LAS VEGAS - This one lived up to the hype.
And while the previously undefeated Cormier managed to make a fight out of it with a spirited effort in the second and third rounds, Jones pulled away during the championship rounds at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to retain his title.
The judges' scores were 49-46 across the board in favor of the champion Jones (21-1), who successfully defended his title for the eighth time in winning his 11th straight bout. Cormier got the second round on two cards and the third round on the other.
There was no dropping the grudge between the two after the fight, either.
"He's only human," Jones said. "He was undefeated. All the haters, all the crap he talked, it only motivated me."
Jones got the best of things in an active opening round, using his patented mix of kicks, elbows, and punches to keep Cormier guessing. Cormier (15-1), meanwhile, scored with big uppercuts in the clinch.
Cormier turned up the heat in round two, the round he most likely won on the cards. The round turned into brutal trench warfare as the duo blasted one another inside the clinch. Cormier got the best of it though, as he punished Jones with uppercuts.
Cormier appeared to be getting off to a strong start in the third round as well, but Jones landed an eye poke, which went unpenalized. Jones regained control after the restart and outstruck Cormier.
Round four turned the fight in Jones' favor for good. For all the talk about wrestling in the buildup to the fight -- Cormier was an Olympian; Jones was a junior-college wrestler -- Jones scored three takedowns in the round, leaving Cormier visibly deflated.
In the fifth, the two fighters tired and the two clinched for the bulk of the round. Cormier scored the rounds most memorable moment, landing a slam on the second attempt after Jones grabbed the top of the fence on the first. But Jones popped back to his feet and sealed the round.
There was a strange finish, as Jones pulled back and raised his hands before the final horn. He then clocked Cormier. Cormier responded with a pair of uppercuts at the horn, the first of which hit Jones and the second of which may have caught referee Herb Dean.
It was a fitting conclusion to a contentious several months, which included a hotel brawl at a press conference in August and several incidents between the two teams' camp during fight week.
If you were expecting handshakes and hugs afterwards, there was no such thing. Jones made it clear after the fight that he still has no love for Cormier.
"I'm sorry I'm being classless," Jones said. "I do not like Daniel Cormier and that's why I'm being this way."
Cormier conceded defeat and gave the champion credit.
"I just couldn’t find my rhythm tonight," he said. "Jon is the best for a reason and he was the better man tonight."