UFC 241 Predictions: Cormier vs. Miocic 2

UFC 241

UFC 241 is upon us. The event will be held inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California tomorrow night (Aug. 17). Headlining the card will be a heavyweight title rematch between champion Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic. Taking the co-main event spot will be a welterweight showdown between Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis.

MMA News continues to keep you posted on the latest UFC 241 updates. Earlier today, we covered the weigh-ins, which you can see the results for here. Myself, Ed Carbajal, and Andrew Ravens have once again linked up to provide main card predictions for UFC 241.

Take a look at the bouts set for the main card:

  • Daniel Cormier (c) vs. Stipe Miocic – for heavyweight title
  • Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis
  • Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa
  • Gabriel Benitez vs. Sodiq Yusuff
  • Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch

Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic

Fernando Quiles Jr.: While I do believe that Stipe Miocic will have a better showing against Daniel Cormier this go-around, I feel “DC” will ultimately have his number again. Miocic had success on the feet for as long as his first bout with Cormier lasted, but it isn’t as if he was peppering him. Cormier chose to keep it on the feet and was able to lure Miocic into a false sense of security. I think Miocic struggles in the clinch as Cormier will look to land those uppercuts inside and I do see him utilizing takedowns this time. (Prediction: Daniel Cormier)

Ed Carbajal: Given the way Cormier, strategically was able to finish Miocic in their last fight it’s hard to pick against him. However, Miocic has only been thinking about this fight since the last one and has time not only to come in fresh, but develop a new game plan. Still, if this truly is Cormier’s last fight he will not go out with a loss. (Prediction: Daniel Cormier)

Andrew Ravens: While yes, we have seen this fight before, it was a short sample size and one that didn’t last long. Cormier is such a different fighter at heavyweight and the power that he generates is amazing. However, Miocic is still one of, if not, the best heavyweight fighter on the planet. If this fight goes the distance, I wonder what will be his game plan. This should be a great fight that will likely go all five rounds. I expect a more consistent Miocic especially in the clinch but have Cormier getting it done by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Daniel Cormier)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Daniel Cormier

Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis

Fernando Quiles Jr.: After three years of inactivity, Nate Diaz has quite the task ahead of him. Anthony Pettis is no joke and now that he doesn’t have to drain his body with weight-cutting, he may be better than ever. Diaz’s boxing is always a threat and he’ll look to use his range to pepper Pettis on the feet. I don’t think it’s going to work out for the Stockton native, however. While Diaz could certainly win this fight, I think Pettis will chop down the legs with kicks throughout the course of the fight. While Diaz hasn’t been finished since April 2013, Pettis is more than capable of pulling it off. (Prediction: Anthony Pettis)

Ed Carbajal: While Pettis may be a former champion and may even be more well-rounded in MMA, against larger, more durable veterans he has trouble in the past. His fight with Rafael dos Anjos comes to mind in his match-up with Diaz. Yes, Diaz is susceptible to leg kicks and Pettis has the arsenal to hurt him but when fights get ugly, he intelligently goes into defense mode. That’s good for his career but it won’t win him any fights. (Prediction: Nate Diaz)

Andrew Ravens: While Diaz is an extremely good talent, let’s face it, he hasn’t fought in three years and that’s going to be an issue. Pettis has found his path yet again and in a new weight class, he looked great in his latest outing. I don’t see how Diaz wins this fight outside of a finish. I could be dead wrong but Pettis seems like the clear cut favorite. Pettis gets it done by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Anthony Pettis)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Anthony Pettis

Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Whenever Yoel Romero slows down in a fight, analysts and fans tend to point to his age. That is until Romero has his opponent doing the chicken dance. Paulo Costa proved to be a bit of an open target in his bout with Uriah Hall. If that version of Costa shows up against Romero, it’s safe to say it’ll be lights out. (Prediction: Yoel Romero)

Ed Carbajal: Romero’s time away from fighting might be bad for him in this match-up. At 42 years old, the rest may be good but returning against Costa could be painful if it goes all three rounds. Still, early he can finish Costa but if nothing happens by round two, it’s Costa’s fight to win. (Prediction: Paulo Costa)

Andrew Ravens: This could end up being one of the best fights on the entire card. Costa has been on an amazing ride and just breaking into the top 15, he’s a real force to be dealt with. Thus, a fight with Romero, who is still in the top elite level of this division, is a great match-up to see if Costa is the real deal or just hype. Romero has only lost to Robert Whittaker in his most recent fights but I see Costa getting an upset win by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Paulo Costa)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Paulo Costa

Gabriel Benitez vs. Sodiq Yusuff

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Sodiq Yusuff is still young in the MMA game, but he’s patient and technical. Gabriel Benitez certainly has an edge in experience, but Yusuff been more active. While Yusuff has the ability to put away his opponents, I think he takes a more methodical approach here for the decision win. (Prediction: Sodiq Yusuff)

Ed Carbajal: This is an interesting match since Benitez has a lot more experience than Yusuff does. However, Yusuff has a high knockout rate for his smaller record. He very well could knock out Benitez just as much as anyone else but Benitez has only been knocked out once and could outwork Yusuff since he’s more experienced. (Prediction: Gabriel Benitez)

Andrew Ravens: I still question how this fight got on the main card especially when you look at other fights on the prelims that could’ve easily filled that void. Nonetheless, Benitez has won back-to-back fights but hasn’t been active in over a year. On the flip side, Yusuff has won four straight fights. I’ll take Yusuff by split decision. (Prediction: Sodiq Yusuff)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Sodiq Yusuff

Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Derek Brunson is widely considered to be a gatekeeper in the middleweight division. If you can beat him, you’re probably off to face a top-five ranked opponent. Brunson has been taking a more measured approach lately after being on the wrong end of highlight reel finishes. Brunson will be taking on a very capable wrestler in Ian Heinisch, so I don’t believe he can go to that well. I can see Heinisch forcing Brunson to be out of his element and swing wild. That’s when Heinisch will capitalize. (Prediction: Ian Heinisch)

Ed Carbajal: Brunson has a height and reach advantage over Heinisch and is still the underdog. He broke his two-fight losing streak when he won against Elias Theodorou but it went to a decision. Heinisch has half of his wins by decision and does not fight as awkwardly as Theodorou. He likely can pull off another decision win at UFC 241. (Prediction: Ian Heinisch)

Andrew Ravens: A great opening fight that will see if Heinisch can live up to the hype. Brunson in a lot of ways serves as the gatekeeper of the division and tests who is the real deal while keeping down the fighters who need to still grow. Brunson has struggled as of late with being 1-2 in his latest three. On the flip side, Heinisch has made some serious noise in the division with five straight wins. I have Heinisch winning by split decision. (Prediction: Ian Heinisch)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Ian Heinisch

That’ll do it for the UFC 241 predictions. Do you agree with the MMA News staffers? Who do you think will emerge victorious on the main card? Give us your predictions in the comments below and be sure to stick with us for live coverage of UFC 241.