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DC to prove 1st time was no fluke? Get Daniel Cormier v Stipe Miocic 2 tips

Leigh Copson 15 Aug 2019
Daniel Cormier (credit:Jason Silva/Zuma Press/PA Images)

Daniel Cormier shocked the world when he knocked out heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic to become only the second fighter to hold UFC titles in two different weight classes at the same time, but will lightning strike twice on August 17 or can the former champion gain a measure of revenge and regain the title of being ‘the baddest man on the planet’? Read on for our betting tips & guide to the UFC heavyweight title fight at UFC 241.

READ MORE: Get our free best bets for the UFC 241 undercard.

Road To Cormier v Miocic 2

Daniel Cormier’s rise to the very top of the heavyweight division was almost a decade in the making, but when he made it to the summit it was fully deserved. After illness forced him out of the 2008 Olympic Games, the former amateur wrestler made the jump to mixed martial arts and made his debut fighting for Strikeforce – at the time the number two MMA promotion in the United States.

In just over 12 months he reeled off six straight victories to make himself a permanent member of the company’s fighter roster and in only his eighth professional outing he was paired with the vastly experienced Jeff Monson in a ‘reserve bout’ for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix – a single-elimination tournament that featured several big names and men who had held or would go on to hold UFC heavyweight gold. Cormier took the decision that night and was soon thrust into the tournament itself after injury ruled out Alistair Overeem. Cormier faced huge disadvantages in terms of height and reach, but he overcame them in sensational fashion as he took out Antonio Silva inside one round in the semi-finals before dominating Josh Barnett on his way to a unanimous decision victory in the final.

In 2013 he crossed over into the UFC in 2013 and despite two successful outings in the heavyweight ranks he soon made the step down to light-heavyweight, which was widely considered the smart move due to his size. He fought for the title in only his third fight at 205lbs, losing via decision to heated rival Jon Jones, but he rebounded immediately to win the then-vacated title a few months later and he reeled off a couple of successful defences before once again coming up short against Jones (a loss that was later overturned to a No Contest after Jones failed yet another drug test). The UFC rightfully returned the belt to Cormier and he did make one defence of the belt before making the move back to heavyweight to challenge dominant champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 226.

Miocic had been on a tear in the heavyweight division going into this bout. Despite suffering a couple of defeats in his career, the Cleveland fire-fighter had established himself as the number one heavyweight fighter on the planet with a string of dominant victories. Having bounced back from a decision defeat to ex-champion Junior Dos Santos with TKO wins over Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski, Miocic needed less than three minutes to take out Fabricio Werdum to become heavyweight champion. Further first-round finishes followed as he successfully defended his belt against Alistair Overeem and avenged that previous loss to Junior Dos Santos, and he then humiliated Francis Ngannou for five rounds to completely derail the hype train that the challenger had been on and become the most successful heavyweight champion of all-time.

That run set up a huge meeting with light-heavyweight champion Cormier at UFC 226, and Miocic was widely backed to improve his record-setting run by denying the former Olympian a place in history as only the second man to hold UFC titles in two different weight classes at the same time. Miocic opened as a 1/2 favourite and his string of knockout wins, alongside his history as a former Golden Gloves boxing champion, suggested it would be a dangerous move for Cormier to stand and trade with the heavyweight kingpin. He did though – to devastating effect. In the closing moments of the very first round the two men clinched in the centre of the Octagon, and as Miocic looked to break free Cormier came over the top with a short right hand that sent the champion crashing to the canvas. ‘DC’ followed up with a couple more strikes, but the damage was already done and referee Marc Goddard quickly stepped it to call it off.

Having become the most successful heavyweight champion in the history of the company, there was plenty of support for Miocic to land an immediate rematch in either late 2018 or early 2019. The UFC had other ideas though as a post-fight confrontation between Cormier and Brock Lesnar seemed to suggest that the new champion’s first defence would come against the former UFC champion and current WWE superstar, but that fight never materialised and it was eventually announced that Miocic would get his deserved rematch in the main event of UFC 241. But can he get his revenge or will Cormier prove the first time was no fluke and cement his status as the top heavyweight fighter on the planet?

Daniel Cormier v Stipe Miocic 2 Tips

When Cormier first fought Miocic the bookmakers had him down as the underdog. That is not the case for the rematch and it is easy to see why. His victory last year did not come courtesy of a fluke shot out of nowhere – Cormier proved he was more than a match for Miocic. In fact, he proved he was better than him. The former champion may be a former Golden Gloves boxing champion with knockout power in his hands, but Cormier has really developed his stand-up skills since making the leap from amateur wrestling and you could argue that he is the better MMA striker out of the two men. Add that to the fact he is the better grappler with more submission chops and there is not an area of the game where he is at a disadvantage.

Cormier does have the job of trying to negate Miocic’s sizeable reach advantage, but he showed in the first meeting that he is more than capable of doing that and he is not a ‘one-trick pony’ – he will be fully aware that the challenger will have studied what ‘DC’ did to get inside his range last time, and he will have different ways of getting there in the rematch.

Miocic should not be blindly written off – he has enough pop in his hands to potentially trouble and stop Cormier here, and he could come out on top if he is able to dictate the pace of the fight and keep the champion at range. However, I cannot go against the champion. He has fought a who’s who in the heavyweight ranks, winning every time, and only Jon Jones has proven to be his ‘kryptonite’ so far. Cormier will make another successful defence here and while it may take more than a round to get the job done this time, I do fancy the champion to complete his mission inside five rounds. Those of you less convinced should consider the Even-money currently available for the Cormier by KO/TKO or Decision ‘double chance’.

What The Experts Are Saying

Jon Jones on Dan Hardy’s Open Mat for BT Sport: “I think Stipe will put up a better fight but I do think DC will win again. DC’s an extraordinary athlete. His flexibility and his speed for the way he’s built doesn’t make sense. Even his endurance for the way he’s built. He’s a special athlete. I don’t think most guys would beat DC. I think the way to beat DC is to catch him with a knockout shot, which Stipe has the power to do. The question is can he land it? I think DC’s smart and he’s going to use his wrestling wit and find a way to win again and then he’ll retire or fight at heavyweight again.”

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum talking to MMA Junkie: “This fight is so hard for Cormier now. I don’t believe Cormier has the same focus as before. He’s like a Heavyweight now, for sure, but I feel like maybe a Stipe Miocic victory on points. Miocic will beat him this time I think.”

Ex-UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos talking to MMA Fighting: “I think Stipe can get it back. I believe this time Miocic is coming more prepared. He knows how dangerous Cormier is. He knows how dangerous his game is. He can take you down but he can throw very hard punches, too. The first fight, Miocic was trying to exchange grappling skills with Cormier and it closed the distance and that was a mistake in my opinion. This time he’s going to come back more prepared for that. I can tell you Miocic has knockout power. His hands are really heavy. I really believe he’s going to win this fight by TKO.”

Inside The Octagon: UFC 241 Cormier v Miocic 2

In this episode of UFC's Inside The Octagon, hosts John Gooden and Dan Hardy preview the UFC 241 main event between heavyweight Champion, Daniel Cormier, and the man he claimed the title from, Stipe Miocic. Having lost his belt in devastating fashion at UFC 226, Miocic now returns to the octagon, steadfast on reclaiming the gold he so covets, and re-establishing his reputation as the UFC’s most successful heavyweight champion. However, as the only UFC fighter to defend titles in two different weight classes, Cormier would cement his legacy as one of the greatest champions of all time with a successful defence of his crown.

Tale Of The Tape

Daniel Cormier v Stipe Miocic

Daniel CormierTale Of The TapeStipe Miocic
22-1-0, 1 NCRecord18-3-0
12:34Average Fight Time10:05
5' 11"Height6' 5"
41.5"Leg Reach39"

What The Fighters Said

Daniel Cormier: “I understand that he’s going to be better [than he was in the first fight], but when I think about the fight and the little bit of time that we fought before, I just don’t think he’s good enough to beat me. I just don’t. I think he’s a good champion and I think he’s a good fighter, but I just don’t think he’s good enough to beat me and whether it is 25 minutes or two rounds, I’m still going to win the fight.”

Stipe Miocic: “He just said it right there. I’m not good enough. I’m a good fighter, but not to his level. We’ll definitely see August 17. A lot’s changed. I have got my mind right. I’m walking out with the belt wrapped around my waist, no question.”

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DC to prove 1st time was no fluke? Get Daniel Cormier v Stipe Miocic 2 tips

Daniel Cormier v Stipe Miocic 2 predictions for the heavyweight title fight at UFC 241 on August 17.

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