UFC 252 might be a “one fight card”, but boy, what a one fight it is. While there is technically 11 fights scheduled for Saturday night at the UFC Apex, the only one that really, really matters is the main event – the trilogy fight for the UFC Heavyweight Championship between current champ Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.
With my picks starting to trend back up in the right direction, let’s keep it going – here are all the winners for UFC 252: Miocic vs Cormier 3.
All odds courtesy of MyBookie
Stipe Miocic (-115) vs Daniel Cormier
The main event is a very difficult one to pick, with both men having knocked each other out in their two previous encounters. Hence the -115 odds for both Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier currently at MyBookie.
I’m leaning ever so slightly to the current champ, and winner of their last meeting, Stipe Miocic. He found a path to victory in their rematch by avoiding clinching with Cormier and attacking his body with strikes. No reason why he can’t ride that to another victory on Saturday.
Sean O’Malley (-320) vs Marlon Vera
‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley might be easy to dismiss as a joke, what with his rainbow Afro and face tattoos and pothead persona, but he should not be overlooked. He’s a knockout machine. a very well-coached athlete, and has a size advantage on Chito Vera.
Add in the fact that Vera gets hit more often than he hits his opponent, and O’Malley has a good shot at making it 12-0. I’m not a fan of the -320 number, however.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-135) vs Junior dos Santos
‘Bigi Boy’ is a knockout monster, winning 10 of his 11 pro fights via KO, while former champ Junior dos Santos is a shopworn 36-year-old coming off of back-to-back TKO losses. While Rozenstruik has been exposed a bit in his last two fights, this is a fairly easy pick for me.
Herbert Burns (-280) vs Daniel Pineda
UFC title contender Gilbert Burns’s little brother Herbert has shown he’s a legit UFC fighter in his own right, going 2-0 thus far under the bright lights. His grappling will be too much for Daniel Pineda on Saturday, who already washed out of the UFC seven years ago.
Merab Dvalishvili (-225) vs John Dodson
‘The Magician’ vs ‘The Machine’. I’m going for machine over man in this one and riding with Merab Dvalishvili. He’s bigger, younger, and has the striking and grappling chops to get the job done. Look for it to go to the judges’ decision, as he’s not much of a finisher.
Jim Miller (-105) vs Vinc Pichel
I’m going against my regular betting practice of taking the younger, bigger fighter and I’m betting on grizzled veteran Jim Miller. The last grappler Vinc Pichel fought, Gregor Gillespie, took him down and submitted him, which grappling wizard Miller has a very good chance at doing as well. Look for the prop bet of Miller via submission.
Livia Renata Souza (-160) vs Ashley Yoder
Ashley Yoder will have a significant size advantage over Livinha Souza (four inches taller and six inches of reach), but where she excels is the same area that Souza does – grappling. If it stays on the feet, I like the Brazilian’s chances (as well as if it goes to the mat).
Chris Daukaus (-110) vs Parker Porter
Two big heavyweight sluggers make their UFC debuts this Saturday at the UFC Apex. I’m going with UFC fighter Kyle Daukaus’s big brother in this clash due not only to his knockout power, but his unique combination of speed and athleticism for a big lug. Plus I’m not even sure Parker Porter is a real person – sounds like a comic book superhero’s alias.
Virna Jandiroba (-310) vs Felice Herrig
This will be ‘Lil Bulldog’ Felice Herrig’s first UFC fight since December 2018 due to a torn ACL, so ring rust should surely be a factor in this one (additionally, she hasn’t won a fight since December 2017). Former Invicta FC champ Viran Jandiroba is a real tough fight to shake the cobwebs off in, so I’m betting on ‘Carcara’.
T.J. Brown (-150) vs Daniel Chavez
Submission ace T.J. Brown might have had a taste of his own medicine last fight, losing via guillotine choke, but I expect him to get back on the winning track against the debuting Daniel Chavez, who has fought nowhere near this level of competition before.
Return on Investment: 1.3%