Preview And Betting Odds For UFC 241: Cormier Vs. Miocic 2
UFC 241: Cormier vs. Miocic 2 goes down Saturday, August 17 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Summer’s last big card is right around the corner and below are highlighted bouts to watch so you can come out of the weekend a winner.
Main Event: Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic Odds Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Cormier (-148)
Stipe Miocic (+120)
Daniel Cormier (-138)
Stipe Miocic (+114)
Daniel Cormier (-155)
Stipe Miocic (+125)
Despite the fact Miocic holds the record for the most title defenses at 265 pounds (three) Cormier has remained undefeated his entire career when fighting at heavyweight. He also made easy work of Miocic the first time by putting his lights out in under five minutes.
Miocic faced a murderer’s row en route to and in defending the belt: Mark Hunt, Andre Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, and Francis Ngannou. Three of those names are former UFC heavyweight champions. Four of those fights earned Miocic either a Performance or Fight of the Night Bonus which speaks to his brutality.
Cormier seems more well-rounded. He has knockout power in his own right, is an Olympian in wrestling, and also has proven submission ability if he needs something to fall back on. He last submitted Derrick Lewis in his first heavyweight title defense. The win was his fifth submission while Miocic has produced none.
Cormier has also been slightly more active having faced Lewis in November. Miocic has been out for over a year waiting specifically for this rematch.
According to UFC Stats, in terms of career figures Cormier has a slight edge in takedown accuracy (seven percent) and takedown defense (three percent.) Almost every striking statistic favors Miocic. The one difference in striking is a 2.46 to 2.96 per minute career absorption rate in favor of Cormier. Yet every striking figure edge went to “DC” at UFC 226.
The difference in many of these areas is small but that’s why this bout could end as their first did. It’s proof that all it takes is one shot. Expect this fight to be a stand-up affair with Cormier gradually increasing the pressure more so than when they first met.
Prediction: Cormier (-138) retains by KO/TKO within three rounds
Method of Victory Odds: Daniel Cormier KO/TKO: +260
Daniel Cormier Round One KO/TKO: +1100 Daniel Cormier Round Two KO/TKO: +1100 Daniel Cormier Round Three KO/TKO: +1700
Method of Victory Odds: Daniel Cormier KO/TKO: +200
Daniel Cormier Round One KO/TKO: +500 Daniel Cormier Round Two KO/TKO: +650 Daniel Cormier Round Three KO/TKO: +850
Co-Main Event: Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz Odds Anthony Pettis (-138) vs. Nate Diaz (+114)
Where do I begin with this one other than to say there will be blood? This fight is years in the making. The bad blood all comes down to Diaz wanting to see who was better and a bit of admitted jealousy.
Pettis was being given opportunities like being on a Wheaties box as lightweight champion despite “getting hurt every other fight” as Diaz said on the latest episode of "UFC Countdown". Pettis added Diaz and his team would confront him every time the pair saw each other. Here we are.
AP has put an end to grueling weight cuts including a brief stint at featherweight. “Showtime” rose from the ashes at welterweight with an off-the-cage right that bounced Stephen Thompson’s head off the canvas.
Diaz was booked to fight Dustin Porier last November but “The Diamond” was forced to pull out due to injury. With the absence of another worthy opponent in his mind (adding to his contentious relationship with the UFC) and thanks to the money Diaz made from his second fight with Conor McGregor, he hasn’t competed in nearly three years.
However, Diaz follows the old school approach of staying ready rather than getting ready. As he detailed on Countdown, he was confused by the term fight camp when he first heard it.
Neither man is afraid to throw technical fighting out the window and brawl. Pettis has openly said this is personal. The big question is this: Is Diaz so far in Pettis’ head that’s how Pettis loses the fight?
The amount of cumulative damage Diaz has taken in wars like the second McGregor fight has to come into the equation as well. However, if this contest goes into deep water, I still lean toward Diaz taking the win as I do when it comes to the ground game. He has 12 submissions to Pettis’ seven.
UFC Stats show Diaz landing more strikes per minute but also taking more. “Take one to give one.” Pettis has better takedown accuracy and defense though (54-30 percent and 58-45 percent respectively.
Diaz has a four-inch reach advantage meaning he could keep Pettis at more of a distance if he wants to. I’m betting on the “fighting in a phonebooth” approach. Everything else is pretty much dead even. As far as a result, flip a coin. A prop bet on the bout being Fight of the Night feels smart though.
Prediction: Nate Diaz by split decision (but I’d be happy to be wrong)
Method of Victory Odds: Nate Diaz (+114) by Split Decision/Points: +230
Will Fight Go the Distance: -196
Future Title Challenger? Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa Odds Yoel Romero (-154) vs. Paulo Costa (+126)
A 42-year-old former middleweight title challenger in Romero (13-3) is facing an undefeated 28-year old in Costa (12-0.) Costa has a 100 percent finish rate with 11 knockouts. He retired former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and he is the underdog.
Anyone who truly knows the fight game knows Romero is a genetic freak and championship caliber. Yet both men have also been out of the cage roughly the same amount of time due to different circumstances. Romero hasn’t fought since June 2018. Costa has been out since July 2018.
This is pure speculation but Costa probably sat out because of trouble getting his next fight. Sixth-ranked Chris Weidman hasn’t fought since his November 2018 loss to Jacare Souza. Souza just lost to fourth-ranked Jack Hermansson in April and interim champ Israel Adesanya just topped third-ranked Kelvin Gastelum in the same month.
Lastly, Romero (ranked second despite last fighting and losing to champ Robert Whittaker for a second time) has been away winning a multi-million dollar tainted supplement lawsuit.
I like Costa in this fight for a couple reasons. He has most likely been just training and waiting for things to shake out as they now have. He didn’t have the distraction of a lawsuit. Also, if you’re looking for relatively safe money then make a prop bet on Romero missing weight as he did in his last two bouts.
Granted, Romero and his management allege the overseeing commission stopped his last weight cut early. Still, cuts have historically been a challenge for the “Soldier of God.” His performance could be impacted even if he makes weight. At the very least, factor that in.
Costa lands almost six more punches per minute and is nine percent more accurate. He does take four more strikes per minute than Romero though. Romero also leads him in striking defense 63-50 percent. Costa’s sole grappling advantage is an 81-78 percent difference in takedown defense so both should keep things on the feet.
No one should ever count Romero out given his incredible chin and background as an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling. None of Costa’s fights have gone the distance but Romero hasn’t been finished since 2011 in Strikeforce. I just question if his cardio will hold up as well as his chin. He seems to look gassed around the midpoints of his fights.
If “Borrachinha” gets the job done, a victory which should eventually lead to a title shot. This is the first real test in his career and since joining the UFC. He will remember Yoel Romero.
Prediction: Paulo Costa (+126) by split decision/points: +650
Will Fight Go the Distance odds: Yes: +225