(Editor’s note: This post originally published at SportsBook Wire, part of the USA TODAY Network)
UFC fans are in for a treat with this one, as Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier battle for the heavyweight belt at UFC 252 Saturday at the UFC’s APEX Facility in Las Vegas. The early prelims kick off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+, followed by the main card set for 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view.
Miocic (19-3) heads into the third fight of this strap trilogy with the hardware, but he is listed as a slight underdog. Miocic looks like a giant compared to his counterpart, as he stands 5½ inches taller with a 7½-inch reach advantage. Cormier (22-2) knocked out Miocic in the main event at UFC 226 on July 7, 2018, but the Cleveland native bounced back to drop Cormier at 4:09 of the fourth round at UFC 241 in the rematch. Almost immediately everyone was clamoring for yet another installment between these two heavyweights.
Until that last setback at UFC 241 to Miocic, “DC” hadn’t lost since Jan. 3, 2015, when he fought at the light heavyweight division. Three of his past four fights have resulted in KO/TKO, winning twice. In fact, in 24 career pro fights, 11 have ended by way of knockout, winning 10 times. He also has five submissions to his credit, and he has never tapped out. It’s also been a while since he has had the judges get involved, with his last decisions coming against Anderson Silva at UFC 200 on July 9, 2016. Cormier announced that he will retire after this bout, and some feel Miocic could also go the same way. We’ll see. Stick around through the result and postgame interviews for a potential bombshell.
Miocic vs. Cormier betting odds, picks and lines
CORMIER (-115) is a slim favorite vs. Miocic (-106). With this being Cormier’s final fight, will he be riding off into the sunset with the strap? It’s likely. Miocic had to work hard to take DC down in their most recent fight, winning in the fourth round. Cormier knocked Miocic out in Round 1 in the first battle, and will be looking to go out as a winner in the final battle of his career. That extra incentive should tip the scales in favor of CORMIER (-115).
Pinpointing a method of victory can make your evening more lucrative, and CORMIER BY KO/TKO, DQ or SUBMISSION (+180) on the 5-way line looks mighty attractive. As far as the lengthy of the fight, No (-223): “Will the fight go the distance?” is a little expensive. Save a little bit and hit UNDER 4.5 ROUNDS (-193).
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