It’s finally here – almost! The long-awaited rematch between two of the most dominant heavyweights in this era of MMA. Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier 2 will go down this Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
If the action coming in at top sites like Bovada are any indicator, this should be a close fight. The odds show Daniel Cormier as a -140 favorite – which is not much in the world of fighting– over Stipe Miocic who’s +120. Forty-nine percent of the public is on Stipe to win, while 51 percent is on DC. this is just about as close as close can be.
First Time Around
The first time these two fought, we saw a decisive DC victory. It was an upset in Vegas and was considered an upset in the eyes of many because they thought Stipe was just too big and athletic, even for an extremely agile big-man like Cormier.
But it seems like he came into the octagon over-confident. Perhaps Stipe watched all of those ‘Pro Fighters Predict UFC 226’ videos. Right off the bat, it didn’t look like he had respect for DC’s athleticism, wrestling ability, or power. Once he realised that he might not have been properly prepared, it looked like Stipe got frustrated and starting making detrimental errors. Daniel Cormier was coming up in weight, but he had more or less said, “I’ve fought at heavyweight, I’ve wrestled at heavyweight, and I’ve never lost in that weight class.” He went on to state that he had never even lost a round at heavyweight. This was all true, and the end result was a 1st round TKO.
That said, Stipe had some excellent moments leading up to the knockout. It wasn’t sheer domination on the part of Cormier. At one point Miocic got caught Cormier in an under-hook and passed to take his back. He didn’t secure the position fully but showed how good of a wrestler Stipe is.
Now Stipe has felt-out Daniel Cormier. Stipe felt that he had the fight going his way. But this was the first time that DC had fought at heavyweight in years … it was almost like a new weight class to him. DC didn’t know how he would feel at that weight, he hadn’t quite worked out the kinks of his movement, stamina, pace, ability to absorb shots, etc. Well, he was caught a bit by Stipe.
But then Cormier went up against the Black Beast and was even more comfortable in his new weight class. He looked even smoother. It looked like he’d found the fighting weight he should be at regardless of his height.
So who will win? Stipe will be better prepared both mentally and physically for Cormier. Plus now he isn’t taking on a light-heavyweight moving up in weight for a title shot. No, he’s trying to get that title back against a now established, legitimate heavyweight fighter. So, his mindset will be different. He’ll have a chip on his shoulder and a fire inside him.
Cormier, on the other hand, will be better than the first time around as well. He has settled into his role as a heavyweight and will fight Stipe more fluidly than at UFC 226. In a nutshell, this is a better fight. Both fighters are going to perform better at UFC 241. As to who wins, I’m not sure entirely but I’m leaning towards Stipe. One thing is for sure the fight should last longer and be much more of a chess match between Champions.