MGM Grand Arena
UFC 182 is the culmination of a genuine, mutual hatred between Jon Jones and Dan Cormier. Their first altercation was at an August UFC event. The two had an intense stare down at weigh-ins, and a verbal exchange in a fighter’s meeting. Today, they get to set up part one of what will probably be a long-term series of rematches.
Jon Jones (21-1) vs. Daniel Cormier (15-0) (Light Heavyweight Championship)
Dan Cormier has superior wrestling, but he has never fought anyone with Jon Jones’ wrestling skills other than an old, tired Dan Henderson. He may be a more accomplished fighter, but he has never faced anyone with the mix of size and skills that Jones has and his signature win is over the aforementioned Hendo. Jones has great wins over Lyoto Machida, Alexander Gustaffson, Chael Sonnen, and Vitor Belfort.
Cubicle Warrior Prediction: Jones by decision if the fighters can control their hatred, or Jones by TKO late in the fight.
Donald Cerrone vs. Myles Jury (Lightweight)
Donald Cerrone’s had a hell of a year, putting forth great wins over Eddie Alvarez, Jim Miller, Charles Oliveira, and Adriano Martins. Cerrone will likely pull off another spectacular win, and earn a No. 1 contender fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, or a rematch in that capacity against Rafael dos Anjos — depending on the next fight for Anthony Pettis.
Cubicle Warrior Prediction: Cerrone celebrates his return to the UFC main card with a TKO.
Nate Marquardt vs. Brad Tavares (Middleweight)
Tavares went to decisions in seven straight UFC fights before a TKO loss to Tim Boetsch in his last outing. Marquardt looked good in submitting James Te Huna in his middleweight return, halting a three fight losing streak at welterweight, but his best days seem behind him.
Cubicle Warrior prediction: I have always supported Marquardt, but he has let me down a lot lately. If he does not win by TKO this time, then I am done.
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Louis Gaudinot (Flyweight)
Horiguchi is a fantastic flyweight fighter, and has looked very good in his UFC appearances thus far. Gaudinot’s only highlight win is over John Lineker back in 2012.
Cubicle Warrior prediction: Horiguchi by early TKO.
Hector Lombard vs. Josh Burkman (Welterweight)
Lombard needs to win if he wants to move on to fight Matt Brown, and title contention this year.
Cubicle Warrior prediction: Lombard by decision.
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)
Lightweight Danny Castillo vs.Paul Felder
Bantamweight Marcus Brimage vs.Cody Garbrandt
Heavyweight Shawn Jordan vs. Jared Cannonier
Lightweight Evan Dunham vs.Rodrigo Damm