The bout between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier is arguably the biggest one in the MMA world this year. It is why UFC 252 stands above all others when talking about hype and fans’ interest. It is the crown battle of the trilogy, which marked one era in the UFC heavyweight competition. After this contest, DC goes to retirement, while Stipe’s plans are still not revealed. Some believe that he, too, might walk away from fighting. Nevertheless, this is not our concern, and we are here to make a preview of this particular bout.
Miocic‘s last two fights were against Cormier, and the Ohio-native has a split record vs. DC, but with the note that Stipe has the edge now because he won the last one. The 37-year old is arguably one of the best heavyweights ever, and he already holds one very interesting record, which considers title defenses. Miocic won three in a row, which is makes him the only heavyweight to do so.
Apart from that, nine Fight of the Night bonuses make him the record-holder in another heavyweight category.
Stipe won the title against Fabricio Werdum at the UFC 198, with that epic counter which took down the reigning champ at the time. After that, three title defenses were all against legends. The first one came against Alistair Overeem, and that ended via KO. The second vs. Junior dos Santos, who inflicted him one loss, and that one too was a KO.
The only one who wasn’t knocked out was Francis Ngannou, who lost via unanimous decision in a match which saw Stipe fully deserving to win.
His fantastic series was interrupted with a loss against DC.
Cormier is the only fighter who held the light heavyweight and the heavyweight title at the same time. He is currently listed as No.1 in the UFC heavyweight rankings, and comes into this battle as a slight favorite.
DC lost the title match against Jon Jones back at the UFC 182, but won the vacant lightweight title after that, beating Anthony Johnson. He would defend it against Alexander Gustafsson, Anderson Silva, Johnson once again, before losing to Jones. Yet, that outcome had been overturned because Jones tested positive for turinabol. The title stayed in his possession.
Before meeting Stipe, he would have one more defense against Volkan Ozdemir. That famous KO against Miocic earned Cormier the status of the best UFC heavyweight, and arguably the best fighter in the organization. He would take down Derrick Lewis in his only heavyweight title defense, and lose the belt in the rematch against Stipe.
A strong wrestler, with massive punching power, DC is one of the most popular fighters, especially because of his bursts, which are attractive and often to get the crowd going.
Head to Head Matches
As we said, Cormier won the first meeting with a first-round KO, once he exploded to beat the champion. Stipe had no chance to avoid that loss.
The second clash, saw DC opening the match better, and controlling the situation in the octagon. Meanwhile, as time went by he lost energy, which was Miocic’s gameplan from the start, and Stipe regained the belt with a fourth-round TKO.
We will be straightforward here and say immediately that we have Miocic as our pick. We believe that his team did a good tactical analysis of these two past matches and that they now know how to set up tactics for the upcoming contest.
Stipe will look to extend the match as long as possible, and use his cardio to break the rival once again. BetXChange offers excellent odds on his win – 0.94.