UFC 226: Miocic v Cormier

UFC 226 Preview and Tips

UFC 226 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Nevada. The main event showcases a first of its kind, the current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier steps up to take on heavyweight king-pin Stipe Miocic. The match that will truly crown, “the baddest man on the planet” and is a game changer for the future of MMA. A late withdrawal of the originally scheduled co-main event for the featherweight title between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega, puts a dent into the anticipation of the overall pay per view but there are still plenty of great fights to offer. The Wolf previews the 4 current bouts on the main card, along with a few picks from the undercard.

Code/Previews Best Bets
Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree Best Bet: Rountree WIN ($2.15)
Value: Rountree via Decision ($9.00)
Anthony Pettis vs Michael Chiesa Best Bet: Chiesa WIN ($1.60)
Value: Chiesa by Decision ($3.60)
Francis Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis Best: Lewis WIN ($4.00)
Value: Lewis Wins Round 3 ($13.00)
Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier Best bet: Over 3.5 Rounds ($1.85)
Value: Cormier by Decision ($5.00)
Multi (All Best Bets) Combined Odds: $25.46

Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree
The first bout on the main card is a much watch for fight fans and promises to be non-stop action. Former Dutch kickboxing champion Gokhan Saki, competes for the 2nd time in the UFC against Khalil Rountree. A bout that was originally scheduled to take place late last year but was postponed due to injury and fight fans don’t need to wait much longer.

Before Saki’s UFC debut last September, many fans were skeptical of his chances considering his only previous MMA fight was a submission loss way back in ’04. Fans were not disappointed though, as Saki delivered on his promise to put on a show and he did just that with an edge of your seat Round 1 KO victory. The devastating left hook conclusion, is well worth a watch and will live on in highlight reels for years to come. His opponent Rountree only seasoned with 9 MMA fights, has shown himself to be a well-rounded fighter and also has spectacular KO victories to his name. His KO against Paul Craig this time last year was the highlight of his career so far. The story of this fight should be based upon Rountree’s ability to avoid the big shot of Saki and take him into the later rounds. Fans from there should see a significant grappling advantage displayed by Rountree, leading to a possible late submission or decision victory. The likelihood of victory for Saki significantly drops if the fight enters the second round, but you would be crazy to count out an experienced combat fighter such as Saki. The Wolf is picking Rountree to survive the early onslaught and finish the fight strong with a Unanimous Decision victory. Do not miss this one!
Best Bet: Rountree WIN ($2.15)
Value: Rountree via Decision ($9.00)

Anthony Pettis vs Michael Chiesa
The second bout on the main card is between top lightweights Michael Chiesa and Anthony Pettis. A battle of opposing skillsets, Chiesa known for his grappling predominant style enters the bout an $1.60 favourite against his more experienced opponent, former Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. The Maverick Michael Chiesa holds an MMA record of 14-3 and has victories over other top talent, Beneil Dariush, Jim Miller and Al Iaquinta. Chiesa sets up his wrestling with a boxing based striking attack and looks to overwhelm his opponents before getting the takedown. Against Pettis this strategy will be key, as the holes in Pettis’ game have been exposed by a similar wrestling style.

Anthony “Showtime” Pettis was on top of the UFC roster a few years ago, with his highlight reel finishing ability and well rounded game. A mix bag of wins and losses against top-flight competition over recent years has seen his ranking fall but Pettis will always be dangerous each and every time he steps into the Octagon. The Wolf likes this stylistic matchup as both men hold a significant advantage in each respective aspect of MMA, grappling and striking. Chiesa is still rising in his MMA career and his skillset should be to much for Pettis to handle, Chiesa by Decision.
Best Bet: Chiesa WIN ($1.60)
Value: Chiesa by Decision ($3.60)

Francis Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis
The next bout of the main card and new co-main event, sees another pair of Heavyweights throw down as Francis “the Predator” Ngannou takes on “the Black Beast” Derrick Lewis. Both men are known for there KO power and highlight reel victories this bout promises to be exciting from start to finish. Ngannou before his recent loss to Miocic, was on a tear in the Heavyweight division finishing all 6 of his previous opponents. Each and every one more devastating then the last. His devastating KO of Overeem last December, is one of the most terrifying in UFC history. If you have not seen that one, look that up now.

His opponent Derrick Lewis, has had his share of highlight reel KO’s and holds an experience advantage over Ngannou. Lewis’ $4 price tag is surprising, due to the nature of how each men compete the bookies are picking a chaotic 1st round that ends in a KO, but the Wolf thinks there could be more to the fight. Ngannou’s last fight was a perfect preview on how to beat beat “the predator”, though Lewis hasn’t shown himself to be a consistent grappler. In his last bout against Marcin Tybura, Lewis used his wrestling to outpoint his opponent and earn a comeback victory he so desperately needed. The Wolf is picking the underdog in this one, the first round much like the Saki – Rountree fight should be chaos, but the experience of Lewis should pull through and earn him a giant victory. Lewis by 3rd round TKO.
Best: Lewis WIN ($4.00)
Value: Lewis Wins Round 3 ($13.00)

Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier
The main event of the evening highlights two of the best fighters in the world when champions collide, Stipe Miocic the current heavyweight champion battles the current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in a fight for the ages. Both men last competed at UFC 220 in January and overcame huge obstacles. Miocic defeated the predator in a 5 round decision, the most impressive of his career because of the run Ngannou was on and Cormier dominated Oezdemir another man who was on a KO streak. Riding a 6 fight win streak and solidifying himself as the most successful heavyweight champion in the companies history, Miocic earns the right be a $1.40 favourite. His previous bouts included 5 straight KOs over real legends of the sport, such as Dos Santos, Hunt, Overeem and Werdum. Miocic has strong boxing, good conditioning and a solid wrestling base that allows him to be effective in all facets of the sport.

His opponent Cormier who is moving up to Heavyweight, possess a similar forward pressing style giving up a power advantage but owning a significant wrestling advantage to counter-attack. The former Olympic wrestler has competed 13 times previously as a heavyweight and should roughly weigh the same if not a little more then Miocic. His previous bouts against Oezdemir, Johnson and Gustaffson has shown he can withstand a power shot and adds to the intrigue of this bout.

The Wolf and many experts have mixed opinions on this bout and its possible outcome. This highlights the level of competition on display and is a must not miss for any fight or sports fan. The Wolf is taking the underdog Cormier in this one, by a razor thin decision. Cormier has shown better cardio and sustainability of pressure throughout his career, combine that with his wrestling skillset and Cormier should be able to squeak this one out.
Best bet: Over 3.5 Rounds ($1.85)
Value: Cormier by Decision ($5.00)

Other UFC 226 Bouts

Paulo Costa v Uriah Hall: Costa WIN ($1.22)
Max Griffin v Curtis Millender: Griffin WIN ($2.35)
Felder v Perry: Felder WIN ($1.62)