Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic
|Date & Time||Saturday August 17, 2019, 11:45 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Miocic +128 / Cormier -142 -- Over/Under:
Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic fight Saturday during UFC 241 at the Honda Center.
Daniel Cormier enters this fight with a 22-1 record and has won 45 percent of his fights by knockout. Cormier has won seven of his last eight fights and is coming off a November win over Derrick Lewis. Cormier is averaging 3.83 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 51 percent. Cormier is averaging 1.93 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 47 percent. Cormier is coming off a convincing second round submission victory where he repeatedly took down The Black Beast, made him uncomfortable and eventually finished things with a rear-naked choke. Cormier has now finished seven of his last nine victories and remains unbeaten when fighting anybody but Jon Jones. Cormier will fight for the first time this year and has established himself as one of the toughest fighters in the sport, as few can wrestle with him on the canvas, and four of his last eight victories have come by the rear-naked choke. Cormier always feels like he has the advantage if he can execute a takedown due to his deep wrestling background, and he seems to get better the longer the fight drags out. Cormier is a well conditioned fighter who is built for the long haul, and even at now 40 years old, he still has some pop in those hands that can end things standing up. Even in his last fight, Cormier peppered Lewis with some solid ground and pound. Cormier is simply one of the more balanced and best MMA fighters to ever step into the octagon and he’s proving age truly is nothing more than a number. This will be Cormier’s fifth career fight in California, the state he’s fighting out of.
Stipe Miocic enters this fight with a 18-3 record and has won 78 percent of his fights by knockout. Miocic has won six of his last seven fights and is coming off a July (2018) loss to Cormier. Miocic is averaging 4.76 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 52 percent. Miocic is averaging 2.38 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 38 percent. Miocic will be out to redeem himself after losing the UFC Heavyweight Championship, and he hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. Miocic looked sluggish in the first bout and caught an elbow out of the clinch and was then finished with ground and pound. Miocic has proven he’s a striking machine who lands volume punches with great accuracy and overwhelming power. Miocic has produced knockouts in six of his last seven wins and five of his last six fights overall have ended in the first round. Miocic is also a polished wrestler with a D1 background, but none of his fights have ended in submission. Miocic usually wastes no time throwing strikes and his head movement is a really underrated part of his standup as well. This will be Miocic’s first career fight in California.
Cormier should be the favorite based on his career, as you earn a certain level of respect when you’ve beaten everybody in your path outside of Jon Jones. However, it’s a bit strange to see Cormier go from a +175 underdog in the first bout to a favorite here. It’s also worth mentioning that Miocic was poked in the eye multiple times in the first fight. Whether that played a key role in the outcome can be debated, but it has to be factored in here. Regardless, we’re getting the true heavyweight at plus money, and the guy who is the better pure striker. If Miocic comes out a bit more aggressive and lets his hands go quicker, he’s going to have chances to end this thing. Cormier likes to feel things out a bit too much, and being rushed with haymakers is going to give him problems. Miocic likely feels a certain way about how the first fight went down and he could enter this bout with a little bit of anger inside of him.
While it’s tough to doubt Cormier given his career, Miocic and the plus money is damn near impossible to turn down.