The 241st iteration of the UFC is coming to the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on August 17th.
The card is loaded with superstars, and we can’t wait to see the inevitable wars waged between Stipe and DC and Pettis and Diaz. UFC odds have both of these fights close. Pettis is a slight favorite over Diaz and DC is just a tad heavier favorite over Miocic.
Let’s break it down.
Welterweight | Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis
I must admit, I am more excited about this fight than the Stipe versus Cormier rematch. I think this is going to be a war.
Back when Anthony Pettis was Champion, Diaz wanted a fight with him. In fact, he called Pettis out on various occasions. But Pettis – according to Nate– ‘Big Leagued’ him. Acting like he wanted to fight, but dodged. Diaz says that they should have fought a long time ago. Well, now he gets his chance at, “the Wheaties Box Guy”.
Diaz hasn’t fought in quite some time. He’s just been sitting back waiting for something worthwhile. With his length, powerful punching ability, grappling skills, and cast-iron chin, Nate Diaz is a top opponent for any welterweight.
Pettis is resurgent. After the stoppage against Tony Ferguson, he smashed his way through Stephen Thompson. Anthony Pettis is a terror on the ground off his back and has crisp, razor-sharp punches. On top of that, his left leg is deceptive and has caught many opponents on the side of their head and neck over the years.
The one thing that worries me about Pettis in this match is he showed some ‘quit’ against El Cucu. Nate Diaz doesn’t have quit in him, and as we saw in both fights against McGregor, one of the most powerful punchers in his weight class that the UFC has ever seen, Diaz’s toughness is on another level. If it becomes a situation where these two are toe-to-toe trading blows, I have to give the edge to Diaz. I might not have said this before witnessing Pettis vs. Ferguson, but now I question if Pettis still has the same heart that he did some years ago. Diaz likes to stay on opponents like white on rice and keep peppering pressure. Although he doesn’t have quite the tank that Ferguson has, Nate Diaz doesn’t run out of gas.
Prediction: Diaz gets the upset win.
Heavyweight | Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 2
Many are already saying that this fight is going to go almost exactly the same as the first iteration did. However, I’m not so sure about that. One thing is sure: DC has proven to quite possibly be the most incredible heavyweight the UFC has ever seen.
One thing to consider is that Stipe was on a quick turnaround after taking some serious shots in that Ngannou fight. Another main factor in the first fight was that it was clear that Stipe wasn’t respecting Daniel Cormier and then when things weren’t going his way, he got frustrated, and lost his head.
Who is a better wrestler at this point in time than DC? Probably no one. That said, Stipe is more well-rounded and perhaps better in all other aspects outside of grappling. He is going to come into this fight with more respect for hour athletically talented DC is which should lead to Miocic sticking to a game plan – and hopefully for him, not get frustrated and make mistakes.
Now, this doesn’t mean that Stipe is a sho-in for the win, but I think this fight is going to be a lot more competitive than the last time around. I still lean on Cormier to eventually get a dominant position on the ground and win the fight, but it is going to be close, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Stipe takes this fight and we end up with a trilogy.
Prediction: lean towards Cormier, but we could see an upset.