- The UFC heavyweight title is on the line when Daniel Cormier meets Stipe Miocic at UFC 241
- Can Miocic make the needed adjustments to defeat Cormier in the rematch?
- Has Cormier found another hole in Miocic’s game to be exploited?
The UFC returns to Honda Center in Anaheim, California, for the UFC 241. This Saturday (Aug. 17), the heavyweight title is on the line when current champion Daniel Cormier faces the man he defeated to claim that title, Stipe Miocic.
The PPV portion of the card streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass.
Cormier vs Miocic 2 Moneyline Odds
*Odds as of Aug. 13.
The First Meeting
Miocic was being talked about as the greatest UFC heavyweight of all time when he faced Cormier in the main event of UFC 226 in July 2018. That talk was justified. Miocic became the first UFC heavyweight champ to defend his title three straight times when he defeated Francis Ngannou by decision in January 2018.
That talk paused when Cormier knocked Miocic out at the 4:33 mark of the first round of their matchup.
The stoppage was set up by something Cormier and his team identified as a weakness in Miocic’s game. They noticed the defending champ left his hands low when he exited the clinch. When Cormier saw his opening, he blasted Miocic with a short right on a break. The blow landed on Miocic’s chin and dropped him to the mat. A few seconds later, following some ground strikes, Miocic’s title reign was over.
Cormier vs Miocic 2 Tale of the Tape
|Daniel Cormier||Category||Stipe Miocic|
|3.84||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||4.76|
|2.46||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||2.96|
|2.04||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||2.38|
|0.5||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.0|
Time to Adjust?
Miocic obviously knows what Cormier and his team discovered about his tendencies. The big question is what can they do that will result in a different outcome in the rematch? Cormier has spent a lifetime being the shorter competitor in wrestling and MMA and he’s built his career in those two sports overcoming that issue. He knows how and when to pressure and make an opponent fight him on his strengths.
Two men have figured out how to get the best of Cormier consistently and they are both in the argument as the greatest ever in their respective sports. In wrestling, that man was Cael Sanderson. In MMA it is Jon Jones. Miocic and his team have had more than a year to tailor a game plan specific to Cormier.
Cormier should expect a different Miocic in this fight, but what will be different? Will Miocic wrestle? Will he attempt to use distance? Will he meet Cormier in the clinch and try and overpower him? Will Miocic use his length to employ a kick heavy game and keep Cormier at bay in that manner? Cormier had a specific game plan in the first fight, it’ll be hard to fathom that he’ll find that opportunity in the rematch. Cormier will need to be better prepared and more fluid in his style in this fight. I believe his team will have him ready for anything Miocic can offer.
What’s at Stake?
The obvious answer to this question is the UFC heavyweight title and the ability to be called “The baddest man on the planet.” The not so obvious answer is that the victor will have a substantial claim as the best heavyweight in UFC history.
If Miocic reclaims the crown, his resume of three straight title defenses and a win over the man who wrested the title from him will make his claim to the title of best UFC heavyweight ever difficult to refute.
[T]is could be the last fight of Comrier’s career. There’s no way he wants to walk away from MMA competition with a defeat …
Cormier’s resume as a UFC heavyweight might not be as strong as Miocic’s, but two wins over the fighter who defended the title three times in a row more than makes up for that thin CV. There’s also the fact that Cormier has never lost a round as a heavyweight fighter inside or outside the UFC.
Another thing to ponder is that this could be the last fight of Comrier’s career. There’s no way he wants to walk away from MMA competition with a defeat. His NCAA wrestling career ended that way when he lost to Sanderson in the 2001 NCAA wrestling finals.
Pick: Daniel Cormier (-145)