Although Jon Jones will have a considerable reach advantage over Daniel Cormier, and despite the fact the latter is one of the more decorated wrestlers in the sport, the light-heavyweight champ says he’ll be gunning for takedowns at UFC 182.
Of course, Jones is no slouch when it comes to wrestling himself, but due to the points outlined above, many would say his clearest path to victory is by out striking “DC” from the outside. Well, in a recent interview with MMA Fighting.com, Jones made the following case as to why wrestling will be part of his attack, come January 3rd.
“I think I focus on it so much, I focus on their strengths so much that I almost adapt it,” Jones said. “I become so familiar with what they’re good at that I just almost adapt it into my psychology, into my skillset, and then subconsciously it just starts playing out in the fight. Doing what they do.
“I will try to wrestle Daniel Cormier. I definitely plan on making him work extremely hard for any takedowns he’s going for, and I’m definitely going to be looking for takedowns myself. I’m more than capable of taking him down, and I believe in my top game. So I’ll definitely look to attack Daniel at his strengths, and weaknesses.”
Now, there is certainly something to be said for besting an opponent in their most developed area, which in this case, would be Cormier’s wrestling. Jones’ coach Greg Jackson also makes that point later in the story, and notes that in doing so, one can more quickly break an opponent mentally.
Sure, Jones could just be saying all this, as a means to throw Cormier off and mask an alternate game plan, but he’s looked to engage opponents in this manner before. Against the accomplished wrestler Chael Sonnen, Jones took him down and finished the bout. Against Glover Teixeira, Jones showed no fear about engaging the heavy handed light-heavyweight from in close, and battered the challenger with punches and elbows.
Regardless of what strategy the champ looks to employ, the bout has all the makings of an instant classic, and perhaps, the first of several Jones-Cormier fights to take place.
UFC 182 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the co-main event, Donald Cerrone will battle fellow lightweight contender Myles Jury.