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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 7 December, 2019

2015 set to go off with a bang as feud between UFC champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier reaches fever pitch

The pair’s ugly rivalry will reach tipping-point at their UFC 182 title fight in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

THERE HAVE BEEN a number of heated-rivalries between fighters over the years, but few have been as visceral or hate-fuelled as the one shared by UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.

Pre-fight hostilities, particularly when genuine, have always added to intrigue and anticipation as a significant bout approaches. It certainly did when BJ Penn goaded Georges St Pierre ahead of a re-match at UFC 93 or as Chael Sonnen insulted Anderson beyond the point of no return in the lead-up to their middleweight title-fights at UFC 117 and 148.

Combatants have always utilised the press, social media or UFC series such as Primetime or Countdown to stoke the fires, but only Jones and Cormier have come to blows before stepping foot inside the octagon.

At a press event for UFC 178, when they were initially meant to fight, the pair engaged in an all-out brawl in front of the fans and media at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Both men were heavily-reprimanded for their conduct, however, in the interim, the UFC have milked the situation for all its worth.

So much so that they have produced a unique programme just for Saturday night’s UFC 182 main event – Bad Blood. The title could not be more apt. Below, the genesis and development of their feud is laid out in full.

It’s hard to imagine a better curtain-raiser for MMA in 2015.

Source: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship/YouTube

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Tom Rooney

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