MMA Forethought: UFC 214
A rivalry that never seems to be settled is scheduled to do so at UFC 214. Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier will fight for the light-heavyweight title and the outcome could be big for both current champion Cormier, and once champion Jones. This main event alone is worth watching when considering the history between the two and their presence around the light-heavyweight crown and everything that has happened when each man held it.
Also on deck is the “do-over” for the women’s featherweight division with two former Invicta FC champions facing one another to wear UFC gold. Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Tonya Evinger will look to do what UFC 208 set out to do at the beginning of the year. Kick off the women’s featherweight division.
As with many of the big pay-per-views Frontproof Media will attempt to give some forethought on how the main card will go down.
Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones
The rhetoric surrounding Jon Jones has been played out over and over again. “He’s his own worst enemy,” and considering he has never been beaten since he won the title from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 in 2011. Despite his troubles outside of the sport, his dominance in MMA cannot be denied and he already holds a win over Daniel Cormier. Cormier takes this fight seriously and has to beat Jones to close this chapter in the light-heavyweight division properly. History says Jones is better than Cormier, but Cormier is an Olympian and losses don’t go over well. The odds may be in Jones favor, but do not be surprised to see a different Daniel Cormier.
Cris Cyborg vs. Tonya Evinger
This fight is truly a “Champ vs. Champ” scenario. It was when Megan Anderson was originally scheduled to face Justino and it still is with the change to Evinger. Justino has not been beaten in mixed martial arts since 2005 and she has only improved her skill as all martial artists do over time. Some might say this fight is even better and more competitive than the original booking because of the experience of these women. Evinger enjoys being the underdog and usually proves fans wrong when she wins. She could do the same to Justino, but this division was made for Justino who fought hard enough to get this fight. Justino has a lot to lose and chances are she won’t at UFC 214.
Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia
This fight is a long time coming for Maia who has brought his own level of dominant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to MMA. Woodley’s explosive power and athleticism are his best weapons against someone like Maia who has a height advantage over the champ, but oddly enough not a reach advantage. Woodley’s crushing right that won him the welterweight title in the first place could be the thing that keeps the belt on his waist. However, if it goes to the ground Maia is the shark in the cage that has half of his wins in the UFC by submission. Leaning towards Woodley by decision because he has fought cautiously enough before to win that way.
Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone
A striking fans delight with these two fighters facing off. Both men are coming off of losses and Lawler, in particular, is coming off a long layoff that may be just what he needed since losing the title to Woodley in July of last year. That’s a good thing for someone who fights like Lawler. Cerrone loves to fight and his loss to Jorge Masvidal may or may not be sitting with him like some fans think. Either way, both men love throwing blows and this fight will come down to who handles them better. History says Lawler does and can likely get the win in his return bout.
Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir
Manuwa has been trying to get himself in the light-heavyweight picture recently and being on the main card along with current champ, Cormier is a good move. It will be even better if he wins but there is always Jon Jones to worry about now that he is also back in the mix. Oezdemir is a knock out finisher and of his 14 wins, 10 come by way of knockout or TKO. Both men have won two in a row and a third finish could put them close to the winner of Cormier/Jones. If they decide to go to blows, Manuwa should have the edge there.
When trying to predict the outcome of a fight, keep in mind the unpredictability is what makes combat sports so exciting and UFC 214 is a super-stacked card with three title fights that feature the absolute best. Anyone has a puncher’s chance but the drive behind the athletes on this card make each bout unpredictable and it is best to just tune in and enjoy the show.
Feature Image: Ed Carbajal