16 Aug Two UFC 241 Main Card Predictions
We are just a couple of days away from the next UFC event in Anaheim.
Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic are back at it. And this time around, it’s DC who’s the favorite at sportsbooks around the world.
UFC 241 Main Card
This is a hard-hitting main card, led by Anthony Pettis versus Nate Diaz and Daniel Cormier versus Stipe Miocic. Below the two superstar matchups, we have a physically imposing middleweight fight between Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa. Let’s cover that fight first.
Paulo Costa loves to swarm his opponents and use his impressive strength and physique to smother them. However, that tactic won’t work against an elite, Olympic wrestler like Yoel Romero.
Romero is pound for pound, one of the best fighters in the UFC. It’s arguable that the only reason he hasn’t already won a title is because of the befuddled middleweight scene over the last few years. That and his loss to Whittaker.
Costa has excellent striking and makes great use of combinations. He can box at range and can kick to the legs and body from both sides. But, his biggest weakness is his takedown defense. With a pure-wrestler like Romero, this spells trouble. For this reason, I can’t imagine Costa winning this fight. Yoel will grind him down and get the win.
Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz
This match could turn out to be the fight of the night. Anthony Pettis is a slight favorite over Nate Diaz. I understand the logic of that, but I don’t agree. I think Diaz is in a prime spot for the upset on the 17th. Diaz has been waiting for this fight for years. And years ago, this is a fight that Pettis dodged.
Anthony Pettis has a lot to prove right now, so he will come out to win. But I feel like Diaz has more personal motivation to beat Pettis specifically. On top of this, after watching Pettis essentially quite while fighting Tony Ferguson, I question whether he has enough heart at this point in his career to beat Nate Diaz.
Diaz has great conditioning and a steel jaw. Unless a really heavy left kick lands to his head, it’s going to be a challenge for Pettis to knock Diaz out. And that is the only way I see Pettis winning this fight. Diaz is very good at corraling his opponents into his left hand with his jab. Conversely, when they move away from his power hand, he’ll pepper you this stiff, stinging jabs and crosses with his right hand.
Both of these guys are good on the ground. Pettis is great at getting submissions off his back. However, Diaz has solid wrestling skills and is a second-degree BJJ black belt. Pettis holds a black belt as well, so both of these guys are extremely skilled grapplers. That said, I think it’s striking that will end this fight.
It seems like the whole world is on Pettis to win this fight due to three years of ring-rust that has congealed all over Nate Diaz’s 34-year-old body. But I lean towards the Diaz here. I think he has been patiently waiting for the fight he wanted. This is that fight. Plus, you could see the ‘quit’ in Pettis’ eyes when he fought El Cucu. Diaz doesn’t even understand that word.