Daniel Cormier is looking to validate himself at UFC 214 as the undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion with a win over the man he lost previously to in Jon Jones, the former champion who lost his belt outside of the octagon.
Most fight fans know the story of Jon Jones and his troubles. He says he has changed his ways and is ready to show the world he is still the undisputed champion.
This is shaping up to be one of the stacked cards of the year.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts.
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS (6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
JOSHUA BURKMAN (29-15-0, 1NC) VS DREW DOBER (17-8-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Dober just looks like the better conditioned fighter ready to knock out Burkeman out of the UFC with a fourth consecutive loss.
Andrews Prediction: Drew Dober via TKO
ERIC SHELTON (10-3-0) VS JARRED BROOKS (12-0-0)
Andrews: This should be a fun fight as Brooks is making his octagon debut. Shelton’s TUF experience should be helpful if he can keep the fight standing and not get caught in the clinch or grappling match.
Andrews Prediction: Eric Shelton via split-decision
KAILLIN CURRAN (4-4-0) VS ALEKSANDRA ALBU (6-0-0)
Andrews: Curran has the obvious octagon experience advantage, but Albu is a finisher and I think she has the power to knock out or tap Curran despite her smaller size.
Andrews Prediction: Aleksandra Albu via TKO
TSN 5 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
ANDRE FILI (16-4-0) VS CALVIN KATTAR (16-2-0)
Andrews: Kattar is fighting on short notice and that gives the advantage to the experienced Fili. Should another decision win that shows the toughness of Kattar.
Andrews Prediction: Andre Fili via unanimous decision
#9 RENATO MICANO (10-0-1) VS #8 BRIAN ORTEGA (11-0-0, 1NC)
Andrews: That was some stare down by Micano, but Ortega is wiley and when the dust settles, will get the win via decision if he can’t tap him.
Andrews Prediction: Brian Ortega via unanimous decision
#8 ALJAMAIN STERLING (13-2-0) VS #13 RENAN BARAO (35-4-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Barao had his time but that was more than a few years ago. Sterling needs to work the body and then use those strikes to put him away.
Andrews Prediction: Aljamain Sterling via TKO
#3 RICARDO LAMAS (17-5-0) VS #15 JASON KNIGHT (20-2-0)
Andrews: I think Jason Knight can shock the world even with his inexperience with big fights. Lamas is the overwhelming favourite, but I am going with the underdog here. Knight fights like he doesn’t know he’s supposed to lose.
Andrews Prediction: Jason Knight via submission
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
#3 JIMI MANUWA (17-2-0) VS #5 VOLKAN OEZDEMIR (14-1-0)
Andrews: Don’t blink on this one. One shot can and will end this one. Have to go with the Englishman here, he is on a roll and has fought better competition. Manuwa knows one more win gets him into the title shot conversation, so look for him to end it early.
Andrews Prediction: Jimi Manuwa via TKO
#3 ROBBIE LAWLER (27-11-0, 1NC) VS #6 DONALD CERRONE (32-8-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Wow! Grab the popcorn and enjoy this one as it doesn’t come around very often. Tough call, if it goes to the ground, I can see Cerrone doing better there. On the feet, Lawler has more power, but Cerrone is the more technical one with the Muay Thai.
Andrews Prediction: Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision
CRIS CYBORG (17-1-0, 1NC) VS TONYA EVINGER (19-5-0)
Andrews: Tonya Evinger is a beast at 135 pounds but she’s facing Cyborg at 145 and who will be many pounds heavier than that in the octagon. She will get out of the first round, but after that, it will only be a matter of time before Cyborg picks her off.
Andrews Prediction: Cris Cyborg via TKO
TYRON WOODLEY VS #1 DEMIAN MAIA (25-6-0)
Andrews: I like Demian Maia, but here is where his striking will fail him as Woodley’s wrestling and striking will connect with Maia before he can get the fight to the ground.
Andrews Prediction: Tyron Woodley via TKO
DANIEL CORMIER (19-1-0) VS JON JONES (22-1-0)
Andrews: Cormier needs to make Jones work hard in the early rounds and not let him get in an early rhythm. In other words, he needs takedowns. If he can do that, he has a good chance to win the fight. Easier said than done though, even with a rusty Jones. He still has the 84-inch reach and knows how to use it. He also has good wrestling to counter Cormier’s and you can bet he will not hesitate to use it. I see this fight going pretty much like how the first one went, unless Cormier can land something big early.
Andrews Prediction: Jon Jones via unanimous decision