By Kaleb Page
Lost in the bowl mania, NFL playoffs and the new big hire by the University of Michigan is a fight that could be the biggest fight of the year for the UFC. This fight could be the biggest and it is only the beginning of their fight calendar.
Brewing for years now is the bad blood between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones and the rising challenger Daniel Cormier. Stemming as far back as 2010 these two started off on the wrong foot with Jones and Cormier having a backstage disagreement at UFC 121. Jones was meeting Cormier for the first time, and differing reports from both camps laid the interaction differently; Jones saying he was merely joking by telling Cormier (an Olympian wrestler) “I bet you that I could take you down,” while Cormier didn’t understand how insulting someone was a good way to break the ice.
As time moved along and Jones defended his title countless other times, the embers of that exchange cooled substantially until the opportunity presented itself to have these two face off. It also probably helped to stoke the fire back up when at UFC 173 on May 24, 2014 Cormier left a special message for Jones after Cormier won his first fight after moving down from heavyweight to light heavyweight.
Then the ultimate tipping point was reached when Jones and Cormier had a little “presser” before UFC 178 where they would answer some questions in the MGM Grand lobby and then have the stare down at the end. Well it went as planned until the stare down. Jones is 6’4″ and Cormier 5’11” so when they go for the stare down Jones looks down on Cormier. This is where things got interesting as Jones started to place his head on Cormier’s. At this point Cormier shoves at Jones throat and sparks what you will see in the video below.
From that point on the fight was official on to a whole different level, prompting many interesting interviews since then and some candid moments where the fighters didn’t know they were being recorded (since off the air), this video has been circled around the internet as more fuel for promoting that animosity in this match-up (click on this link to the video WARNING the video does contain strong language).
Coverage has been at a minimum for ESPN probably in part to the contract the UFC has with Fox Sports, but I think this fight does deserve to have all the publicity that it deserves. If you can somehow make it to a restaurant/bar showing it or even order the pay-per-view I highly advise it because when you have two world-class athletes that are some of the best in the sport and you add in legitimate hatred it will be an unbelievable main event.
Saturday January 3, 2015 Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Daniel Cormier will be an event I will have to watch and hopefully lives up to the billing. Who do you think will win? Is it Jones the defending champion who has been an unbelievable puzzle to solve or Cormier the former Olympic wrestler who has a lot to prove? Either way the mixed martial arts community wins with a great match-up like this.
Watch the promo below and you will be ready to go for this huge event in the world of mixed martial arts.