We have the trilogy headlining UFC 252 for both the heavyweight title and the informal claim of being the baddest man on the planet with Stipe Miocic aiming to defend his belt against Daniel Cormier in what could quite possibly be both men’s last UFC fights.
Once again the card will be fought out of the UFC Apex Centre in Las Vegas and contains many intriguing match ups. Along with a selection in the main event I have four other selections throughout the card to quench our UFC thirst. So let’s strap in as we look into plenty of interesting and enthralling fights below.
In their first encounter DC scored a phenomenal KO to clinch the Heavyweight title before being overwhelmed by Stipe’s body work in the rematch that saw Stipe reclaim the UFC gold. How you see this trilogy fight going boils down to two things. Firstly, how much weight you put on the KO in the first fight being down to Miocic’s chin not being fully recovered from his title defense against Francis Ngannou and secondly if DC will use his wrestling more and tighten up his body shot defense. Simply put both men are incredible and that can be clearly seen in their career resume’s. However, I have to lean towards DC winning this fight as he looked well in control of their second fight winning the first two rounds on all judge’s scorecards before going away from his wrestling and becoming too comfortable, a mistake which saw him get finished.
It must also be mentioned that the smaller cage size greatly improves DC’s chances especially if he utilises his wrestling. He almost arrogantly went away from his wrestling in their last fight and I am sure he has watched back the tape and will mix in his wrestling with his striking this time around and therefore be able to come out of this fight the victor. Win or lose it is likely we will see DC ride off into the sunset unless they persuade him to do one more fight with Jon Jones at heavyweight.
I am tipping JDS to be able to get the win as the underdog here. Although JDS is coming off back to back KO losses, he should be able to outbox Rozenstruik and can take him down as required to eek out a victory either by a stoppage in the latter rounds or a decisive decision victory. It also is a huge query on how Rozenstruik bounces back from a 20 second KO defeat just over 3 months ago.
The Burns brothers have been on a tear of late and I am backing Herbert to add another scalp here. Burns’ jiu jitsu is top tier and if he gets it down as I expect him to, he will hunt for Pineda’s back or an arm and should get the finish simple as that.
My first speculative pick is here in the form of John Dodson to get the KO. He does face a tough ask against the 29-year-old Georgian, Dvalishvili who has been super impressive in the last couple of years racking up takedown after takedown which has earnt him dominant decisions. He has 25 takedowns combined in his last two fights which is insane, but John Dodson is his hardest fight to date. Dodson has serious pop in his hands and finished Nathaniel Wood in his last fight who had plenty of hype around him and has won since. Dodson also dropped now champion Petr Yan and although losing that fight it was the only display in recent years that showed Yan isn’t bulletproof. While I have ultimate respect for Dvalishvili I do see him being caught and potentially dropped and at $6 the KO looks juicy.
T.J Brown lost his UFC debut to Jordan Griffin by submission in a fight he looked in complete control of up until that point. He has shown a knack for finishing his opposition both on the feet and on the ground, but I expect him to look to take this to the mat. Chaves is a solid striker who may rack up yet another knockout victory early in this fight, but Brown is very slick on the ground, known for a very slick arm triangle and I believe he can get another one here as Chaves’ ground game leaves a lot to be desired. T.J Brown bounces back from his last fight loss and submits Chaves who faces a big step up in opposition here.
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