UFC 182 Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier Early Preview
The UFC’s new year will begin with Jon Jones versus Daniel Cormier in a highly anticipated second scrap at the MGM grand at UFC 182. The first time they put hands on each other, a crowd was there to pull them apart. This time, only the referee will intervene if one man dominates the other.
But how likely is that to happen? It’s a close call on paper in terms of performance metrics, but not for anthropometrics. The reach differential here is a ridiculous 12 inches, the 3rd most extreme in UFC history. Jones has the longest wingspan in MMA history, while Cormier would be considered below average in reach…for a welterweight!
Traditionally the longer fighter in an extreme reach differential wins 80% of the time, although some early observers are pegging Jones’s chances to win closer to 67%. And yet the current betting lines are even closer, giving Jones (the -170 favorite) just a 63% chance to win, the closest odds of his championship tenure.
That’s because despite the reach differential, each man has looked similarly unbeatable, and Cormier is no stranger to facing much larger opponents. Despite his continual reach disadvantage, Cormier has managed to dominate rangier opponents.
On paper, we’re left with a very even matchup between two unbeaten* fighters, so I joined the crew at ESPN MMA Live to break it all down.
Stay tuned next week for more detailed analysis of UFC 182 matchups and maybe even some predictions. In the meantime, Happy New Year!
*Explanation not necessary!