Jon Jones' time at the top may be coming to an end.
The great Fedor Emelianenko was invincible until Fabricio Werdum demonstrated he wasn't. Anderson Silva's seven-year unbeaten spree had people convinced of his infallibility before he walked the cage with Chris Weidman. Junior Dos Santos had apparently cleared up the heavyweight division with his 2011 KO of Cain Velasquez, but then the same guy rose to humiliate him – twice.
The point is that with each victory in mixed martial arts it becomes harder and harder for people to believe that the defending champion can lose. But the reality is that even though it may take a while, champions almost always lose in the UFC at some point. Hence, it may sound unbelievable right now, but Jon Jones losing his light heavyweight title to Daniel Cormier is a distinct possibility at UFC 182 this Saturday.
Why, you ask? This is why:
Jones' Cockiness Could Hurt Him
Jones and Cormier developed a dislike for each other four years ago. They've fought at press conferences, exchanged crass comments, and generally are sworn enemies at this point. Jones, though effective, is an unruly and emotional fighter who has ascended to this height with the sheer brute of his physical gifts. He often fights to his opponents' strength, and while that may have endeared him to the fans, it might be a suicidal mistake to commit against Cormier.
If Jones' cockiness gets him into a wrestling match with DC, the two-time Olympian is more than capable of showing him who's the boss of that fighting style.
Cormier Has Fought Bigger Men Than Jones And Won
The 6-foot-4 Jones' greatest advantage over his division's rivals is his otherworldly size and reach. While he has bullied everyone else with it, facing an opponent of a larger stature is nothing new. He used to fight heavyweights before jumping down a division and holds resounding wins over Antonio Silva and Josh Barnett – two true heavyweights and 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-3, respectively. If Jones thinks he can intimidate Cormier with size, he is mistaken.
Reality Of Jones' Recent Opponents
Of the last three opponents Jones has faced in the octagon, two were routine opponents and one who had some game gave him the toughest fight of his career. Even Chael Sonnen's big mouth was past his prime when he took on Jones. And his unanimous decision win over Alexander Gustafsson was widely believed to be controversial. He fought 35-year-old Brazilian Glover Teixeira last year and won, which he should've, so what's the big deal?
On the other hand, three of Cormier's last four opponents were Frank Mir, Roy Nelson and Dan Henderson – all of whom have regularly competed in the heavyweight division.
Jones' Has Never Faced Anyone With Cormier's Wrestling Skills
From Silva to Barnett to Nelson and Mir, Cormier has schooled every grapple artist he has faced as an MMA fighter. Jones, meanwhile, hasn't dominated anyone even half as accomplished as those guys, so we don't know how he will fare against the more skilled challenger.