After more than two years and an avalanche of bad blood and trash talking, fight fans will finally get a change to see the most anticipated rematch in recent UFC history.
Former light heavyweight champion and pound-for-pound king Jon Jones returns to the octagon after serving a one-year suspension for failing a drug test just days before he was scheduled to main event the landmark UFC 200 event against Daniel Cormier. Now he’s back and (supposedly) clean, ready to reclaim the title that he never actually lost.
In Jones’ absence, Cormier has risen to the top of the 205-pound division. However, Jones is still the one and only man who has beaten Cormier. Jones is literally the “one” in Cormier’s 19-1 record, a decision victory back January 2015.
UFC 214 also features two other juicy title fights, making it one of the best events of the year (on paper, at least). Along with the legit PPV stars in the main event, the card also has Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia for the welterweight championship and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino vs. Tonya Evinger for the vacant women’s featherweight strap.
There’s lots to talk about, so we’re skipping the prelims entirely this time. Let’s jump right into our predictions for the main card, which airs live on PPV at 10:00 P.M. (Eastern) on Saturday night!
(For those unfamiliar with moneyline betting, fighters listed with a minus number are the betting favorites. All odds courtesy of Bodog.ca)
Robbie Lawler (-160) vs. Donald Cerrone (+130)
The three huge champion fights may be getting all the headlines, but this welterweight battle between Robbie Lawler and Donald Cerrone could easily end up the best fight of the night. Lawler is a former champion who just lost the welterweight title in his last fight, although it was over a year ago. He was on a five-fight win streak before that.
Cerrone is always a joy to watch and has won many performance bonuses for incredible knocks outs, submissions, and exciting fights. But he’s never won a UFC title, losing to Rafeal dos Anjos in his only attempt in December 2015. But he’s won 12 of his last 14 fights, dating back to 2013. He’s one of the toughest dudes in the UFC, and he’s never lost back-to-back fights in his entire career.
Prediction: Cerrone via Submission.