UFC 241: Cormier vs. Miocic 2

Preview and Predictions for UFC 241: Cormier vs. Miocic 2 
by Danny Rourke and Darell Garner 
This weekend the UFC takes over the Honda Center in Anaheim, California for UFC 241: Cormier vs. Miocic 2. A rematch for the Heavyweight Championship and three juicy matchups between contenders at Middleweight, Welterweight and Bantamweight make UFC 241 an event you won’t want to miss. Action begins with:
6:30PM/ET     UFC Fight Pass    Early Prelims  8:00PM/ET        ESPN                  Prelims       10:00PM/ET      PPV                  Main Card      
UFC 241 Main Card Predictions
#10 Ian Heinisch (-145) vs. #8 Derek Brunson (+115)
Ian Heinisch (13-1-0) faces Derek Brunson (19-7-0) in a battle of Top Ten ranked Middleweights. After earning his UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. Heinisch has strung together impressive Decision wins over Brazilian prospects Cezar Ferreira and Antonio Carlos Junior to start his UFC career, and has worked his way into the tenth place in the Middleweight division rankings. Heinisch is currently on a five fight win streak, and will continue climbing into contention with a win over division stalwart Derek Brunson.  Derek Brunson was right on the doorstep of joining the Middleweight elite but came up short in Knockout losses to top contenders Jacare Souza and Israel Adesanya. Brunson was able to bounce back with a Decision win over Elias Theodoreu at UFC Ottawa, and would do well by turning away a hungry Heinisch. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Heinisch via First Round Knockout 
D’Bo’s Picks: Heinisch via Decision 


Gabriel Benitez (+235) vs. Sodiq Yusuff (-275)
Gabriel “Moggly” Benitez (21-6-0) will look to slow down the hype train of “Super” Sodiq Yusuff (9-1-0) in what has all the ingredients  for an exciting Featherweight showdown. Gabriel Benitez had somewhat of a coming out party the last time he fought in California two years ago, as the AKA product earned a Unanimous Decision win as an underdog against Jason Knight at UFC Fresno. Moggly followed up his win over Knight by literally picking up a Knockout (Slam) win against Humberto Bandenay at UFC Santiago last May. Benitez will once again be the underdog against Sodiq Yusuff, who like Ian Heinisch, earned his UFC contract on the Contender Series and has also been victorious in his first two Octagon appearances against Suman Mohktarian and Sheymon Moraes.  Super Sodiq, who trains alongside James Vick at Team Lloyd Irvin, will be seeking his fifth consecutive victory against Benitez, a former contestant on The Ultimate Fighter Latin America. Will the more experienced Benitez be able to pull off the upset in front of the home crowd? Or does Super Sodiq make another strong bid to crack the Featherweight rankings. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Benitez via Decision 
D’Bo’s Picks: Yusuff via Second Round TKO


#2 Yoel Romero (-150) vs. #7 Paulo Costa (+120)
“Soldier of God” Yoel Romero (13-3-0) returns to action to face the undefeated “Borrachinha” Paulo Costa (12-0-0) in a Middleweight contest with serious title shot implications. Despite coming in overweight in his last two title bouts at Middleweight against Robert Whitaker at UFC 225 and Luke Rockhold at UFC 221– and despite the rumors of Yoel Romero  supposedly moving up to Light Heavyweight, “The Soldier of God” surprised everyone this morning  by making Championship weight, coming in 184.5 pounds, as the last fighter to weigh in, and as Yoel successfully made weight for his anticipated bout against Paulo Costa at UFC 241. Paulo Costa has continued to past all the tests so far to date inside the Octagon with four TKO wins against Garret McClellan, Oluwale Bambhose, Johny Hendricks, and Uriah Hall at UFC 226 last Summer. While Romero has narrow Decision losses against the current Champion Whitaker sandwiching his win against Rockhold, Romero has never been finished inside the Octagon, and was KO’d only once in his career, eight years ago back in the Strikeforce days against Raphael Cavalcante. Something will have to give in this sure fire collision between these two ridiculous physical specimens. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Costa via Second Round KO 
D’Bo’s Picks: Costa via Third Round TKO


#7 Anthony Pettis (-130) vs. Nate Diaz (+110)
Nate Diaz (22-8-0) will have the Honda Center rocking as he returns from a three year hiatus to throw down in a Welterweight bout against former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony “Showtime”Pettis (19-11-0).  While the fight may not be taking place in Stockton, California— Nate Diaz will have all the California crowd supporting him as he steps into the Octagon for the first time since losing in a five round war in his second match with Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in August 2016. Nate was scheduled to return and face Dustin Poirier at MSG last November, but ultimately the bout would fall through. While Pettis and Diaz have spent the bulk of their careers fighting at 155 pounds, I think it is pretty safe to say that neither fighter plans on making the return back down to Lightweight. Anthony Pettis turned back the clock in his Welterweight debut against Stephen Thompson at UFC Nashville in March, finishing Thompson in the Second Round with a perfectly executed Superman punch off of the cage and following up with strikes. The Performance of the Night by Showtime has many fight fans excited about his potential to make some noise at Welterweight, and there are no bigger named opponent than Nate Diaz to make your case at the next big money fight. Plenty of interested eyes will be glued to the television during this fight. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Pettis via Second Round TKO
D’Bo’s Picks: Diaz via Third Round TKO 


MAIN EVENT— UFC Heavyweight Championship 

{C} Daniel Cormier (-140) vs. #1 Stipe Miocic (+110) 
In the UFC 241 Main Event, Daniel “DC” Cormier (22-1-0,1NC) will face Stipe Miocic (18-3-0) in a rematch for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. A little over a year ago at UFC 226 in Las Vegas, Daniel Cormier defeated Stipe Miocic by First Round Knockout to a simultaneously become a two weight class world champion. Stipe has waited a year for the opportunity to get his revenge. Stipe did not get an immediate  rematch, as DC would defeat Derrick Lewis by Submission at UFC 230 last November in his first successful Heavyweight title defense. As the leader in UFC Heavyweight title defenses, Miocic was upset he did not get an immediate rematch as his record speaks for itself. Cormier will have the home field advantage fighting in California and it will be interesting to see what adjustments Miocic is able to make to prevent a second straight loss to DC. Cormier has never lost at Heavyweight, and his only career loss has come against the Pound for Pound #1, Jon Jones. If DC beats Stipe, that is the only fight to make. Let’s be honest, at the age of forty, DC doesn’t want any smoke with Francis Ngannou before he hangs it up and calls it a career. If DC beats Stipe, the only thing left for DC to try and do, is settle the score with Jon Jones. But first, standing in his way, is an angry Croatian hell bent on revenge and on getting his belt back.  
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Miocic via Second Round TKO
D’Bo’s Picks: Miocic via First Round TKO 


Next week, the UFC heads to Shenzhen, China 🇨🇳 for UFC on ESPN+15: Andrade vs. Zhang. Share your thoughts and  picks with us in the Comments section below, and enjoy the fights!! 

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