UFC 241 will be held at the Honda centre in Anahiem, California on August 11 (AEST) and it is headlined by a UFC Heavyweight Championship rematch between double champ Daniel Cormier and former Heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic.
Daniel Cormier created history and became one of only four UFC fighters to hold two belts simultaneously when he knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC226 in July of 2018. Stipe Miocic has not been seen in the Octagon since that night in Las Vegas.
Nate Diaz is another fighter that returns from a long layoff in the UFC having not fought since he lost to Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in August 2016. He will fight Anthony Pettis at Welterweight is what is a mouth watering prospect.
This is possibly the most stacked card of the year when considering that Yoel Romero is also taking on Paulo Costa and it can not be missed.
We have analysed every fight on the Main Card and our complete UFC 241 preview can be found below.
UFC 241 Main Card
Sunday August 11 1pm AEST
UFC Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Cormier is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the UFC and he is right in the argument as the greatest of all time.
There are levels to this game especially when you get to the business end of a weight division and Cormier ticks all the boxes.
We know his wrestling is of the highest quality but his striking is very much underrated in my opinion and he showed the power in his hands in his first fight against Stipe Miocic.
Stipe Miocic has not been seen in the Octagon since his KO loss to Cormier back in July 2018 but he deserves this rematch.
He defended his Heavyweight belt more times (3) than any other man in the division’s history.
The rematch didn’t look like materializing after Cormier called out Brock Lesnar but that whole saga was just plain cringe worthy, let’s be honest.
This is a genuine superfight and any way you look at it, it is mouth watering.
Miocic is such a dominant striker, he lands 4.76 significant strikes per minute, but he a very versatile fighter.
In contrast, Cormier is such a dominant force on the ground and in the clinch (46% takedown accuracy), but can throw hands as well.
The first fight between these had plenty of fireworks and ended with a surprise result from the underdog however I think this one will last much longer.
It has been a long time in between fights for Miocic and I can see Daniel Cormier getting this one to the canvas at some stage.
Both fighters are intelligent and considered fighters and I think there will be some time spent working themselves into the fight.
I’m leaning toward Cormier to win however I would not be surprised if Miocic regained his belt. I think the fight will go 5 rounds and that is the best betting play int he fight.
Back The Fight To Go The Distance
Nate Diaz has not been seen in the Octagon since his decision loss to Conor McGregor in August 2016 but make no mistake about just how big a star he is in this sport.
Just when his stardom was reaching it’s peak however, he decided to step away citing contract disputes with the UFC as the main reason for his hiatus.
“I’ve been here the whole time, just the cameras haven’t” claims Diaz, which slightly eases anyone’s thoughts about the Gracie Jui-Jitsu black belt being out of touch.
He returns to the Welterweight Division against former Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis.
Pettis showed exactly why he acquired the nickname ‘Showtime’ by knocking out Wonderboy Thompson with possibly the best superman punch knockout the UFC has ever seen.
Pettis is not afraid to stand and throw hands but he is a very well rounded fighter. He is a black belt in Taekwondo as well as BJJ.
In my opinion this is the best match up the UFC has put on this year and it has the recipe to be a very entertaining fight.
There will be grappling. There will be striking. There will be blood.
Strap yourselves in for an all time classic.
Despite the time off, I’m leaning toward Nate Diaz in front of his home crowd.
Back Nate Diaz To Win
Paulo Costa is undefeated in his professional MMA career which has included four straight knock out wins inside the UFC’s Octagon.
He absolutely shreds to get to Middleweight and he low key looks like an Adonis sculpture.
He has showed us plenty of potential and he has a vicious high kick that he using very regularly.
Costa has not been seen in the Octagon since July 2018 and this fight had been scheduled previously before being cancelled.
Yoel Romero had just the one loss to his name before he ran into the greatest Middleweight on the planet in Aussie Rob Whittaker.
He went to war twice with the champ, coming off second best on both occasions via decisions.
You could argue that he won both those fights, especially a very controversial split decision the second time around.
The bloke is a beast. Why he continues to cut to Middleweight, something he has failed to do at his last two fights (missed weight) defies logic and I think a move up to Light Heavyweight is inevitable is he continues to fight.
I think Romero is too well rounded and experienced for Costa and will win this fight.
Back Yoel Romero To Win By KO
Gabriel Benitez has won five of his seven fights in the UFC including a vicious KO victory via a slam against Humberto Bandenay.
He was a veteran of many, many fights in Mexico before joining the largest MMA promotion and he is a fighter with plenty of experience.
His opponent on this card will be Nigerian Sodiq Yusuff who is currently riding a four fight win streak.
This includes his two fights in the UFC to date. A first round KO on debut in the promotion and a decision win over Moraes in March this year.
I’m tipping Yusuff will continue his rise in the UFC and he can climb right to the top of this division in the future.
Back Yusuff To Win By KO
Derek Brunson finds himself the 8th ranked UFC Middleweight having lost two of his last three fights inside the Octagon.
Those losses came against the legendary Ronaldo Souza and current Interim champ Israel Adesanya.
He won a unanimous decision against Elias Theodorou in May and he has plenty of claims to climb back up the rankings.
‘The Hurricane’ Heinisch is currently riding a four fight win streak which has included wins in his first two UFC fights.
Both wins came via a unanimous decision and it’s safe to say this is the toughest test that he has faced in his short MMA career to date.
Derek Brunson take a big reach advantage into this fight and can make it very difficult for his opponent in the clinch.
This is a very tough fight to assess and whilst I think the new comer has the advantage, there is no real value around.
Happy to sit this fight out from a betting perspective.