The Heavyweight Championship: Daniel “DC” Cormier vs Stipe Miocic
Tale of the Tape
Daniel “DC” Cormier ( -145 Favorite )
MMA Record: 22 – 1 – 0 – 1 NC
Weight: 236.5 lbs
Reach: 184.2 cm
Strongest attributes: Olympic level wrestling, Cardio, Elite in all areas.
Stipe Miocic ( +125 Underdog):
MMA Record: 18 – 30 – 0
Reach: 203.2 cm
Strongest attributes: Boxing, Striking Pressure, Power.
The Main Event of UFC 241 features a rematch of the highest caliber we have ever witnessed in UFC heavyweight history. Stipe Miocic will be looking to earn back his championship belt from the same guy that took it from him, the very same fighter who stopped his record-breaking title defense streak in its tracks, Daniel “DC” Cormier.
We all know how the first fight went down. On July 7th 2018, Daniel Cormier, who at the time was the UFC light heavyweight champion, moved up a weight class in hopes of gaining a 2nd belt. Miocic, who had already ran through all major heavyweight contenders, accepted this exciting challenge with open arms.
Danie Cormier was quick to make his opponent regret this decision as he threw an elbow to the jaw of Miocic, which dropped the former champion as he was transitioning out of a clinch position. Cormier then swarmed the champion and finished the fight with heavy ground and pound, achieving his dream of holding two titles simultaneously in the world premier mixed martial arts promotion, the UFC.
Before this knockout took place Miocic was doing very well, implementing his boxing pressure and using his massive height and reach advantage, I do not see this game plan changing much for the second time around as it was working very well for him up until he made a tiny error which cost him his belt. I think we will be seeing a sprawl and brawl approach from Miocic this time around as he will try to avoid clinching and wrestling with DC.
When it comes to Daniel Cormier, we all know that he has cardio for days and feels comfortable anywhere in the fight, but especially in wrestling positions, where he has Olympic level experience.
Prior to all of this, Stipe Miocic was known for being a KO artist and an all-round unstoppable force, who beat his former opponents using his power and heart.
Although Cormier won the first fight, I do not see history repeating itself this time around, and if I’m being completely honest, I never thought he would win the first fight either. The former champion possesses a huge height and reach advantage over Cormier and tends to get into his flow early, unlike Cormier who usually takes time to adjust during the first round. Not to mention this will be by far the most motivated version of Stipe Miocic we have witnessed to date.
Prediction: Miocic Via KO in Round 1
Co-Main Event: Anthony “Showtime” Pettis vs Nate Diaz
Tale of the Tape:
Anthony “Showtime” Pettis ( -135 Favorite ):
MMA Record: 22 – 8 – 0
Height: 1.78 m
Weight: 169.5 lbs
Reach: 184.2 cm
Strongest attributes: Vast arsenal of kicks, Unpredictable striking, Utilizes the cage to perform spectacular techniques.
Nate Diaz ( +115 Underdog ) :
MMA Record: 19 – 11 – 0
Height: 1.83 m
Weight: 170 lbs
Reach: 193 cm
Strongest Attributes: Gracie Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt, Elite Boxing, Triathlete-level cardio.
This is without a doubt the people’s main event which features two MMA legends in Anthony “Showtime” Pettis and Nate Diaz.
Pettis is a former UFC lightweight champion who always shows up to a fight with two goals in mind: #1 Get the W, #2 put on a show for the fans and Diaz is an MMA superstar who is true fighter at heart who keeps moving forward with a never back down attitude.
Considering the fact that both of these fighters possess an elite ground game, it would come to no surprise for me if this welterweight battle is fought entirely on the feet. This could cause problems for Nate Diaz early on as he tends to start slow in the first 7 ½ minutes of the fight before he really gets going.
Nate Diaz’s best route to victory would probably be waiting for Pettis to lose some of his energy early in the fight before bombarding the former lightweight champion with boxing combinations, which will hopefully result in Pettis shooting for a takedown.
If the fight ends up on the ground in round 3, Nate has a huge arsenal of submissions at his disposal which he could use to make Pettis tap out. However it goes without saying that both of these fighters will be very well prepared and I don’t see either one of them making a mistake at any point.
I predict Pettis will be the more active fighter in round one which will of course result in him winning that round. Round two is a very tricky round to predict as this is the round where Nate Diaz really gets into his flow state and turns into an unstoppable force.
I think that round two is crucial for both fighters, if either one wins this round, they very well may be on their way to winning the entire fight.
I also think round 3 will be all about Nate Diaz as it is a very well known fact that once he gets going, he doesn’t get any slower. This is not the case for Anthony Pettis who tends to slow down and become an easier target to hit as the fight progresses. This is by far the trickiest fight to predict on the entire card.
Prediction: Nate Diaz via Unanimous Decision
Other Main Card Fights
Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero vs Paulo “The Eraser” Costa
Tale of the Tape:
Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero ( -140 Favorite ):
MMA Record: 13 – 3 – 0
Height: 1.83 m
Weight: 184.5 lbs
Reach: 186.7 cm
Strongest attributes: Olympic level wrestling, Awkward movement, Unorthodox striking.
Paulo “The Eraser” Costa ( +120 Underdog):
MMA Record: 12 – 0 – 0
Height: 1.85 m
Weight: 186 lbs
Reach: 182.9 cm
Strongest attributes: Strong Body-kick, Power puncher / kicker, Throws every strike with confidence and bad intentions,
This is a fight between a Cuban veteran of MMA in Yoel Romero who has been competing at the very highest levels of the sport for the vast majority of his career, vs an undefeated (12-0) prospect in the young Brazilian Paulo Costa.
Although Costa is undefeated as a pro, it is noteworthy that he did actually lose a fight (split decision) during an exhibition match on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3”. His stamina is to blame for this blemish on his record, as it is well known that he is built like a tank and likes to throw significant strikes very early in the fight.
This could cause major problems for Romero early on as he tends to get his timing where it needs to be, as well as implementing his awkward movement during the opening round before getting too involved in exchanges with his opponents.
Costa on the other hand, tends to fight with supreme confidence that he will get the finish early and I predict that he will be throwing heavy strikes as soon as the bell sounds. I would also not be surprised if Costa tries to take Romero down to show that he is not intimidated by Romero’s Olympic level wrestling ability.
I think that ultimately Paulo Costa will be his own worst enemy during this fight in the sense that if he tries to continually test Romero in the grappling department he will find himself gassing out by round 3.
History has shown us that round 3 is where Romero really gets comfortable and tuned into the fight. If Yoel can survive the heavy barrage which Costa will be bombarding him with during the opening rounds, I predict that his opponent (Costa) will be out of gas by then and become an easy target for a very agile and dangerous Romero.
Fight Prediction: Romero Via KO in Round 3
Rest of main card:
Sodiq Yusuff (-270) vs. Gabriel Benitez (+130)
Prediction: Sodiq Yusuff via KO Round 1
Ian Heinisch (-150) vs. Derek Brunson (+130)
Prediction: Ian Heinisch via KO/TKO Round 1
UFC 241 Prelims Predictions
Devonte Smith (-750) vs. Khama Worthy (+450)
Prediction: Devonte Smith via KO Round 1
Cory Sandhagen (-175) vs. Raphael Assuncao (+155)
Prediciton: Cory Sandhagen via Decision
Drakkar Klose (-200) vs. Christos Giagos (+170)
Prediction: Drakkar Klose via Decision
Manny Bermudez (-135) vs. Casey Kenney (+115)
Prediction: Manny Bermudez Via Submission Round 1
Hannah Cifers (-175) vs. Jodie Esquibel (+235)
Prediction: Hannah Cifers via Decision
Kyung Ho Kang (-175) vs. Brandon Davis (+155)
Prediction: Kyung Ho Kang via Submission Round 2
Shana Dobson (-120) vs. Sabina Mazo (EVEN)
Prediction: Sabina Mazo via Decision