“The Champ is Here” was the chorus as Jon Jones walked to the cage for his anticipated defense of the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship tonight at UFC 182. As the Jadakiss song resonated, “Bones” Jones’ walk was confident and focused, despite the mix of cheers and boo’s from the crowd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Five rounds later, despite a spirited effort from challenger Daniel Cormier, Jones would exit the ring a champ as well.
Jones earned a 49-46 decision from all three judges tonight, often making use of his reach advantage for kicks and punches from the outside. The New Yorker, fighting out of New Mexico, also acquitted himself well in the clinch, scoring several takedowns against the former Olympian Cormier.
But Cormier, of Louisiana but fighting out of California, had his share of highlights as well. Prolific punching combinations — punctuated by an effective uppercut — earned “DC” at least one round and perhaps more.
After the bout, Jones, who advanced his MMA record to 21-1, seemed to embrace his role as villain more than ever — taunting fans who bought Cormier’s signature “Break Bones” T-shirts. Cormier drops to 15-1 with the loss, the first of his MMA career.
The memorable title fight capped off an otherwise unremarkable UFC 182 main card, which saw every bout go to a unanimous decision. The crowd could heard boo’ing the slow paced action at some point of each bout. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone won a wide decision over Myles Jury in the co-main.
For full play-by-play and results, click here for UFC 182 Results & Play-by-Play.