Last night’s UFC 182 main event between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier was among the most anticipated MMA bouts in recent memory.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jones and undefeated contender Cormier engaged in a war of words in the past months — even coming to blows at a press event last year.
Did the fight itself live up to the hype?
By most accounts, it seems the answer is yes.
While the victory was clear for Jones after five rounds were complete, the bout featured enough ebb and flow to stay interesting. Cormier scored with punching combinations to keep in the fight, even as he struggled to impose his usual wrestling-based attack. Jones made use of his reach advantage to showcase his diverse striking skills, and even hit the occasional takedown.
The performance was enough to merit “Fight of the Night” honors by the UFC, netting both Jones and Cormier each a $50,000 bonus.
Other winners of the promotion’s performance bonuses, which have become a UFC tradition in recent years, were Paul Felder and Shawn Jordan. Both their bouts preceded the pay-per-view broadcast.
Felder won his bonus due to a spectacular spinning backfist knockout of Danny Castillo in their lightweight contest. Castillo entered the Octagon an almost three-to-one favorite, but found his takedowns nullified and was out-landed by the larger man in a one-sided first round. In the second round, Felder landed the spinning attack to knock Castillo out cold.
Jordan punched his way to a bonus with a quick knockout of an undersized (and over-matched) Jared Cannonier. Jordan hit an overhand right which sent his opponent reeling about mid-way through the first stanza of their heavyweight bout.