The long-rumored bout between current heavyweight champion Daniel “DC” Cormier and Brock Lesnar appears to be dead in the water as UFC president Dana White announced in late April that Lesnar is retiring. With this news, it opens up a rematch between Cormier and Stipe Miocic, the man he took the title from back at UFC 226 in July 2018. The bout will take place in August at UFC 241 with DC Sportsbook as a -145 favorite and Miocic coming back at +115.
The odds for this bout represent a stark difference from their first meeting about a year ago. In that UFC 226 main event, Miocic was the heavy favorite with closing odds of -225 and Cormier coming back at +175. Of course, DC won that bout via first-round knockout so it makes sense to see him as the early favorite ahead of the rematch.
Miocic has the record for most title defenses in the heavyweight division at three and had a six-fight winning streak, with five of those ending in knockout, before his defeat to DC. He hasn’t fought since the loss as he felt he deserved an immediate rematch – I think he had a case. The 36-year-old has been favored in 10 of his last 13 bouts so seeing him as a dog provides good value.
Cormier has just one loss on his MMA record and one no contest, both coming against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. DC is a two-division champ, claiming the light heavyweight strap while Jones was on suspension and, of course, is the current heavyweight champ after beating Miocic. Cormier has been favored in eight of his 13 fights in the UFC, but these are the lowest favorite odds he’s had.
How Will this Fight Play Out?
These are two evenly matched fighters who have good power in their hands as well as top wrestling games. Cormier averages 2.04 takedowns per 15 minutes and stuffs 78 percent of attempts against, while Miocic lands 2.38 takedowns per 15 and defends 75 percent of attempts.
Of DC’s 22 pro wins, 10 have been by knockout and five by submission. Meanwhile, 14 of Stipe’s 18 pro wins have been by knockout but two of his three losses have come in the same manner. In their first meeting, Miocic was knocked out in the first round from an overhand right in the clinch. Cormier started the first round a little slow but picked up the pace as the fight progressed and I don’t anticipate much of a change in the rematch.
Odds as of July 22 at Sportsbook