Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
The bitter rivalry between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier came to an epic conclusion to close out the show at UFC 214 on Saturday in Anaheim, California. With one hellacious left high kick, Bones reclaimed the division he once ruled over so forcefully.
The new champion dethroned Cormier with a third-round TKO, but it wasn’t the easiest of his long list of victories.
Cormier had his moments. The former Olympian looked much more prepared for the second fight against Jones. In the first two rounds, he gave Jones problems with his aggressive pressure on the inside, even knocking out Jones’ mouthpiece with uppercuts in the early going, as UFC Canada showed:
UFC Canada @UFC_CA
Uppercuts from @DC_MMA knocks Jones’ mouth guard out at #UFC214 https://t.co/zrte7n9OcE
A much more confident, relaxed DC had it looking like this fight was headed toward another five-round brawl. Josh Gross of The Guardian had the score in favor of Cormier in both of the first two rounds:
Josh Gross @yay_yee
So good. So good. DC is calm and doing strong work. Jones has his moments too. Very close round. 20-18 DC.
However, Jones showed he can change the complexion of a fight in just one strike. Though one-strike power is rare from him, the left high kick he landed as Cormier ducked his head was showcased in the UFC’s congratulatory tweet:
He’s done it …. AGAIN.
The LHW division is ruled yet again by @JonnyBones #UFC214 #JonBonesJones https://t.co/tDVyFhmjzb
The kick stymied Cormier and sent him across the cage searching for consciousness. Jones, who was ready to take his division back, met him instead.
After the fight, Jones was complimentary of his longtime rival, potentially closing the door on this series for good while calling out another potential opponent in Brock Lesnar:
Jones: DC is a model husband, a model father, and a great champion. He’ll always be a…