UFC 214 marks the return of the prodigal son and candidate for the greatest Mixed Martial Artist of all time, Jon Jones
The mouth watering card is headed by a main event which may potentially be one of the greatest bouts in recent memory.
Jone Jones returns to action following a 12-month suspension by USADA owing to a positive test for traces of an estrogen blocker in conjunction with his victory over Ovince Saint Preux.
Jones was the first UFC athlete to enter arbitration with USADA following the positive sample, due to the failed out-of-competition drug test on June 16 last year due to his flagging for banned substances clomiphene and letrozole.
“Although I was hopeful for a better outcome in the USADA ruling today I am very respectful of the process in which they allowed me to defend myself,” Jones said following the suspension. “I have always maintained my innocence and I am very happy I have been cleared in any wrongdoing pursuant to the allegations made that I had intentionally taken a banned substance. I am pleased that in USADA’s investigation they determined I was ‘not a cheater of the sport.’
“Being cleared of these allegations was very important to me. I have worked hard in and outside of the octagon to regain my image and my fighting career and will take these next eight months to continue my training and personal growth both as a man and a athlete. Thank you to all of my fans, teammates, coaches, sponsors and to the UFC for their continued support.”
Jones has now served his time and will face off against arch-nemesis Daniel Cormier in the long awaited rematch for the UFC light heavyweight championship of the world. While Jones come back is the obvious talking point ahead of the blockbuster event in Anaheim, Calif. on July 29, there are a number of potentially awesome contests which will no doubt keep fans on the edge of their seats come fight night.
UFC 214 Bouts & Betting Odds
|Jon Jones -270||Daniel Cormier (c) +210||Light heavyweight title|
|Tyron Woodley (c) -210||Demian Maia +170||Welterweight title|
|Cris Cyborg -1200||Tonya Evinger +700||Women’s featherweight title|
|Robbie Lawler -160||Donald Cerrone +130||Welterweight|
|Jimi Manuwa -185||Volkan Oezdemir +150||Light heavyweight|
|Jason Knight -135||Ricardo Lamas +105||Featherweight|
|Aljamain Sterling -130||Renan Barao +100||Catchweight (140 pounds)|
|Renato Moicano -155||Brian Ortega +125||Featherweight|
|Andre Fili -375||Calvin Kattar +285||Featherweight|
|Alexandra Albu -165||Kailin Curran +135||Women’s bantamweight|
|Jarred Brooks -155||Eric Shelton +125||Flyweight|
|Drew Dober -350||Joshua Burkman +265||Lightweight|
Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones – Prediction: Jon Jones via Decision
While the most discussed argument against Jones winning is the ring rust the former champion must overcome when making his first appearance in the octagon in over a year. Aside from this point, there does not appear to many advantages in favor of Cormier. The incumbent champion, who is also the senior of the two by eight years, is known to have a genuine hatred of Jones which is far from healthy in a professional fighting capacity.
“Bones” is simply a more complete fighter than Cormier and deserves his mention among the greatest, if not the greatest talent, MMA has ever produced. A freakish reach advantage, coupled with insane cardio and the proven ability to withstand the entire arsenal of “DC” makes it hard to look past the former champion this time around.
Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia – Prediction: Tyron Woodley 1st Round KO
Demian Maia is one of the hardest working and most likable fighters on the entirety of the UFC roster. Undoubtedly the greatest exponent of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu currently fighting in the promotion. Maia will be taking a seven fight win streak into the octagon on Saturday but can expect this test, stylistically at least, to be the most difficult since moving down to welterweight. Tyron Woodley is simply too explosive and powerful for the Brazilian, who will struggle to contain the pressure and power of “The Chosen One” should he fail to get his hands on Woodley.
Cris Cyborg vs. Tonya Evinger – Prediction: Cris Cyborg 2nd Round TKO
Cris Cyborg is by far the greatest female MMA fighter on the planet and it feels that the womens featherweight title would eventually land in her lap. Kudos to Evinger for stepping up to the plate, but it is highly unlikely that we will see anything but a dominant victory for the Brazilian phenomenon on Saturday night.
UFC 214 is set to go down at Honda Center on Saturday, July 29 in Anaheim, Calif.