It’s a battle for the best ever. For the third time.
Most analysts believe that the winner of Saturday’s fight between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic will earn the distinction of being the UFC’s greatest heavyweight of all time.
Cormier won the first fight with a knockout. Miocic, an Ohio native, won the second bout with a TKO of his own. And now, the champion fighters who have combined for 41 victories and more than twenty stoppages, will meet again in a rubber match for the heavyweight belt.
It’s a battle for the best ever. And that’s just one of the bouts on a loaded 11-fight card for UFC 252 at the Apex facility in Las Vegas.
In addition to the main event, bantamweight Sean O’ Malley will put his undefeated record on the line against Marlon Vera. And Philadelphia native Chris Daukaus will face veteran Parker Porter in a preliminary heavyweight fight.
To top it off, both DraftKings and FanDuel are offering big promos to boost your profits. At DraftKings, new users can get 252-1 odds on either fighter in the main event (max bet $1). And at FanDuel, new users can boost their odds to 25-1 on Cormier or Miocic, with a max bet of $5.
It’s a big fight with a chance for big money. In this week’s installment of Penn Sportsbooks Pick Play, we’ll get you ready for it all with a rundown of all the UFC odds and available wagers at our region’s sportsbooks.
Cormier a close favorite in trilogy match
Saturday’s action will be broadcast on ESPN+/ESPN Pay-Per-View. Early preliminaries start at 7 p.m. and the main card moves to pay-per-view at 10 p.m. Daniel Cormier, who won the first meeting and had an early lead in the second, is -115 at BetRivers, PlaySugarHouse and DraftKings Sportsbook. Miocic is -104. The fight’s over/under is set at 2.5.
Cormier, who is now 41, has repeatedly mentioned plans to retire after the fight. He has been both a light heavyweight and heavyweight champion, so a win Saturday would cap off a stellar career.
His opponent, the 37-year-old Miocic, may not fight much longer himself, some have speculated. In fact, he might even retire following a win in the main event.
So the intrigue won’t necessarily end with the main event Saturday, but the drama certainly raises the stakes.
O’Malley seeks another knockout in co-main event
In Saturday’s co-main event, bantamweight Sean O’ Malley will receive a test from 22-fight veteran Marlon Vera. O’ Malley, who has won eight of his fights by knockout or TKO, is a heavy favorite (-286) at BetRivers, PlaySugarHouse and DraftKings Sportsbook. Vera is +225. The fight’s over/under is set at 2.5 rounds.
Philly native Chris Daukaus is featured in the second fight Saturday
Pennsylvania’s own Chris Daukaus will head to the octagon in the second preliminary fight Saturday for a heavyweight match with Parker Porter. Porter is favored at -124, while Daukaus is +100. Oddsmakers don’t expect a long fight with the total set at 1.5.
Daukaus has won all but one fight dating back to 2015.
“Daukaus is the better striker, but he is going to need to keep this fight striking or get a knockout to have a shot,” MMA analyst Kyle Marley noted for CBS. “Porter is the more well-rounded fighter and could get the fight to the mat and have success.”
So Pennsylvania’s MMA fans will have plenty to watch both early and late. The rest of Saturday’s fights and their moneyline odds at BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse are as follows:
- Junior dos Santos (+110) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-137)
- John Dodson (+188) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (-240)
- Herbert Burns (-286) vs. Daniel Pineda (+225)
- Jim Miller (+105) vs. Vinc Pichel (-130)
- Livinha Souza (-162) vs. Ashley Yoder (+130)
- Felice Herrig (+240) vs. Virna Jandiroba (-315)
- T.J. Brown (-155) vs. Daniel Chavez (+125)
- Kai Kamaka III (-215) vs. Tony Kelley (+170)
DraftKings MMA Million is back
Daily fantasy players will also have some big contests available for Saturday’s action. DraftKings’ $20 entry MMA Million is back, featuring a seven-figure prize pool and a top payout of $200,000. Second place receives $100,000 and third gets $50,000. And the $3 entry Haymaker has a total prize pool of $60k.
Over at FanDuel, the featured contest is the $252k Saturday UFC Octagon with an $8.88 entry fee and a $52,000 payout to first.
Both sites have contests available at all price points to fit your budget.
Perhaps the biggest fight of the summer arrives Saturday night.
It’s a bout between two of the UFC’s greatest fighters. And it just might be their last one, too.
For the third time, Cormier and Miocic will meet in the octagon. They’ll battle to become the best heavyweight ever.
And you don’t want to miss it.