UFC 252

UFC 252: Predictions, Betting Tips and Odds – Will UFC great DC leave octagon with heavyweight belt or damaged legacy? (15/08/2020)

UFC 252 returns to Vegas once again after four brilliant cards on Fight Island. Sam Bettany previews the main event and looks at the rest of the card, having landed four of his last six UFC tips.

Event Details

What event is this?

UFC 252

Where is this event being held?

UFC APEX, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

How many bouts are on this card?

11 bouts (five on main card, six on prelims)

Which division has the most fights on the night?

Middleweight and Bantamweight

What time can I watch UFC 252 in the UK?

Prelim action begins at midnight (UK Time) on BT Sport

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UFC 252 Main Event: Stipe Miocic (USA) vs Daniel Cormier (USA)

The UFC 252 Main Event features the trilogy UFC Heavyweight title bout between champion Stipe

Miocic (C) (19-3)

The champion has no intention of losing his belt again against an opponent he arguably underestimated in their first bout. The trilogy was bound to happen. It had to happen. For Stipe Miocic, the mindset going into this could be his only downfall, but other than that he has a lot going for him. The 37-year-old, who is a firefighter-paramedic, will have been a busy man during the lockdown period away from the cage.

Both guys have fought and beat the who’s who of top heavyweight fighters in the UFC, but it is Stipe who intends to make sure this fight is his by trading at distance. He already knows DC cannot just back off the Ohio native with the significant size difference and reach advantage. Don’t count 6ft 3in champ out if he is down on the scorecards early, because he proved he can make the right adjustments to win against DC. Miocic is a 19/20* slight underdog for this one.

Cormier (22-2, 1NC)

At 41, Cormier’s time in the octagon is ending. He will leave the sport behind as a competitor and continue to work as a commentator and coach after this fight. In his last bout of his MMA career, he takes on Stipe Miocic with a legacy of being the greatest heavyweight on the line. Having held belts at both the UFC Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight divisions, the Louisiana-born fighter could go down as the greatest should he take the belt from Miocic once again.

The game plan has to be just right, because last time out DC could not respond to the adjustments Miocic made in the third round of the second fight. People may forget that Cormier was winning the second fight early on until the shift in the game plan from Miocic which saw DC get hit with some heavy body shots which switched the momentum of the bout. Will his impending retirement from the cage distract DC from his performance? How much will the smaller cage affect his performance? Also, the scales could be a big factor too. Will DC come into this closer to 220 or 230? He is going into this one as a slight favourite at 17/20*.

*Odds as of the time of writing (Friday 14th August 2020) and subject to change

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Will UFC 252 co-mainer Suga Sean O’Malley go to the ground?

The Suga Show is already back with another potentially explosive episode of entertainment. It is already his third fight this year, and the DWCS champion of season two is looking for another quick win to his name. He admits he faces a tougher opponent than he has ever faced in Marlon “Chito” Vera. USADA suspended O’Malley last year, and it meant this fight never went ahead last year. O’Malley has backed his ground game but ultimately is likely to end this one on the feet and is a 1/3* favourite to secure yet another early stoppage win.

Active Ecuadorian fighter Vera looks to get back in the win column after an unlucky scoring from the judges in his last fight against Song Yadong in May when the UFC was starting back up in Jacksonville. Prior to that fight, Vera was on a five-fight win streak at bantamweight, the same weight division as O’Malley. Vera and his coaches will need a better game plan however if they want to bring the Suga Show to a halt and Mark Jarvis prices him at 9/4* to cause the upset.

Another huge heavyweight bout not to sleep on at UFC 252!

Prior to the co-main, we have quite some warm up in the UFC Heavyweight Division, as Junior dos Santos (JDS) takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Former champion JDS is currently on a two-fight losing streak having lost against Curtis Blaydes in January of this year. The Brazilian was coming into that fight off another TKO loss to Francis Ngannou in the opening round. With a 21-7 record, Cigano still holds a spot in the top five in the official rankings, and a win here is massive for the 36-year-old. He is a 11/10* slight underdog with Mark Jarvis.

Surinamese fighter Rozenstruik comes into this fight potentially unphased despite losing his undefeated pro MMA record last time out. After a 6-0 record, the 32-year-old made his UFC debut just last year and has fought five times. He possesses incredible cardio for a heavyweight and that could come into play should this fight go beyond the first round against dos Santos, who is still one of the best heavyweights with his footwork. Despite only 11 pro MMA fights before UFC 252, this will be the kickboxer’s sixth fight since February 2019, and he is looking to make a quick bounce back from a very early KO loss to Ngannou and is 8/11* favourite to win with Mark Jarvis.

*Odds as of the time of writing (Thursday 13th August 2020) and subject to change

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UFC 252 Preliminary Card

Featherweight: Chris Daukaus vs Parker Porter

Women’s Strawweight: Felice Herrig vs Virna Jandiroba

Featherweight: T.J. Brown vs Daniel Chavez

Women’s Strawweight: Ashley Yoder vs Livinha Souza

Lightweight: Jim Miller vs Vinc Pichel

UFC 252 Main Card

Bantamweight: John Dodson vs Merab Dvalishvili

Featherweight: Herbert Burns vs Daniel Pineda

Heavyweight: Junior dos Santos vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Bantamweight: Sean O’Malley vs Marlon Vera

Heavyweight Title Bout: Stipe Miocic (c) vs Daniel Cormier

Sam’s UFC 252 Betting Tips

I cannot see Danny Pineda, who has lost 13 bouts now, being able to stop the rising Herbert Burns in his first UFC bout since 2014. Burns has four consecutive first round stoppages, and he is 1/3* to get it done against Pineda.

Junior dos Santos has looked a little sloppy in his last two outings and his chin and cardio will no doubt be tested if this goes beyond the first round. Jairzinho Rozenstruik is 8/11* to earn a significant bounce-back win with Mark Jarvis.

What was an early prelim fight on the card has now been bumped up to give TJ Brown and Danny Chavez some more exposure. Chavez is making his UFC off of three first round wins and is priced at 5/4* to earn his first UFC victory at UFC 252 with Mark Jarvis.

*Odds as of the time of writing (Thursday 13th August 2020) and subject to change

UFC 252 Tips

*Odds as of the time of writing (Thursday 13th August 2020) and subject to change

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Sam is an experienced content writer with a history of working in the sports industry. Sam is a media and communication professional with a bachelor's degree focused in Sports Studies.

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