UFC 226 Odds, Tips & Preview

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Gee whiz, this weekend’s action is going to be ‘uge. 

Stipe Miocic v Daniel Cormier – UFC Heavyweight Title

For only the third time in UFC history, two champions in different weight classes will meet inside the octagon as light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier moves back up to heavyweight to challenge the reigning king Stipe Miocic. The term “super fight” has been thrown around a lot in recent years but this genuinely is one and the UFC isn’t afraid to say it given the poster for the event.

Cormier brings a bit more experience than the regular fighter moving up in weight class, as he has already fought and gone undefeated at heavyweight. Before dropping down to light heavyweight “DC” was 13-0 and even won the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix which included MMA icons Fedor Emelianko, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett. DC’s only losses inside the cage are to a man named Jon Jones – widely considered to be the greatest fighter of all time. The one reason Cormier has never challenged for heavyweight gold before is because of his friendship with former Champion Cain Velasquez. With Velasquez out of the picture indefinitely, DC is ready to become a two-weight world champion.

This is being labelled a super fight because while Cormier would be considered one of the greatest fighters of all time with a win, Miocic is already the greatest heavyweight of all time in most books. Despite all the greats over the years, no man in UFC history has been able to defend the heavyweight belt more than twice. Back in January Miocic completely dominated the highly touted Francis Ngannou for 5 rounds, thus defending his title for the 3rd straight time and racking up his 6th straight win. Miocic is big and strong, moves well for a heavyweight, has great cardio, established wrestling and is a golden gloves boxing champion. The heavyweight king can do it all.

Miocic has the advantage in the stand-up here despite DC’s ever improving boxing. On the other hand, you would have to give the wrestling advantage to Cormier due to his dual Olympic status. This fight should be a lot closer than the odds suggest and DC might just possess enough to pull off the upset.

Tip: Cormier by decision

Max Holloway v Brian Ortega – UFC Featherweight Titl

In the co-main event Jiu-Jitsu ace and undefeated prospect Brian Ortega challenges dominant Champion Max Holloway in a mouth-watering clash.

Brian “T-City” Ortega looks like a star in the making. He is undefeated, holds the current record for consecutive fight finishes at 6 (7 before it was changed to a no-contest) and is as likeable a fighter as you will see. T-City get his name due to his high-level jiu-jitsu and his prowess with the Triangle Choke. Ortega has put his black-belt to good use in the octagon reeling off 7 submission wins, all in different and impressive style (see win v Cub Swanson). He has always been known to take a punch before locking up submissions but in his last fight he showed he is just as dangerous on the feet as he knocked out future hall of famer Frankie Edgar with an uppercut from hell…

There is a lot of similarities between Ortega and Holloway. Both are considered young to be in such positions, Ortega a title challenger at 27 and Holloway already a defending champ at 26. Holloway also loves to finish fights, stopping 10 of his opponents in his 15 UFC wins. Holloway possible has the best offensive arsenal in the entire UFC, as he lands strikes with every part of his body and brings his own dangerous submission games. Coming off back to back 3rd round knock outs of former pound for pound king Jose Also, his confidence is sky high.

Both riding big win streaks, both looking for the finish, expect fireworks!

Tip: Ortega by Sub

Rest of the main card:
Francis Ngannou v Derrick Lewis – Ngannou by KO/TKO
Michael Chiesa v Anthony Pettis – Chiesa by KO/Sub
Gokhan Saki v Khalil Rountree Jr. – Saki by KO/TKO

What do you think?