UFC 252 predictions — Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic: Fight card, odds, expert picks, prelims, date
Check out who the experts at CBS Sports are taking for the heavyweight trilogy fight in Las Vegas
By Brian Campbell & Brent Brookhouse
2 hrs ago
5 min read
Playing: UFC 252: Expert Picks (8:21)
Title fights don’t get much bigger than this. Two of the most accomplished fighters in UFC history are set to square off for the third time in the main event of UFC 252 when Stipe Miocic faces Daniel Cormier. Each fighter has scored a knockout in the previous two meetings with Miocic getting the upper hand in the last bout. Now, the two will look to settle the score in the grudge match.
Miocic has run the proverbial gauntlet at heavyweight in his career. The champion has 15 knockouts in 19 career wins, including a stretch of Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos and Francis Ngannou over four years that saw him secure the title. The loss by first-round TKO to Cormier in 2018 was just he second of his career.
Cormier, on the other hand, is among the most accomplished in the sport’s history. His only two professional losses have come to Miocic and Jon Jones (a second loss to Jones was later overturned to a no contest). He won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in 2012 and owns wins over Josh Barnett, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, Dan Henderson, Anthony Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson, Anderson Silva and more. A win (even though he believes he’s already there) solidifies Cormier as one of the best ever in MMA history.
But there’s plenty of depth to be found beyond the main event of the evening. There’s a pair of veterans looking to add one more win to the resume when Jim Miller and Vinc Pichel link up in the preliminary main event. In Miller’s case, a win moves him closer to topping Donald Cerrone’s mark for most victories in UFC history.
Then, one of UFC’s brightest rising stars returns to the center of the Octagon when Sean O’Malley takes on Marlon Vera in a bantamweight bout. O’Malley has been on fire since returning from a two-year USADA suspension. He’s scored two straight nasty knockouts and has an insane finishing record at just 25 years old. Vera, however, cannot be overlooked in this spot as the Colombian has never been finished and won five of his last six.
Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon, including a complete preview of UFC 252 with Hall of Famer ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans below.
Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride. Let’s take a closer look at the rest of the card with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
UFC 252 fight card, odds
Daniel Cormier -115 vs. Stipe Miocic (c) -105, heavyweight championship
Sean O’Malley -300 vs. Marlon Vera +230, bantamweights
Jairzinho Rozenstruik -125 vs. Junior Dos Santos +105, heavyweights
Herbert Burns -270 vs. Daniel Pineda +220, featherweights
Merab Dvalishvili -240 vs. John Dodson +200, bantamweights
Vinc Pichel -130 vs. Jim Miller +110, lightweights
Virna Jandiroba -300 vs. Felice Herrig +240, women’s strawweights
TJ Brown -150 vs. Danny Chavez +125, featherweights
Livia Renata Souza -160 vs. Ashley Yoder +135, women’s strawweights
Parker Porter -120 vs. Chris Daukaus +100, heavyweights
Kai Kamaka III -230 vs. Tony Kelley +190, featherweights
With such a massive main event on tap, the crew at CBS Sports went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card. Here are your pick makers: Brent Brookhouse (Combat sports writer), Brian Campbell (Combat sports writer), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor) and Michael Mormile (producer).