UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will grant a rematch to former champion Stipe Miocic this weekend in the UFC 241 headliner on pay-per-view. While many see it as a foregone conclusion that as the top pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, Cormier should earn himself another win, some of the best sports betting sites will share other opinions.
While Cormier did knock Miocic at UFC 226 in July 2018 out to become a two-division champion, many punters predict that Miocic will best D.C. this time around, claiming back heavyweight championship gold.
Miocic successfully defended his UFC heavyweight strap more times than any other previous division champion. With wins over Francis N’gannou, Junior dos Santos, and Alistair Overeem, Micioc was not only considered the best heavyweight on the planet, but many argued he was the best to ever compete.
On the flip side, Cormier has gone on record on many occasions stating that he did not want to fight past 40-years of age. Now that he is 40, and having relinquished the light heavyweight title so he could focus solely on defending the heavyweight bout, there are not many fights left that attract Cormier.
“My head is on this fight. We just go one at a time at this point,” Cormier told MMA Fighting. “Because for a champion and a guy that’s been around and been a champion for a long time, at a point you start making such amazing amounts of money and the fame level is so high, people struggle to walk away.
Talk of Cormier trying to end his career with a third fight against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones seem to intensify with each passing day. The other big name fight that grabbed Cormier’s attention was a showdown against former UFC champion and WWE star, Brock Lesnar.
“If you have a guy that’s in my situation that’s won 90 percent of his fights and been a champion and lived this tremendous life that I’ve been blessed, you don’t want to stand across the Octagon from just anybody,” Cormier said. “It needs to be something big.”
Could Miocic’s shot at redemption be far greater than Cormier’s need for big opportunity fights? It sure seems that way at least to the oddsmakers who have Miocic as a 2-1 favorite.
With Cormier nearing the end of his career, a win over Miocic is pivotal. The champion has already passed the timeline in which he wanted to be done with competition, but a loss makes things even more complicated. Does D.C. want to retire on a loss? And if not, how soon and against who does that he want to get back in there with? A trilogy fight with “Bones” would likely be off the table should Cormier lose to Miocic as it would be very hard to promote considering Cormier would no longer have any belts, and has already dropped two contests to Jones.
Sitting on the shelf for more than a year, Miocic has had a lot of time to reflect on the loss to Cormier.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” Miocic said during a recent episode of ESPN’s “Get Up.” “That’s the way I look at it. It drives me, it makes me hungrier. I want that belt back. It’s not even about the belt – I know I’m a better fighter.”
Who wins at UFC 241 this Saturday, August 17 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California?