In the highly-anticipated UFC 214 main event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday night, Jon Jones regained the light heavyweight title with a win over bitter rival Daniel Cormier — this time, it didn’t go all five rounds.
After a good start to the fight for Cormier, Jones finished “DC” by knockout in the third round. A left head kick from Jones was the beginning of the end for the now-former titleholder. A badly hurt Cormier stumbled backwards, his legs gave out on him, and Jones jumped on him and rained down ground-and-pound until referee John McCarthy, who gave Cormier every chance he could, was forced to step in.
This wasn’t a dominant win for Jones, per se. Some viewers even had Cormier up two rounds going into the third round. In the early rounds, Jones landed teep kicks to Cormier’s legs, while Cormier pressured him and landed a handful of heavy shots.
Both fighters landed their fair share of shots in the clinch, as well, but Jones still got the better of Cormier there — he’s known to have one of the best clinch games in all of mixed martial arts. His size advantage, of course, also helped tremendously in that area.
Jones worked Cormier’s body throughout the bout, but nothing was more devastating than the head kick that ended everything — including the three-year rivalry between Jones and Cormier.
Official result: Jon Jones def. Daniel Cormier via knockout (strikes) at 3:01 of round 3
This was Jones’ first fight since April 2015 when he beat Ovince Saint Preux for the interim title. “DC,” who has only lost to Jones (twice now), lost by finish for the first time.