The UFC is returning to California Saturday, and they are bringing an absolutely stacked card with them. Today, we’ll be making quick picks and predictions from some of the highlighted fights on the card, starting with the main event.
Cormier (-145) vs. Miocic (+115)
This is a rematch of a heavyweight title fight that saw Daniel Cormier realize a dream and become a double champ in the UFC, something only a few men (and one woman) on the planet can say at this point. It was a great fight, and both men showed promise in their respected areas.
However, it was ultimately Cormier that made the most important read of the fight and finished Stipe Miocic with a crushing overhand that sent him to the mat unconscious. It was unexpected, it was beautiful, and most importantly, it has fueled this rematch with quite a bit of hype behind it, and for good reason.
In this rematch, I think the fight is going to play out differently, for sure. Although it is possible that either DC or Miocic scores a quick KO, I think both men are preparing for an absolute war, which is what I think we’ll get. Expect more patience out of Miocic, who should look to utilize footwork to maintain his distance from Cormier.
For the champ, DC needs to do exactly what he did in the first fight and close the distance, which I think he’ll do. However, I don’t think DC will score a quick finish, and I think this fight gets drug into deep waters for both men.
Pick: Daniel Cormier def. Stipe Miocic via unanimous decision.
Pettis (-135) vs. Diaz (+105)
This fight is set to be sure fireworks. UFC gets another star in Nate Diaz back, after a long layoff since losing to Conor McGregor back at UFC 202. For Anthony Pettis, the former lightweight champ is fresh off a beautiful yet brutal KO of Stephen Thompson, which sent waves throughout the welterweight division.
I love this matchup, and it has fan favorite written all over it. Typically, I think both men present issues to one another, such as Diaz’s range and pace, and Pettis’ combinations and dynamic style.
I think this will be an instant classic to watch, but overall, I just think Pettis will utilize leg kicks and crisp combinations to find home for his targets more than Diaz will.
Diaz can win this fight, but he’ll have to set both the pace and the tone early, and I don’t see Pettis allowing him to get that kind of start.
Pick: Anthony Pettis def. Nate Diaz via unanimous decision.
Romero (-155) vs Costa (+240)
These two middleweights clashing come fight night may erupt the cage before the heavyweights take on the main event. Besides being two of the most jacked fighters currently on the roster, Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa are also amongst the most dangerous.
Romero is coming off a close split-decision loss to the champ, Robert Whittaker, while Costa is riding high after a TKO over Uriah Hall. Don’t get me wrong here; I think Costa is a serious threat to the 185-pound division, and yes, Romero is up there in age. But I’m not convinced the currently undefeated Costa is ready for this type of challenge.
Romero is one of the most explosive athletes in the UFC and packs absolute bombs into everything he throws. I don’t think it is going to be a complete annihilation, and I’m sure both men will have their moments, but I think Romero is too experienced and too explosive to let this one slip away from him.
Pick: Yoel Romero def. Paulo Costa via TKO round 2.