The UFC is bringing in the New Year in style, with one of the most historic match ups in the lightweight division on display in the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday Night. Pound for pound best, Jon “Bones” Jones, of the UFC will be looking to defend his title for the eighth time against the former Olympian wrestler, Daniel “DC” Cormier. The dislike between has been consistently noted throughout the months leading up to this bout, and goes even further back when they were first scheduled to fight in September. If the main event was not already enough to sell the card, one of the most exciting fighters occupies the co main event against an intriguing prospect. Donald Cerrone continues to provide fans with brilliant finishes, and brass nuggets of toughness. Myles Jury on the other hand, continues to rattle off victories, and has beat some notables like Takanori Gomi and Diego Sanchez, back to back to get to someone the caliber of Donald Cerrone. The card is jam-packed with excitement, get all the UFC coverage here leading up to Saturday night!
[C] Jon Jones (20-1) vs. #2 Daniel Cormier (15-0) Light Heavyweight Championship Bout – The first fight of the year, and what a dandy it is going to be, and possibly the hardest one to predict yet since this column started. Minus a disqualification loss for Jones, both fighters are practically undefeated in their careers, both have dominated the opposition through the years, and both are deserving to call themselves a champion. Unfortunately, only one of them will come out on top Saturday night; Cormier comes in fighting his third light heavyweight bout since dropping from the heavyweight division. “DC” has run through some of the biggest and stiffest opposition to date, in a heavier division nonetheless; Cormier has fought off the length of his foes, submission experts, and some of the heaviest punchers in MMA. Cormier has not fought anyone in the UFC with the striking prowess of Jon Jones though, in which could become quite an issue with the challenger. Many feel Cormier could out grapple the champ, and keep Jones on the mat for the duration of this fight. What game plan hasn’t the UFC champion already seen though? Jones is rightfully considered the pound for pound best in MMA, and the wrestling aspect in his game does not lack one bit. This fight is a tough one to predict, UFC fans and experts alike have yet to see Jon Jones on his back much; could it happen? Yes. But will it? The MMA Spotlight predicts it will be scarce. The champ retains the belt here, and awaits the winner of Alexander Gustaffson and Anthony Johnson. Jon Jones via Split Decision.
#4 Donald Cerrone (25-6) vs. #8 Myles Jury (15-0) Lightweight Bout – Many have to wonder how far away the “Cowboy” is from a title shot if he can get through another tough outing against Myles Jury. Cerrone has five wins in a row, three in a row against ranked lightweights, with four of those wins coming by way of a finish. Jury is a young prospect coming off his biggest win to date, knocking out Takanori Gomi in his last bout. Jury provides quick movement, bouncing around picking his spots to come in and work. Cerrone will once again have to stalk his opponent down and engage, as Jury loves to stick and move. Jury’s output better outweigh his movement if he hopes to beat Cerrone. Cerrone is a high volume striker, very judge friendly come forward style, and is a tough guy to finish. There is a bright future ahead for Jury, but Cerrone is just on a tear right now in the lightweight division. Donald Cerrone via Unanimous Decision.
#15 Brad Tavares (12-4) vs. Nate Marquardt (36-13-2) Middleweight Bout – It is very hard to predict Marquardt fights, because no one knows which Nate “The Great” is going to show up. The guy lost three in a row, before moving back up to his original weight and submitting James Te Huna. Tavares himself has had a tough 2014 thus far, and could use a pick me up win to kick off the new year. Loser of his last two fights, Tavares is very well-rounded fighter, but does exactly excel in any aspect. Marquardt looked like his old self in his last bout, and if he can translate it to Saturday night, it should be his for the taking. Nate Marquardt via Submission.
#11 Kyoji Horiguchi (14-1) vs. Louis Guadinot (7-3) Flyweight Bout – Horiguchi is quietly making a name for himself in the flyweight division, and could make quite the noise with a splash finish on the UFC 182 main card. The Japanese fighter packs quite the punch for a flyweight, racking up nine knockout victories out of his 14 wins. Louis Guadinot is a quality fighter in his own right, but not near as talented as his opponent in this one. Horiguchi should be able to boast another knockout victory on his record, and potentially garner a top ten opponent in the division. Kyoji Horiguchi via Technical Knockout.
#6 Hector Lombard (34-4-1) vs. Josh Burkman (27-10) Welterweight Bout – Supposedly nobody wants to fight Lombard, and supposedly he is the most disliked fighter in the UFC. All words from the mouth of Hector Lombard, Josh Burkman makes his return to the octagon, looking to maintain a slot in the talented welterweight division. Josh could very well outwork Lombard and steal a decision upon his return, Lombard’s production inside the cage can be somewhat inconsistent, sometimes stalling on the feet on a few occasions. Lombard should not lose this fight and continue up the ladder, but he has surprised many before; take the Yushin Okami and Tim Boetsch fights for example. Hector Lombard via Technical Knockout.
In other notable fights on the UFC 182 card, Danny Castillo looks to right the ship against the undefeated Paul Felder. Also, Evan Dunham is hoping to avoid a possible cut from the promotion, in doing so he will have to find a way to eek out a victory over Rodrigo Damm, whom may be on the chopping block as well. For full results and analysis, make sure to come back to the MMA Spotlight after each UFC event.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA