UFC 182 Preview: Co-Main Event

It’s finally here.  The New Year’s weekend UFC event is historically one of the biggest of the year, and 2015 is no different with UFC 182 featuring an epic grudge match pitting Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones against undefeated Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier in the cards headliner.

However, before we get to the main event, we cannot overlook the co-main event.  While it is not quite the headline grabber that the Bones vs. DC fight is, the top-10 lightweight scrap between acclaimed action fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and unbeaten uber-prospect Myles “Fury” Jury is must-watch television.  Cerrone is riding a five fight winning streak over top UFC lightweights, with all but the last one ending in finishes.  Jury, on the other hand, is riding a fifteen fight winning streak (his entire professional career) with the last six coming in the UFC.

Donald Cerrone has been around the block several times without ever fighting for the belt, always faltering when the belt seems to be within his grasp.  However, the Cowboy that has climbed into the octagon the last five times has seemed more focused than any Cowboy before.  He has always been incredibly talented in every aspect of the fight, but he now seems to be focusing on each individual fight rather than just treating them as another adrenaline fueled excursion.  If he can string together another two victories, he should get a title shot.

Myles Jury, a youngster at 26 years old, owns twelve finishes in his fifteen fight career and is likewise known as an entertaining action fighter.  While the majority of Jury’s fights have been against competition that you would be hard pressed to identify, in 2014 he dismantled both Diego Sanchez and Takanori Gomi in back-to-back fights.  Both Sanchez and Gomi are brawling, “bite down on your mouthpeice” fighters, and Jury simply picked them both apart while remaining offensive for essentially the entirety of the fights.  He is without a doubt one of the most exciting up-and-comers in the lightweight division.

As far as this fight is concerned, fireworks should be expected.  Both fighters are very active and look for the finish, while at the same time remaining very technical.  Both fighters have similar styles, using their length and movement to dictate the pace of the fight and taking down their opponent if necessary, as both men as comfortable on their feet as they are on their floor.  However, Cerrone has been fighting (and winning) against top-level competition for a long, long time, and this fight will prove to be too much too soon for Jury, no matter how talented he is.  If this fight were happening a year or two from now, Jury might well be the favorite, but because it is happening in January 2015, look for Cerrone to dictate the fight and keep Jury in front have him as he peppers with shots him for for a very entertaining, back-and-forth decision.  However, no matter which fighter has his hand raised at the end of the night, the fans will definitely be winners with this brilliant piece of matchmaking.

I will back in a couple of days with a preview of the main event between the champ Jon Jones and his challenger Daniel Cormier.  In the meantime, if you are so inclined, enjoy this amazing video by the UFC chronicling the rivalry between the two fighters.

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