LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Two days before putting his title on the line, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon (Bones) Jones took in a Justin Timberlake concert in the same arena where he will fight Saturday night.Most people would be freaking out in their hotel room, a relaxed Jones said.Apprised of his opponents pre-fight plans, challenger Daniel (DC) Cormier smiled.No concerts in my future, he said. Again I one-up him. I got to watch Justin Timberlake go through his whole concert a couple of days ago with nobody in the arena. So go ahead, enjoy yourself with 20,000 people. I did it with 100.The UFC 182 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena has been marked by such one-upmanship since the matchup was announced last July.Were both so competitive, we dont want to give the other guy anything, said Cormier. I dont want to let him beat me at anything. So if he makes a joke, I want to try and make a funnier joke.At times, the rivalry has boiled over. The two fighters came to blows at a Las Vegas photo-op in August, tumbling off the stage in a sea of bodies that left one security official with a broken rib and netted the two combatants fines and community service.An exchange over a satellite feed later that day, as both fighters sat in separate rooms at the UFC offices for an ESPN interview, offered a private look at the animosity between the two.I wish they would let me next door so I could spit in your face, Cormier, adding an F-bomb, said after the two traded insults.You know I would absolutely kill you if you ever did something like that, replied Jones (20-1).Such vitriol is manna from heaven for the UFC, which had a tough year in 2014 due to a spate of injuries to frontline fighters.While the fight wasnt a sellout as of noon Friday — tickets were available from US$170 in the top row to $2,500 cageside — the UFC still expects a gate of $3 million-plus as well as a bumper pay-per-view audience of 750,000-plus buys.In the fight game, especially in MMA, its fun when you get this because its very rare, UFC president Dana White said of the bad blood.In a weight class that was once the rock star division of the UFC, the Jones-Cormier fight is probably the biggest news since the trilogy between Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell and Randy (The Natural) Couture in 2003, 2005 and 2006.Jones became the UFCs youngest ever champion at 23 when he dethroned Mauricio (Shogun) Rua at UFC 128 in March 2011. He has defended the 205-pound title seven times since, replacing former middleweight champion Anderson Silva as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.The lone blemish on Joness 21-fight record was a loss by disqualification in 2009 against Matt (The Hammer) Hamill, who was beaten and broken before the illegal elbow was called.Joness legacy is already impressive. His reign as champion when he enters the cage Saturday will measure 1,386 days, the longest in UFC light-heavyweight history.His run of 11 straight wins is the longest active streak in the UFC.While Cormier (15-0) comes from an elite wrestling background, he has outstruck every UFC or Strikeforce opponent he has faced.The challenger has said he plans to press Jones from the get-go, a strategy the champion seemed to welcome. Hes a wrestler at heart. Im a martial artist ... I think when I pop him with some of the things I plan on popping him with, I think hes going to say OK, that hurt and Im not moving in on him again like that. And I think when that starts to happen, Ill pull away with the fight.While Jones has consistently been victorious in the cage, he has not won over all the fans and remains a polarizing figure.In 2012, a drunk-driving conviction put a dent in the image of a scriptures-quoting family man. But he does not shy away from his faith, telling reporters this week he rang in the New Year with a family prayer session.Christians are not perfect people, he said. We are just people ... At the end of the day, a Christian is not someone that does everything right. Christians are ultimately sinners who recognize that theyre sinners and they try to do things a little bit better. But perfect, I never claimed to be.Joness self-confidence and desire to march to his own drum has turned off some, including White at times.He definitely rubs people the wrong way, said White.Hes the champ and hes annihilated the whos who in this division and people are always rooting for the challenger.While Jones has been an occasional thorn in Whites side — UFC 151 was cancelled when Jones refused to accept Chael Sonnen as an injury replacement for Dan Henderson — the UFC boss says the champion has been very good to deal with recently.While some athletes choose to avoid social media to ignore the negativity of some fans, Jones embraces it. He knows every one of his 971,000 Twitter followers makes a difference to potential sponsors.Jones, a native of Ithica, N.Y., who trains in Albuquerque, N.M., is clearly at ease in his own skin and with his chosen occupation.This really is my comfort zone, he said with a smile. Fighting scary guys, guys that most people would be like crapping their pants (to challenge). This is my lane. I live in this lane.The 27-year-old Jones offers opponents a unique challenge thanks to his size and array of weapons. A former junior college champion wrestler, he stands six foot four with an 84-inch reach.The five-foot-11 Cormier, a former Olympic wrestler who came fourth at the Athens Games in 2004, will be giving up 12 inches in reach. He knows he will have to get in close to have a chance.If I stand on the outside, I will tell you right now, I will lose that fight. So its no secret that I need to get close, said Cormier, who trains in San Jose and works as a UFC analyst on Fox when hes not competing.Punches to the body may also play a part for Cormier. They worked for No. 1 contender Alexander (The Mauler) Gustafsson, whose five-round war with Jones in Toronto at UFC 165 in 2013 proved that the champion is human.Cormier, who has stuffed all 11 takedown attempts in his four UFC fights, knows staying off his back is also a key. Jones, whose 50.9-per cent takedown accuracy leads all active light-heavyweights, finishes opponents when he gets on top of them.Jones believes his age, speed and versatility will count in his favour against the 35-year-old Cormier.Every round starts on its feet and Im very aware I have a much larger array of techniques on my feet than he does.Jones also points at his record.Hes 4-0 in the UFC. Im 15-0 in the UFC, he said. I really feel like Im the aggressor in this fight, like Im the predator. I dont feel Im defending my belt at all, I feel like Im getting ready to attack this challenger.Lightweight Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone, a Jones teammate who fights Myles (Fury) Jury in Saturdays co-main event, agrees.I just dont know if Cormier has the tools to beat him.The bookies think enough of Cormier, however, to keep the odds low. Jones is less than a 2-1 favourite.Cormier, ranked second among light-heavyweight contenders, is No. 14 on the UFCs pound-for-pound ranking list — separated from Jones by a line of current or former champions.This fight has proved to be a twisted road to the cage.Jones was originally due to meet Gustafsson in September at UFC 178, a card originally slated for Toronto before being shifted to Las Vegas. Cormier stepped in when Gustafsson injured his knee.The fight was then pushed back to January after Jones suffered a leg injury of his own.———Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter. Minnesota Timberwolves Jerseys . 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Two days after releasing Peyton Manning, the longtime face of the franchise, the Colts announced they were cutting four fan favourites: running back Joseph Addai, linebacker Gary Brackett, safety Melvin Bullitt and tight end Dallas Clark.TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun have the latest on the future of John Tortorella in Vancouver and Randy Carlyle in Toronto as well head as coaching candidates for Team Canada at the upcoming World Hockey Championship. John Tortorella admits the coaching swap - Tortorella for Vigneault - does not look good on him right now. Is he going to get a chance to redeem himself next year? LeBrun: I dont think so. Nothing has been officially decided but all indications lead to the fact the Canucks are likely headed for a separation with their head coach. Its going to be a costly one. He still has four years and $8 million left on the deal that he signed last summer. But hes never really been a great fit with this roster and I think hell pay the ultimate price for a very disappointing year in Vancouver. The more intriguing decision is with the GM, Mike Gillis. What will ownership do with him? Hes had a long run there and a lot of people think he deserves another year, at least, to redirect the ship but that decision has not been taken. What about the collapse in Toronto? Whos going to pay the price there? McKenzie: If the Maple Leafs miss the playoffs and theyre certainly trending in that direction, the expectation is that Randy Carlyle is the most vulnerable and the guy most likely to pay the price. General manager Dave Nonis has never fired a coach in his tenure in Toronto and he also never hired Carlyle. That was a Brian Burke hire. So the sense seems to be if the masses are crying for somebodys head, it would more likely be Carlyles than anybody elses. Dreger: Tim Leiweke, the president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment seems to be the wild card in all of this. Will he make a snap decision and try to force something? Well, Leiweke says there will be no knee-jerk decision between now and the end of the regular season, which obviously isnt that far away. Hes also well-schooled on the long term plans of Nonis and Leiweke is often around the players as well so if there are improvements that the players ffeel need to be made, hes going to know that and hell be heavily involved in the review process.dddddddddddd For the players who will be available come playoff time, the World Hockey Championship is coming up with Canada trying to earn its first medal since 2009. We know Rob Blake is leading the team from the management standpoint, who is his leading candidate for head coach? Dreger: Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes. But that all depends on whether or not the Coyotes qualify for the post-season. If Tippett is not available, Paul MacLean of the Ottawa Senators, Peter DeBoer of the New Jersey Devils and Paul Maurice of the Winnipeg Jets (if their teams dont make playoffs) could be other options that Blake and company would consider. One-Timers LeBrun: There hadnt been any contact between Sergei Berezin, the agent for pending unrestricted free agent Andrei Markov and the Montrel Canadiens since the trade deadline but there has been now. Berezin told me on Tuesday that he met with Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin in south Florida over the weekend and they had a very positive meeting. Berezin said they may not be as far apart as people think so theres some hope that before July 1, Markov may stay on. LeBrun: Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman met with Steven Bartlett, the agent for Ryan Callahan, who acquired from the New York Rangers, and said theyre not going to talk until the season is over but wanted to let Bartlett know that they want Callahan back. Theyre going to try and sign him. McKenzie: Look for the Calgary Flames to put a push on to sign Hobey Baker candidate Johnny Gaudreau, who plays at Boston College. Hes a diminutive but dynamic forward and one of the best players in college hockey. Hes playing in the Frozen Four right now but as soon as his season is over, Calgary will put the push on. If he goes back for his senior season, he could declare himself an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015. The Flames would like to head that off by trying to get him signed to a contract this spring. ' ' '