UFC 226: Miocic Vs. Cormier Betting Pick
Updated: Sep 8, 2020
UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier o3.5 -132
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
July 7, 2018
There is the case to be made that Stipe Miocic is the best knock out artist in the history of the UFC's heavyweight division. Frank Mir holds the record for the most finishes in the UFC's top weight class (14), and this legend's stoppage rate is identical to Miocic's. However, Mir's stat include submissions, an oft-used arrow in his quiver. Conversely, Miocic's finishes have all come from striking, giving the Ohioan the edge if judging KO prowess specifically.
Nonetheless, a look a Stipe's recent list of KO victims suggests less than unconditional stopping power in his fists.
Junior Dos Santos was TKO'd by Miocic in the 1st round of UFC 211 last May. It is worth noting that the 34 year old Jiu-Jitsu practitioner has been stopped in three of his last five out, suggesting Dos Santos' chin wilted in the latter portion of his career.
English kickboxer, Alistair Overeem, encountered Miocic in UFC 203 in the Fall of 2016. Stipe scored a first round KO against the Brit. Undermining this effort though, Overeem has proved consistently vulnerable to punchers over the years. Of Alistair's 17 MMA losses to date, 12 came via knock out (technical or otherwise).
Fabricio Verdum met Miocic in 2016, some nine years after the Brazilian's initial foray into the octagon. Probably not coincidentally, one writer posits that mixed martial artists start to decline about nine years into their MMA careers. Consistent with this thinking, Werdum has dropped three of his last six fights, two by KO.
Miocic ushered in 2016 by dispatching Andrei Arlovsky in the first minute of their UFC 195 contest. This loss proved the beginning of the end for the aging Belarusian, as Arlovsky would go on to lose five of his next seven fights. But even prior to that contest, Arlovsky was no stranger to having his night end suddenly. Seven of his ten losses before meeting Stipe resulted in loss by KO.
Finally, hard punching Mark Hunt locked horns with Miocic in 2015 (at the tender age of 41). Hunt entered that UFC Fight Night competition with a journeyman's record of 10-9-1, and off KO losses in two of his previous four matchups. Hunt boasts a style that requires that he take chances. Accordingly, the veteran striker has been KO'd in four of his last five defeats.
In stark contrast to the five scenarios described above, Cormier's chin is among the best in the UFC. Further, Cormier's supreme grappling ability and excellence fighting in the clinch are likely to, at least, slow Stipe's assault. We find OVER 3.5 rounds compelling.