and your stupid ass opinions.

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/jcren jcren

        No…people hate Obama because he is black. Those same people loved Bush and only a total idiot…or Republican (not sure which is worse) would say Obama is doing a worse job.

        • http://lowkickmma.com/author/falcon4917 falcon4917

          Actually people are realizing there is no difference as to who runs the white house. None of them run it they just obey and be the star of the show.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/jcren jcren

      you do realize…that eventually (insert fighter) will beat him.

      So why not Cormier. Gus was the first true LHWY in his prime who Jones has fought and he almost lost. (sorry Evans is a MW pretending to be a LHWY)

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/jcren jcren

      btw…him being black has nothing to do with the hate. He is arrogant as hell. You do realize he has mainly fought plenty of black fighters (Cormier, Evans, Rampage). Phil Davis doesn't get the hate he gets. Shad as Champ never got the hate….Rampage as Champ never got the hate. Anderson Silva, Demetrius Johnson never got the hate. Jones is just a douche who taunts fans and opponents. He would be more loved if he went full douche like Overeem is. Instead he pretends he is all spiritual.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/watermelonfresh watermelon fresh

    If I were Cormier, I'd be more worried about eye pokes than kicks to the knees. The eye poke issues with Jones need to be strongly addressed prior to the fight by Cormier and his camp via social media and the athletic commission. This is a serious infraction that Jones does intentionally, if I were Cormier and I get eye poked, I'd immediately kick to groin or poke back eyes if ref does not take a point from Jones. Jones is a very dirty fighter and I can't believe he's able to get away with this. I really hope Cormier addresses the eye pokes going in

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/jcren jcren

    Eye poke thing is interesting. It is one part dirty and at the same time smart. He puts his hand out there to measure distance and keep guys away…if they come forward, which is what every fighter should be doing against jones…you get poked. He knows this is the set of outcomes. He keeps his hand open because he converts it into and elbow…well that is good technique.

    The leg kick thing…I hate it every time I have seen it. But every since he did that to Rampage it has become a normal part of the game. Many fighters have copied it. Cormier is going to have to use angles and level changes to avoid both.