UFC 241 preview: Cormier and Stipe headline a stacked card

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August 15th, 2019

The rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic headlines a stacked card at Honda Center in Anaheim, California for UFC 241 on Saturday. Nate Diaz will also return to the octagon after a three-year hiatus to face off against Anthony Pettis in a do-or-die clash at welterweight.

We have odds and picks for every fight on the main card below. You can also visit BetAmerica's MMA hub for all of the latest betting news and analysis from the UFC and Bellator. There is also a Super Odds parlay available for Saturday's bouts.

Daniel Cormier (22-1) vs. Stipe Miocic (18-3)

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UFC 241 Odds
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Daniel Cormier
Stipe Miocic

MMA free pick: Miocic (+110)

In their explosive first fight, Cormier cemented his legacy as an all-time great when he stopped Miocic in one round. Miocic sits as a slight underdog Saturday and will be better prepared for Cormier in the rematch.

The first time around Miocic gave up his height and reach advantages in an attempt to overwhelm Cormier and was successful up until an eye poke stunted his momentum. Though Miocic will eventually impose his power, he is going to see how Cormier will react to fighting on the outside before closing the distance to land his big shots.
Cormier can hurt Miocic and has a better ground game, so he will be confident in taking some punishment to do work in the clinch and scoring takedowns. Miocic has decent footwork to go along with his power, but Cormier is savvy enough to work him against the cage and limit his offense.

Outside of another early stoppage, the first two rounds should be tactical. The longer the fight goes, the more likely Cormier will figure Miocic out before taking him to the ground and stopping him. Miocic is going to have to make his offense count once Cormier tries to seize momentum back.

A slower-paced opening will devolve into another brutal war, but this time Miocic will put enough shots together to down Cormier and recapture his title.

Anthony Pettis (22-8) vs. Nate Diaz (19-11)

MMA free pick: Pettis (-135)

Diaz is an attractive pick, even after a three-year layoff. However, Diaz always starts slow and ring rust will play a part against an opponent who commands explosive power. Pettis should take advantage of this early and survive a late assault to win a decision.

Yoel Romero (13-3) vs. Paulo Costa (12-0)

MMA free pick: Costa (+120)

While Romero has an advantage in experience, his troubles making middleweight have been well documented and will not bode well against a young, accurate striker in Costa. Costa’s youth and power will be enough to score the win

Gabriel Benitez (21-6) vs. Sodiq Yusuff (9-1)

MMA free pick: Yusuff (-310)

Yusuff is a big question mark, but the well-traveled Benitez doesn’t have a complex enough skill set to put Yusuff in danger. While both fighters are heavy handed, Yusuff will earn a stoppage in a routine performance.

Derek Brunson (19-7) vs. Ian Heinisch (13-1)

MMA free pick: Heinisch (-165)

Heinisch has the look of a potential star at middleweight, whereas Brunson is trending downward. Brunson’s best chance would be to use his reach, fight ugly and fish for a big counter shot, but he’ll resolve to brawling and Heinisch will overwhelm him.

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