Saturday, August 15th, UFC 252 is where this legendary trilogy concludes. Many UFC fans, especially us down here in Louisiana, have been waiting for the return of Louisiana native Daniel Cormier. Who else would he be fighting but Stipe Miocic? I’m going to cover the three main fights that have been getting the most hype for all you degenerates out there. The rubber match for the heavyweight belt obviously. Old Man Dos Santos vs “Big Boy” Rozenstruik. And my man “Suga” Sean O’Malley vs Marlon Vera. Lock in fellas this is gonna be a helluva card.
O’Malley v.s. Vera
Let’s start off with O’Malley vs Vera. I’ll be honest I don’t know much about this Vera cat. You have to imagine Dana White is giving Sean someone decent. Vera’s last fight was a loss by Unanimous Decision back on May 16, 2020, to Yadong Song. We don’t need to dig too deep on this one folks, at -310 O’Malley is the obvious favorite. His strikes are quick as fuck and violent putting him up there with the best in his weight class. The only question is, is it worth laying the juice at -310? This is a guy who’s fighting in his first main card event. After all, this is the UFC and anyone is one good shot away from an upset. My answer is an absolute yes. If you have the balance and you’re gonna lay this kinda juice on a fighter, O’Malley in this matchup is the guy to lay it on. Now your real value is going to be O’Malley to win by TKO/Stoppage at +160. This is honestly kind of a shocking line to me. Let’s be honest I don’t think anyone sees this one going the distance. I’m locking in “Suga” Sean by TKO/Stoppage at +160.
Rozenstruik v.s. Dos Santos
Now let’s talk about Junior and Rozenstruik which I think is going to be a very interesting fight. I’m interested to see how Dos Santos is going to approach this. He is a more well-rounded fighter and definitely has the edge on the ground in this one. If Rozenstruik can keep the fight on his feet he has the obvious advantage especially since Dos Santos has struggled with these big brawlers later in his career. Just go watch his last two fights against “razor” Blaydes and Ngannou. (Hint: it didn’t end well for him) Now to be fair Rozenstruik’s last fight against the “predator” Ngannou ended with him getting knocked out pretty damn quickly. Then again it is Francis and was also his first professional loss. I like the spot he’s in after being humbled last fight. Rozenstruik is going to have something to prove and I also think Dos Santos has too many miles on him at this point in his career. I’m locking in Rozenstruik at -140.
Cormier v.s. Miocic
And finally, the best fight of the night. Daniel Cormier vs the reigning champ Stipe Miocic. No matter what lock in and enjoy this one because it’s going to be epic. We know DC took the first fight by first round KO, and Stipe took the second go-round. In that first fight DC was pretty dominant and in my opinion was in control of the fight the whole time, even literally throwing Stipe over his shoulder at one point and attempting the John Cena F-U and knocked him out shortly after.
What Happened In The 2nd Fight?
Let’s dig a little deeper into that second fight. DC stuck to the ground game and that clinch/ dirty boxing that he’s so good at and Stipe stuck to his stand and bang style. Although Stipe is a perfectly capable wrestler and can hold his own the obvious advantage goes to DC when the fight hits the canvas. Given Stipe’s size and reach advantage as well as his striking ability we know what he wants to do. Stipe is quicker and more agile so I’m looking for him to move around a lot more and try to set the pace and get good positioning to open up his deadly strikes. In that second fight his chin held up really well but he sort of planted himself in front of Cormier and went to trading blows so I want to see him play more to his strengths in this one. Now for DC something in that fight really stuck out to me. Let’s give credit to Stipe’s chin but it seemed like a lot of DC’s strikes didn’t do much damage to Stipe like they did in the first bout. And this is the big thing after the second round ended he asked his corner if he was losing the fight on the scorecard. To me, it seemed like DC went in there concerned mainly with just landing anything to pad the scorecard and ride on the advantage the reigning champ has when the fight goes to a decision.
What I Think Will Happen
I think Stipe feels he has something to prove now after losing the first fight. Also after pretty much losing the whole second fight until the late third round. If DC comes out fighting to win on the scorecard and take it to a decision, he’s going to get annihilated. This line surprised me a decent bit with DC as the slight favorite at -120 with Stipe at -110. As much as it pains me to say this I think I’m going to have to fade the hometown hero and go with the champ at -110. I personally think he’s the better fighter overall since he’s clearly the superior standup fighter and has enough to survive on the ground. I also think that at 41 and with a size and reach disadvantage it’s going to be too much for DC to overcome. I’m hammering Stipe at -110 and I feel don’t feel good about it because I love cheering on anyone from LA but that’s how confident I am that Stipe is due here at UFC 252.
UFC 252 Final Picks:
-Sean O’Malley: win by TKO/Stoppage +160
-Rozenstruik: straight up -140
-Miocic: straight up -110