Heading into the January 3rd fight, there were many who believed Cormier would either beat Jones, or at least, push the light-heavyweight champ to his limits. Much of this opinion was based on the wrestling abilities of Cormier, and the belief that the former Olympic wrestler would be able to put Jones on his back, at least for a bit. In the end, however, Cormier’s takedowns weren’t a factor, and Jones even took “DC” down a couple of times.
Dan Henderson has experienced Cormier’s explosive takedowns, and recently the legend weighed in on the latter’s UFC 182 performance on “The MMA Hour.” Here is some of what “Hendo” had to say about Cormier and the light-heavyweight’s approach versus Jones (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“That was probably the biggest surprise of it,” Henderson said. “He didn’t really attempt too many [takedowns]. The ones he did, I don’t know. It seemed like he got in the clinch a couple of times and just kind of pushed off and backed out instead of keeping him there and working on that takedown. I don’t know. I think part of that was he ran out of gas at the end of the fight, but he should have been taking him down earlier, I thought. Jones is long and has some good balance. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to take him down.”
“I thought DC’s wrestling would make a difference in that fight and he didn’t really utilize it the way he’s capable of,” Henderson said. “Jones did a great job defending it and putting DC on his back a couple of times.”
There have certainly been others, like Cormier’s teammate Luke Rockhold, who have also argued that “DC” didn’t have his best performance against Jones. Of course, Jones and his supporters would argue that’s because he was taking on the planet’s best pound-for-pound fighter…
Now it will be interesting to see where Cormier goes from here, and when and who he’ll fight next. Based off what he’s shown in the cage thus far, see his dominant win over “Hendo”, there’s no reason to believe he won’t remain a top contender for the foreseeable future. In other words, Jones-Cormier II could materialize at some juncture, and it will be fascinating to see whether the latter’s wrestling game comes into play.
Henderson, meanwhile, is booked to fight Gegard Mousasi at UFC on FOX 14 on January 24th.