The heat and tension between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier prior to UFC 178 is palpable. The two fighters clearly do not like each other and have no problem showing it. However, one issue with “blood” feuds before big fights is the precedent for the actual fights to be boring and not deliver.
The trash talk leading to the the Quinton “Rampage” Jackson fight and Rashad Evans was quite legendary. Both fighters got under each other’s skin and constantly went back and forth for the promotion. On paper, it had all the makings of an exciting fight. When the actual time for the fight arrived, it did not live up to expectations. Other than a couple of moments where it looked like Rampage might retaliate and pick up a victory, it was not the heated exchange fans expected.
Another example is the outcome of the fight between Jones and Evans at UFC 145. The fight had become personal. At one point, the two pretended to be the best of friends and training partners who would never fight each other — until Evans left Greg Jackson‘s gym and joined the Blackzilian team. Actually, Evans and Jones’ public rivalry came off similar to the behavior between Jones and Cormier. For the fight, Jones soundly dominated Evans, but it was not the heated war the trash talk had the MMA world believe it could be.
It almost seems like there is an invisible force that likes to undercut fan expectations. Whenever there is a heated rivalry or trash talk, the ultimate outcome leads to a boring fight. Hopefully, that is not the case at UFC 178.