Two title fights — for the middleweight and light heavyweight gold — headline the UFC 253 card on September 26. We have an in-depth betting preview to the co-headling bouts right here. Before you even think about wagering on the event, read this for valuable advice!
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UFC 241 Betting Guide: Comier-Miocic Clash In A Historic Rematch
When it's all said and done, UFC 241 might be the fight card of the year. The main card is stacked with three of the sport's biggest names — Daniel Cormier, Stipe Miocic, and Nate Diaz. Here's how online sportsbooks have the night unfolding:
- Cormier is a slight favorite to retain his heavyweight title at -140 odds.
- Diaz-Anthony Pettis is a dead-even split with both getting -115 lines to prevail.
- Yoel Romero is -175 to outlast Costa.
As you can tell, the main bouts are already a tougher bet than UFC 240, which was one-sided across the board. This time, though, no favorite is higher than -175 to come out victorious. That makes for a tricky betting scenario, but we have you covered. Here are the UFC 241 picks you need to make:
Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier (-140) vs. Stipe Miocic (+110)
Folks, it doesn't get much better than this matchup — two UFC all-timers facing off for the championship gold.
Miocic hasn't stepped into the octagon since his shocking first-round KO loss to Cormier last July.
Before Cormier caught Miocic with a flush elbow across the face in that devasting knockout, Miocic staked his claim as one of the most dominant heavyweights the sport had ever seen.
His reign included four title match victories versus a whos-who of fighters — Fabricio Werdum, Francis Ngannou, Junior Dos Santos, and Alistair Overeem.
While Miocic might be the best heavyweight in MMA history, Cormier has a strong argument for best fighter ever (across weight classes). Period. He's run through every foe in the light heavyweight and heavyweight division, winning 22 fights.
The only blemish on his record is two defeats to Jon Jones (one of which has since been overturned to a no-contest), but Jones' steroid history puts an asterisk on those outcomes.
Size is the obvious mismatch between the two. At six-foot-four, Miocic has the clear upper hand over Cormier, who's just under six feet. This really manifests itself in reach advantage, where Miocic has seven-and-a-half inches on the champion. Pair that with Miocic's superior striking ability and this could become the difference-maker come bell time.
The result of this match will inevitably shape both men's legacies. A win for Cormier and a third meeting between him and Jones is a virtual lock (barring another failed test from Jones). A loss and it may be the 40-year-old's swan song in the octagon. For Miocic, he becomes the sport's best heavyweight fighter ever with a win.
We're betting on the latter to happen.
Miocic has been plotting for this fight over a year now. Whereas the older Cormier put more miles on his odometer against Derrick Lewis and even flirted with a showdown against Brock Lesnar. The fresher, more focused Miocic will exact his revenge.
Pick: Miocic (+110)
Welterweight: Nate Diaz (-115) vs. Anthony Pettis (-115)
Three years removed from his record-setting fight against Connor McGregor, will ring rust be a factor in Diaz return? Ultimately, that's the biggest question mark ahead of this fascinating matchup.
What we do know is Pettis won't be a tune-up fight for Diaz — far from it actually. "Showtime," as Pettis is nicknamed, moved up from lightweight to welterweight after a loss to Tony Ferguson in UFC 229. His debut ended with an unthinkable knockout of Stephen Thompson, who up until then had never lost via KO.
Stylistically, this match pits two aggressors. However, that aggression comes at different paces. We know Diaz has a big gas tank, evident by his five-round slugfest with McGregor.
However, Pettis is the more explosive of the two, laying the pressure more in spurts.
Pettis needs to leverage that explosive power to make Diaz pay for his ring rust. In the time that Diaz has been away from the octagon, Pettis has fought seven times.
We have a hard time overlooking that fact. Not that Diaz hasn't been training, but MMA is not the sport you can just leave and pick right back up without some effect.
Plus, we can't help but think there's a little revisionist history with Diaz. Take away his two superfights with McGregor and he's a 34-year-old fighter that's 18-10 all-time. Certainly, his body of work isn't on equal footing with his enormous star power. As you may have guessed, we're adding Pettis to our UFC picks.
Pick: Pettis (-115)
Middleweight: Yoel Romero (-175) vs. Paulo Costa (+145)
While not as hyped, this bout is just as good on paper as the aforementioned two.
Romero is the No. 2-ranked middleweight in the world. Outside of two decision losses against Robert Whittaker, he's been an unstoppable force inside the octagon. Then again, so has Costa. The 28-year-old — a whopping 14 years younger than Romero — is a perfect 12-0 in MMA.
Don't be surprised if this fight ends in the first round. Both guys are chiseled out of stone and are knockout specialists. Eleven of Romero's 13 wins have come via KO. Costa has finished 11 of 12 fights before the third round.
This feels like a coin-flip, but we like Costa's UFC odds slightly more. His career needs a statement win and this will be it.
Pick: Costa (+145)
Between now and bell time on August 18, stay glued to one of our partners below for the latest UFC Vegas odds. They'll also have you covered once you're ready to lock in a wager.
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