After three years of trash talk, bad blood, and countless re-schedulings, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and former champion Jon Jones finally met in their long-expected rematch in the main event of tonight’s (Sat., July 29, 2017) UFC 214 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Cormier had remained active in Jones’ absence, beating Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson, and Anderson Silva before retiring Johnson in their own rematch this April. Jones, meanwhile, was waiting for his USADA suspension to expire after he was unceremoniously pulled from their second scheduled rematch at UFC 200 last July.
But “Bones” actually showed up this time, and despite the fact that he had been out of action since April 2016 and had only fought once since defeating Cormier the first time, a majority of fans and media members were picking the former champion to triumphantly return to the throne of a division he ruled so effortlessly for years.
In the end, Jones won back his title with an emphatic stoppage over his greatest rival of all-time, perhaps cementing himself as the best MMA fighter ever.
The rematch began with the fighters touching glove and Jones landing an inside leg kick. Jones threw some big punches, but Cormier landed his trademark uppercuts from in close, which knocked Jones’ mouthpiece out. They clinched, and Jones got a short-lived takedown that Cormier quickly rose up from. Cormier landed a low kick and stalked Jones as “Bones” landed a body punch. ‘DC’ was cut above his eye, but he threw a left hook and low kick. Jones shucked his rival off in the clinch, landing his oblique kick and a knee to ‘DC’s’ body. Cormier threw a right and they clinched briefly and traded kicks.
Jones scored with a left hand over the top, following with one of his big elbows. Jones landed again, only to see Cormier continue pushing forward. Hand fighting ensued and Jones landed a punch and a kick. Cormier continued with his kicks and scored with a combo near the wall. But Jones answered with straight punches until Cormier landed some big shots to a roar from the crowd. Jones scored a big right, and the first round finished with both fighters raising their hands high as they walked to their corners.
In the second, Jones worked the jab and a hard hook to the body followed by a knee to the midsection. A straight right scored for “Bones” as Cormier threw his low kick and worked more punches. A head butt caused a halt to the action, and Cormier continued walking down Jones. He scored a left and right over the top, to which Jones landed his own kicks and a punch. A left hook and body kick scored for Jones, and he landed an elbow with a body shot behind it. Cormier answered with a combo and shook his head at his enemy, landing shots. Cormier was confident and landing as he tripped Jones to the mat. “Bones” got right back up, but Cormier landed again. Jones hit him back and saw Cormier answer yet again, and a good round ended with a big right over the top from Cormier.
The third kicked off with Jones ripping the body and throwing his oblique kick again. Kicks and a left hook followed as his output swelled thanks to his reach advantage. A step-in knee came from Jones, but Cormier landed his uppercut and a hook. Cormier pushed forward relentlessly and landed some light punches, and Jones scored a shot to the body. Cormier missed on a rushing combo, but Jones landed a huge left head kick that rocked his opponent badly.
Cormier was hurt, eating shots on the ground, and Jones tripped him to continue pouring it on for the electrifying stoppage to win back the title he never lost.