The only loss of Daniel Cormier’s 20-fight career came against Jon Jones in January 2015, but his conqueror was later stripped of the light heavyweight title and Cormier beat Anthony Johnson to become champion. He has gone on to defeat Alexander Gustafsson, Anderson Silva and, most recently, Johnson again via a second-round submission.
Jon Jones’ career win-loss record stands at 22-1 and he has not tasted defeat since being disqualified against Matt Hamill in December 2009. However, he has only fought once since his victory over Cormier, having been suspended for six months due to his connection with a hit-and-run incident. He returned to beat Ovince Saint Preux in April 2016 and claim the interim title, but was then given a second ban, this time for one year, after a doping violation.
There is an element of the unknown about Saturday’s rematch as neither man has been particularly active over the past couple of years, Jones for disciplinary reasons and Cormier due to a couple of injuries. However, there is no disguising the dislike between the two fighters and the winner in Anaheim will most likely be the one who can keep a cool head.
Jones, the self-proclaimed greatest fighter of all time, will be the more rusty of the two but is a firm favourite with the bookies and it is easy to see why. He is on a long winning streak, has a victory over Cormier under his belt and, standing 5in taller than his opponent, should be able to use his greater reach to good effect. Jones says that he beat Cormier in 2015 after a ‘weekend of cocaine’ and doubts whether his opponent has made any progress in the last couple of years.
Cormier will nevertheless fancy his chances and, as a former Olympic wrestler, if he can turn Saturday’s bout into a grappling contest then odds of 2/1 will suddenly start to look very appealing. However, Jones is likely to be too crafty to let that happen and should come out on top to extend his remarkable record. If the price on a straight victory isn’t the best, 6/5 on a victory by decision or technical decision may be a better punt.
Sports.net’s Top Tip:
Jon Jones by decision or technical decision
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.