Jon Jones once again stands alone.
“Bones” reclaimed the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight crown, as he stopped Daniel Cormier with a third-round head kick and subsequent ground-and-pound in the UFC 214 headliner on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Jones (23-1) brought it to an emphatic close 3:01 into Round 3.
Cormier (19-2) made a run at it. The American Kickboxing Academy captain pressured Jones from the start, moving forward with heavy punching combinations. Jones stayed busy with kicks to the leg, knees to the body and looping punches to the head. In the third round, Cormier ducked into a head kick. Shin met skull, and “DC” shuddered. Jones pursued him across the cage, kicked his legs out from under him and trailed him to the canvas, where he met him with a savage burst of elbow strikes and punches until referee John McCarthy had seen enough.
Jones, 30, has won 14 fights in a row.
Related » UFC 214 Round-by-Round Scoring
Woodley Denies Maia, Retains Championship
Tyron Woodley maintained his hold on the welterweight title, as he took a unanimous decision from 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Demian Maia in the five-round co-main event. Woodley (18-3-1) swept the scorecards with 50-45, 49-46 and 49-46 marks from the judges.
Maia (25-7) spent the majority of his time eating punches and shooting takedowns, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt growing more desperate by the minute. Woodley, a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler, denied all 23 of his takedown attempts by preliminary count. The 35-year-old champion was content to peck away with intermittent punches from the outside, his work resulting in damage to both of Maia’s eyes. The crowd became increasingly restless with the lack of action as time wore on and began chanting “boring” toward the end of the fifth round.
The loss snapped Maia’s seven-fight winning streak.
‘Cyborg’ Stops Evinger for Vacant Title
Cristiane Justino laid claim to the vacant women’s featherweight championship, as she buried a game but outmatched Tonya Evinger with third-round knee strikes and follow-up punches. A fill-in for Megan Anderson, Evinger (19-6) bowed out 1:56 into Round 3, suffering her first defeat since July 29, 2011.
Justino (18-1) methodically dismantled the former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder, keeping a safe distance while destroying her base with inside and outside leg kicks. Evinger lasted longer than most expected. In the third round, “Cyborg” had her reeling with right hands and head kicks, driving her to a butt scoot position on the canvas before again attacking the legs. After Evinger returned to her feet, Justino pinned her to the fence and floored her with repeated knees to the head. Referee Mike Beltran was on the scene soon after.
The 32-year-old Justino has won eight fights in a row, all of them finishes.
Underdog Oezdemir Smashes Manuwa
Combat Club standout Volkan Oezdemir cut through Jimi Manuwa with punches in the first round of their high-stakes light heavyweight showcase. Oezdemir (15-1) drew the curtain 42 seconds into Round 1.
Manuwa (17-3) engaged the Swiss star at close range and paid a steep price. Oezdemir unleashed short uppercuts and left hooks, one of which buckled the Allstars Training Center rep’s knees and sent him stumbling backward. He pressed forward, shoved the dazed Manuwa to the canvas and knocked him unconscious with follow-up punches.
Oezdemir, 27, has rattled off five consecutive victories and finds himself in the middle of the title hunt at 205 pounds. He has defeated his last two opponents in 1:10 combined.