Monday, October 26, 2020

UFC 252 Predictions: Miocic vs. Cormier

UFC 252 is upon us.

The event will be held inside the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada tomorrow night (Aug. 15). No fans will be in attendance. Headlining the card will be a heavyweight title clash between champion Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. The co-main event will see a bantamweight clash between rising star Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera. Also featured on the main card will be a battle between John Dodson and Merab Dvalishvili.

MMA News continues to keep you posted on the latest UFC 252 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 252.

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

  • Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
  • Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera
  • Junior dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
  • Herbert Burns vs. Daniel Pineda
  • John Dodson vs. Merab Dvalishvili

Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier

Fernando Quiles Jr: It all comes down to this. Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier will put their rivalry to bed with the trilogy bout on Saturday night. Much has been made over the smaller cage inside the UFC APEX and how it’s likely to benefit Cormier’s wrestling style. I have no doubt that Cormier will attempt to follow his game plan far better than the rematch with Miocic. The problem is, I don’t think the 41-year-old’s body will comply. He’s been through back issues and while he claims to be healed, don’t be surprised if his body fails him. I see the first two rounds going Cormier’s way before Miocic starts to take over and eventually finishes the fight. (Prediction: Stipe Miocic)

Ed Carbajal: This is hard to pick because both men are great champions and they’re 1-1 against each other with both getting victories by knockout. That being said, when looking closely at their past two matches, Cormier seems to have been the better man, even in the last one he lost. The last fight, Cormier got caught with body shots that turned the tide but before that he was winning. A competitor like him absolutely learns from his mistakes and I think he corrects the last one at UFC 252. (Prediction: Daniel Cormier)

Andrew Ravens: Such a great fight, but a greater choice in picking such a close matchup. Obviously, both fighters hold a win over the other but there are big challenges in the way of Cormier. Not only does he have to get over the fact that he was not only beaten but knocked out in their previous outing, he is also an aging fighter and has his sights set on the exit door. I have to go with Stipe here as I think those challenges mentioned above plus the belief that Stipe just simply got unlucky and caught in their first fight is enough to get him through and victorious over Cormier in the way of decision. (Prediction: Stipe Miocic)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Stipe Miocic

Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera

Fernando Quiles Jr: The “Sugar” show has quite the test ahead of him in Marlon Vera. Vera is scrappy and never truly out of a fight. You can get the early jump on him but he will come after his opponents with a vengeance as the fight gets deeper. I think O’Malley holds on with two strong rounds, with Vera taking the final round. This won’t be easy but O’Malley gets it done. (Prediction: Sean O’Malley)

Ed Carbajal: O’Malley has the reach advantage to go along with his confidence coming from winning and the promotional push by the UFC. MMA is a strange sport so that does not mean Vera won’t take advantage of O’Malley’s confidence. Still, if you ignore the hair and antics of O’Malley he is still an evolving martial artist that seems to take training very seriously. (Prediction: Sean O’Malley)

Andrew Ravens: I know the young prospects have been losing as of late but O’Malley is a special kid and has a bright future ahead of him. Vera does enter this fight looking for some redemption as he had lost his previous bout after being on a winning streak. I just can’t pick against O’Malley in a fight that carries the unknown of the caliber of fighter that Vera is. O’Malley gets it done by a second-round KO. (Prediction: Sean O’Malley)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Sean O’Malley

Junior dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Fernando Quiles Jr: Jairzinho Rozenstruik has a chance to show that he’s viable in the UFC’s heavyweight division with his bout against Junior dos Santos. While Rozenstruik caused a nasty lip split with his comeback knockout win over Alistair Overeem, his performance left a lot to be desired. He followed that up with a knockout loss to Francis Ngannou in a matter of seconds. I think dos Santos is going to outgun Rozenstruik on the feet and send him back to the drawing board. (Prediction: Junior dos Santos)

Ed Carbajal: Dos Santos is a former champion and seems to be content with being the gatekeeper in his division. Despite the damage he has taken in his career, he seems to still be a force in the heavyweight division and anyone considered a gatekeeper should not be taken lightly. However, Rozenstruik has been circling the top five and if he gets passed dos Santos, could mark a change for the division. Dos Santos might still keep him back though. (Prediction: Junior dos Santos)

Andrew Ravens: A very interesting fight here as JDS has lost his last two fights and is getting older while Rozenstuik was on a tear before he met the monster known as Francis Ngannou, who starched him in seconds when they met. I think Rozenstruik rebounds and does it in a big way with a win over the former UFC heavyweight champ in the way of a decision win. (Prediction: Jairzinho Rozenstruik)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Junior dos Santos

Herbert Burns vs. Daniel Pineda

Fernando Quiles Jr: This is the classic case of a prospect taking on a seasoned veteran, who is no tomato can but is beatable. Herbert Burns will welcome Daniel Pineda back to the Octagon. It’s a good test for Burns and I expect him to shine in prime time. I’ve got Burns in this one via submission (Prediction: Herbert Burns)

Ed Carbajal: Originally slated for the Fight Pass prelims and bumped up to the main card, it seems having a brother as the number one ranked welterweight has its perks. Those perks also come with the same level of training and Burns has been winning before coming into the UFC. Pineda is no slouch either coming from the PFL’s seasonal format. This may go to the judges, but I think the smart pick is with Burns. (Prediction: Herbert Burns)

Andrew Ravens: This might just be the easiest pick on the card and one of the more lopsided fights featured. Pineda enters this fight after two straight no contests that were overturned by the commission but had been on a four-fight winning streak before. It also marks his promotional return. The flip side sees Burns, a true up and coming fighter, on a five-fight winning streak all coming by finishes. Burns gets it done by submission. (Prediction: Herbert Burns)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Herbert Burns

Merab Dvalishvili vs. John Dodson

Fernando Quiles Jr: I really like this matchup. John Dodson isn’t exactly in title contention these days but he’s still a tough out and makes his opponent work for every inch of success they get. Merab Dvalishvili is fun to watch and will take any means necessary to achieve the takedown. I expect this to be fast-paced with some fun scrambles that eventually ends with Dvalishvili earning the decision win. (Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili)

Ed Carbajal: This bantamweight match is probably going to be a “Fight of the Night” contender. Both Dodson and Dvalishvili can fight at a high pace but Dodson is a finisher, at least more of a finisher than Dvalishvili is. However, all of Dodson’s losses are by decision which means it’s hard not to pick Dvalishvili. (Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili)

Andrew Ravens: On paper, this is a clear cut pick with Merab getting the win. Yes, Dodson is a name that everyone knows, but he has struggled as of late by going 2-2 in his last four. Granted, he knocked a dude out in his last fight, but still. I side with Merab getting it done by decision just like his past four outings. (Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Merab Dvalishvili

That’ll do it for the UFC 252 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 252.

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