UFC 252 Betting Pick: Miocic vs Cormier III

Is this the best trilogy in the history of mixed martial arts?

Many times, rematches don’t live up to the first fight but these two legendary heavyweights bucked that trend a year ago with an exciting 4-round war.

  • Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture had a pretty rad three fights.
  • Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar are the only combatants to have their trilogy tied 1-1-1.
  • Rampage and Wanderlei Silva had a couple of wars in PRIDE and Rampage got his revenge with a gorgeous roll through left hook that slept The Axe Murderer.

We have seen some good ones, yes, and I’m excited for more but I have to say that the third meeting of Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier might be the most anticipated of them all.

This not only decides who can say they are the better fighter, not only for the UFC Heavyweight World Title, but this is a fight to determine who is the greatest heavyweight MMA fighter ever.

That’s huge. No pun intended.

DC won the first fight pretty quickly.

He poked Stipe in the eye early on and then caught him on the same side with a right hook out of the clinch that he never saw coming.

In their second bout, Cormier came out strong landing the cleaner strikes and scored a takedown as well in the first round. He stayed away from his wrestling in the second stanza but DC was still able to outbox the Cleveland native.

In the third round, though, Daniel Cormier appeared to be slowing a bit.

He admittedly put on a lot of weight for this fight because he believed after what happened in their first meeting that Miocic couldn’t handle his power.

Stipe was good so far and even defended a takedown attempt from the now-former champion.

It was close but I believe Miocic won the 3rd round.

After a fiery talk from his head coach and cornerman, Miocic came out in the 4th round and changed the entire course of the fight with one adjustment he made on his own.

He started landing the left hook to the liver and even though DC kept his best poker face, his body language said otherwise and 9 more shovel shots under the floating rib, and DC was primed for a 1-2 down the middle.

That rocked him hard and he was TKO’ed against the fence just seconds later.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for this matchup. Let’s look at those, examine the fight tape a bit closer, and make our predictions for this legendary matchup.

Stipe Miocic (-105) vs Daniel Cormier (-115)

Okay, these two men have fought twice and they haven’t fought anyone else since their last meeting.

We don’t need to do a bunch of tape on either guy. I am quite familiar with both Cormier and Miocic.

What did we learn from the second fight?

Daniel keeps his right elbow very high which leaves him susceptible to left hooks to the body. He also reaches his arms out and loves loves loves to hand fight and flick his punches from there.

It’s amazing to see how much pop he can get on those shots because his arms are already so far away from his body. It took Miocic a little while to exploit this but it was the perfect counter to what DC was doing to him.

Cormier also kinda gassed towards around the halfway mark or midway through the third round.

It was a very busy scrap up to that point but he is probably going to have to do a better job with his conditioning than he did in this last fight.

DC has said that the small Octagon should make a big difference for him as he will better be able to use his wrestling and pressure boxing.

This could turn out to be quite true but I don’t want you guys to see the small cage and give that edge to the better wrestler.

It’s more about who is on the front foot and who is backing up. Khabib is clearly the better wrestler than Conor McGregor but the Irishman was able to push Khab back for most of their fight. He still got taken down but he did keep the center.

Stipe Miocic doesn’t have that level of footwork, though. In fact, if you ask him or his coaches, he had absolute zero footwork through the first few rounds in his second fight w DC. He was a plodding statue in there.

It wasn’t pretty as he was getting boxed up for a while. I don’t think he can expect to let DC get off to another start that hot, winning the first 12 minutes of the fight before he gets into his groove.

I picked Stipe in the second fight so I was crying out for him to use the lead leg left high kick that Jon Jones put Cormier away with in their second meeting.

DC dips off HARD to his right to avoid the jab.

If Stipe were to just follow his left arm with his left leg, Daniel would slip his chin right into a shin and that could be a wrap for the 41-year-old Cormier.

Miocic doesn’t seem like the kinda guy who would put time in stretching, though. I could be wrong but I just don’t get the yoga vibe from Stipe.

DC isn’t even 6 feet tall, though… And he’s bending over. Even if it clacks off the arms, it changes the game. I am not expecting it because he hasn’t done it yet but a guy can dream.

Cormier says he had a very bad back and couldn’t train properly for the first fight. He said his gameplan was incorrect and to expect a grappling heavy gameplan in the third bout.

I know one thing: Stipe is going to have to be warm and ready in the first round. He can’t let Cormier get into a rhythm.

If Miocic can shut down the hand fighting and the hard dip off to the right from Daniel, he can win the fight.

This is a pick’em fight. Anybody out there who is telling you they know who is gonna win is wrong. Sure, they could guess. It’s only 2 fighters fighting. One is gonna win.

The line started at a pick’em and it hasn’t moved. That isn’t because the fight is void of popularity. It’s a huge fight!

The smart money is staying away from this one but it’s the main event and I know some of you guys want the action.

Please Note:
I have no problem with the action bets but just remember if you’re chasing a feeling, then you’re probably not going to make money long term. If you’re smart, calculated, and reserved in your judgement, then you are more likely to win more than you lose over time.

The best we can do here is to say we think one guy wins 6 out of the 10 times these two fight and if we can say that, we have enough value to make a play.

From what we have seen, DC is that guy.

He won the first fight by first round KO.

He won about 70% of the second fight even though he was finished in the fourth round. Has Stipe completely figured him out, though?

Shutting down the hand fighting game is a major step. It will be interesting to see how the first round plays out on Saturday night.

Man, I’m excited!

With the fight tape we have on each guy, Daniel’s superior wrestling, his faster hands, I have to edge Cormier here. It’s not by much but with an even betting line, it doesn’t have to be.

My Pick
Daniel Cormier
-115

In Conclusion

There’s your main event predictions, guys!

I have been trying to stay away from the main events lately because they are usually devoid of betting value because of how much attention they receive.

Then again, there are times where you can make that attention work in your favor. For instance, Derek Brunson was a gigantic underdog by fight time against the unproven hype train of Edmen Shahbazyan.

Yes, I picked Edmen and I hate myself for it. No lie, I barely slept that night even after a few Voodoo Rangers. I felt like such a casual buying that hype and Brunson had won two bets in a row for me as well.

This main event as I mentioned earlier, has not been touched by many bettors.

There is a little bit more money coming on on DC and I think that’s the athleticism, speed, and wrestling prowess being the difference but it’s still close.

Stipe needs to move his feet. If he circles and/or backs up, he is going to run into the cage sooner rather than later as it is small, especially for heavyweights.

If he uses that footwork to stalk DC, I think he can win the fight but that’s just not what we have seen. The only time he was moving forward was when DC was already hurt to the body.

It’s going to be a great fight, guys, and don’t ruin it by emptying your wallet on a bet for either fighter.

I say throw a unit on DC. Hopefully, we will be at a point where even a main event loss will still leave us in the green for the night.

Get your bets in now, guys, because I see a little more money coming in on Cormier.

He will probably be (-130) by fight time.

The Sports Geek / Author