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Sunday, Dec 30, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Velasquez Win Bad News for Jon Jones

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones

By Joshua Molina

Forget Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre. Forget Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones. Forget Cain Velasquez vs. Alistair Overeem.

The real dream match is upon us: Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier.

Velasquez’s victory over Junior Dos Santos to claim the UFC heavyweight championship changed the future of the heavyweight division, but it also dramatically altered the light heavyweight division.

Velasquez and Cormier are training partners at San Jose California’s American Kickboxing Academy, the premiere fight gym in the state and one of the best on the nation.

They won’t fight each other — at least not yet.

So that means the 5-foot-11 Cormier will likely move down to the light heavweight division — where he would be in line for a title shot against Jones.

Cormier, a stocky, strong, skilled wrestler, with devastating striking, would undoubtedly give Jones the fight of his life.

Cormier is a former two-time junior national wrestling champion. He was an near-NCAA Division I wrestling champion, losing only to the great Cael Sanderson.

Since joining Strikeforce he has demolished everybody he has faced, winning the Strikeforce World Grand Prix Tournament, and handily defeating a bigger Josh Barnett in the finals.

Cormier has looked unbeatable. And he would be taking on the guy who also looked unbeatable (outside of a fluke armbar near-submission by Vitor Belfort).

Jones has developed an air of arrogance amid his amazing ride the last three years. He’s awesome, and he knows it. He has cleaned house in the light heavyweight division. But with that success has come a backlash.

Fans want to see him lose. When he ducked a fight against Chael Sonnen last year, some fans turned on him. Jones, who was arrested and convicted of drunken driving last year, hasn’t endeared himself to fans or the media.

Cormier, on the other hand, is a nice guy. He’s funny, happy and humble. He’s also awesome, and he knows it. But he doesn’t tell you that he is. He knows you know, and that’s enough for him. And that’s very unlike Jones.

Jones first must fight the best trash-talker in the business, Chael Sonnen. After Jones refused to fight the wrestling star in September, he had to agree to fight him to save face.

The younger, taller and stronger Jones should beat Sonnen — by decision, if nothing else, simply because although Sonnen is by far a better wrestler, he doesn’t have the striking ability to make Jones fear his punches.

So Jones and Cormier is likely to happen in the fall of 2013.

If that fight happens, look out. Cormier is coming and there could be a changing of the guard.

posted by JoshuaM @ 3:04 pm
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