The hype was well warranted, but UFC’s 182 card featuring a light heavyweight match up of the ages was quite underwhelming considering the pay per view buys for the event. The Jones versus Cormier bout was as advertised, two behemoths in a division trying to break the will of the other, eventually the champion took over in the later rounds and eased out a decision victory. Besides the point though; there were no finishes on the main card, and each fight leading up to the main event seemed to lack the intensity seen from previous cards. Stating as much with Donald Cerrone on the card is hard to bare, but none of the main card bouts really sizzled except for the main attraction. Nonetheless, analysis will be had for the first card of 2015.
Jon Jones beat Daniel Cormier via Unanimous Decision – Jon Jones just cannot be stopped, unbreakable is what it seems like. Whatever obstacle has been thrown his way, whichever skill set each fighter he has faced has brought to the table, the UFC light heavyweight champion continues to add notches to his legacy in the promotion. Jones embraced the grind, choosing to stay inside with Cormier and grapple with whom many considered possibly the best wrestler in the UFC. “Bones” was taken down only once, while landing numerous take downs of his own. The challenger looked as if his will was broken at the end of the third round, nobody else in Cormier’s career had pushed him beyond the point Jones did Saturday night. The champion just does it all; his reach nullifies just about any feeble attempt from his opponents to drag him down or strike with him, while his wrestling and take down defense are just the perfect complement for the pound for pound king in MMA. The 27-year-old champion has not even hit his prime and is just about unstoppable. History is in the making, MMA fans are truly seeing a gem in the making here.
Donald Cerrone beat Myles Jury via Unanimous Decision – Fans did not like it, analysts did not like it, Donald Cerrone himself was not thrilled; this fight was just down right disappointing. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is considered one of the most exciting fighters when he steps foot inside the UFC octagon, but a new viewer would have not recognized that with what transpired inside the octagon Saturday night. Myles Jury just ran, skipped, and danced his way away from Cerrone; limiting the engages between the two lightweights. Cerrone visibly upset in the third round, threw Jury to the mat and proceeded to try to kick Jury’s legs out of the octagon. Jury lost an obvious decision as a result, Cerrone continues to build quite the case for a title shot with the victory, and could possibly warrant a top five opponent next.
Brad Tavares beat Nate Marquardt via Unanimous Decision – The fans were already somewhat on edge thanks to the two fights beforehand, but the fight between Tavares and Marquardt was yet another dud on a lackluster UFC 182 main card. Marquardt was hesitant to do just about anything, and Tavares sat outside cautiously distributing his punches. Both exchanged front kicks to the face in the first round, besides that though, it was more of a staring contest than anything. Marquardt proved once again he is not worthy of a UFC roster spot. Brad Tavares did not do much to improve his stock in the division either.
Kyoji Horiguchi beat Louis Guadinot via Unanimous Decision – Everyone knows the flyweights are fast, but boy does Horiguchi take the cake. The Japanese fighter was in and out on Gaudinot in a flash, not leaving much time to counter with. Guadinot sure tried, but it looked to be almost impossible to track down, or get a beat on Horiguchi. Granted, with the speed he did not really put Guadinot in any real danger throughout the fight, but was still able to grasp the unanimous decision. Horiguchi should now warrant a shot at an opponent within the top 15 of the division.
Hector Lombard beat Josh Burkman via Unanimous Decision – Lombard is a power house when he so chooses to be, this fight though, Hector was once again very hesitant. Burkman is an awkward challenge sure, but Lombard is supposed to be one of the best in the division. Lombard stalked Burkman around for the duration of three rounds, cornered him numerous times throughout the fight, but would not just let his hands go. It was a disappointing showing from one of the best in the welterweight division, Dana White and company may be less inclined to move him into title contention, even though he still won the fight.
In other notable UFC fights, there were actually finishes on the prelims! Paul Felder landed a spinning back fist out of nowhere to knockout Danny Castillo. Team Alpha Male’s Cody Garbrandt picked apart Marcus Brimage to garner a technical knockout. For full prelim results, please read down below.
Paul Felder beat Danny Castillo via KO (Spinning Back Fist) rd.2
Cody Garbrandt beat Marcus Brimage via TKO (Strikes) rd.3
Shawn Jordan beat Jared Cannonier via KO (Punch) rd.1
Evan Dunham beat Rodrigo Damm via Unanimous Decision
Omari Akhmedov beat Mats Nilsson via Unanimous Decision
Marion Reneau beat Alex Dufresne via Unanimous Decision
The UFC will not be back in action until January 18th; when Irish superstar, Conor McGregor headlines fight night in Boston, MA. He will be taking on German featherweight Dennis Siver; also, former UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson, will be fighting Eddie Alvarez. For anything and everything UFC, make sure to follow the MMA Spotlight for all the latest news.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
Follow Justin’s coverage in the MMA Spotlight Section
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer leading the coverage in MMA