Aug 6, 2020
Aug 6, 2020

UFC 252 preview: Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3

Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier betting preview and odds

Miocic and Cormier stats

Miocic vs. Cormier predictions: Where is the value?

Miocic and Cormier's fighting styles analysed

UFC 252 preview: Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3

The UFC Heavyweight Championship is once again on the line as Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier face off for their third bout in two years at UFC 252. Will the defending champion Miocic enjoy back-to-back victories against Cormier, or can DC earn revenge and reclaim the belt he lost at UFC 241? Read on to inform your Miocic vs. Cormier predictions.

Event: UFC 252

Date: August 15, 2020

Venue: UFC APEX (Las Vegas, US)

Miocic vs. Cormier: Tale of the tape

Stipe Miocic


Daniel 'DC' Cormier




193 cm


180 cm

104.6 kg


114 kg

203 cm


184 cm


UFC record



Overall MMA record



Striking accuracy



UFC ranking


UFC 252 was originally planned to take place at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, but was relocated as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the third fight between defending champion Stipe Miocic and #1 ranked Daniel Cormier to decide the UFC Heavyweight Championship in just over two years. The pair first met at UFC 226 in July 2018, when Cormier (who was also the Light Heavyweight champion at the time) emerged victorious following a first round knockout.

Cormier has hinted that this event will serve as his final MMA outing.

Cormier then defeated Derrick Lewis to successfully defend the belt before taking on Miocic for their first rematch at UFC 241 in August 2019. On that occasion, the fight lasted until the fourth round, when Miocic produced a TKO win to earn back the title. That was both fighters’ last appearance in the octagon.

Miocic (who celebrates his 38th birthday four days after the fight) and Cormier (aged 41) are firmly among the eldest fighters out of the current top 16 in the UFC Heavyweight division. Consequently, it is widely speculated that this third instalment of their rivalry will prove to be the final one and conclude a saga that has already witnessed one of the most fiercely contested UFC titles change hands twice.

Indeed, Cormier has hinted that this event will serve as his final MMA outing, but primarily concentrated on reiterating the fight’s importance, explaining “Whoever wins this fight is going to be remembered as the greatest heavyweight of this era and the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. This is a big fight. This fight has massive stakes.”

Meanwhile, Miocic has notably admitted that he unsuccessfully lobbied for the UFC to use a 30-foot cage instead of the 25-foot model that will be in place for the bout. His pre-fight comments have been less concerned with legacy, stating “I’m just ready for this fight. I’m not worried about what you call me after, baddest man on the planet, the greatest of all time, I don’t care right now. I’m just here to win.”

Analysing the Miocic vs. Cormier odds

The odds literally cannot separate Miocic and Cormier for this bout, pricing both fighters at 1.934* and giving them an exact 50% chance of victory. That is narrowly longer than Miocic’s average closing odds for his last five bouts of 1.918 and shorter than the same figure for Cormier of 2.072.

Miocic’s odds have not moved between open and close by a greater margin than 0.12 for his last five bouts.

While tight odds have been a recurring theme throughout their contests, on both of the previous occasions the underdog emerged victorious. Cormier closed at 2.40 while Miocic was 1.63 for the former’s victory at UFC 226, whereas Miocic was priced at 2.19 and Cormier was 1.73 when the current champion reclaimed his belt at UFC 241.

Miocic’s odds are unaccustomed to significant developments during the build-up to his fights and have not moved between open and close by a greater margin than 0.12 for his last five bouts. However, on four of these occasions his odds had lengthened by close, suggesting those who are confident that he will retain the title may enjoy narrowly better value by holding off on any bets until fight night.

Similar observations can be drawn from Cormier’s recent odds, although they have moved by a slightly lengthier average margin of 0.17 for his last five bouts. Cormier’s odds have a tendency to shorten when he is the favourite and lengthen when he is expected to lose. This means that if you feel he will win and suspect the market will agree by August 15, it could prove beneficial to place your bets sooner rather than later.

Miocic vs. Cormier: Fighting styles analysed

Miocic’s style can be simply defined as attempting to earn knockout victories as quickly as possible – 15 of his 19 MMA wins to date came via knockout, of which 13 were in the opening two rounds. Indeed, he both lands (4.95 to 4.25) and absorbs (3.69 to 2.75) more significant strikes per minute than Cormier, illustrating his commitment to an attack-led approach.

He also prefers to keep proceedings upright, launching 68% of his attacks from a standing position and aiming 76% at his opponent’s head. In fact, Miocic is yet to be involved in a MMA bout settled via submission, and while he does edge Cormier for attempted takedowns per 15 minutes (2.20 to 1.81), the fact that he does so with a 38% grappling accuracy reiterates that he operates best when he is on his feet.

Cormier is versatile by Heavyweight standards and content to utilise his broad skill set to analyse and react to situations as they unfold.

As a consequence, Miocic’s consistent success despite a debatably simplistic and predictable fighting style points to the fact that he is very good at what he does: landing powerful punches. His striking accuracy of 52% implies that he does not require many successful blows to cause significant damage, meaning even near flawless defensive displays from his opponents may not prove sufficient.

By contrast, Cormier is particularly versatile by Heavyweight standards and content to utilise his broad skill set to analyse and react to situations as they unfold. His 22 MMA victories thus far have been somewhat evenly split between knockouts, decision wins and submissions, and his average fight time clocks in at almost two and a half minutes longer than Miocic (13:02 to 10:39).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of Cormier’s key advantages for this fight is his superior wrestling ability. He instigates just under half of his attacks when not on his feet and attempts 0.66 submissions per 15 minutes, whereas Miocic has never done so in a UFC fight. He comfortably beats Miocic for grappling accuracy with 46% and has never been defeated via submission.

Simultaneously, Cormier is more accustomed to carving out points victories over the distance. All but one of his eight MMA contests settled via decision ended in victory, with the lone exception coming against Jon Jones, the arguable master at the feat.

All of this suggests that the fight can be largely expected to feature Miocic unleashing a punch-heavy and aggressive approach from the outset, while Cormier cautiously attempts to either manoeuvre a victory from the ground or edge him on points via the counter.

However, as is often the case with UFC, the pair’s previous encounters contradict this. As mentioned, it was Cormier that enjoyed an opening round knockout in their first meeting, while Miocic was forced to wait until the fourth round to unload his fists after wearing down his opponent at UFC 241.

As a result, the expected intensity and undoubted significance of this bout could pave the way for any sense of habitual strategy to be abandoned, as both fighters rely on sheer effort in a bid to emerge as the victor of this trilogy.

Miocic vs. Cormier: Where is the value?

The odds are justified in struggling to separate two combatants who are supremely talented in their own individual ways. Miocic is a formidably powerful fighter, meaning his superior height and reach could provide significant advantages for this bout. Indeed, he will be well-positioned to control proceedings by ensuring that Cormier will be vulnerable to his fists when he enters punching range.

The most straightforward value bet could lie in the number of rounds.

Equally, Cormier possesses demonstrable versatility, which may prove pivotal considering the pair have fought twice before and should thus be firmly accustomed to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. He will enter the fight with a number of different strategies he can provably rely upon and may even shift between them during the bout itself.

In a sense, an immoveable object will be hit by an unstoppable force in this fight – Cormier has never suffered back-to-back defeats in his MMA career, while Miocic is yet to lose twice in the space of three bouts.

With this in mind, the most straightforward value bet could lie in the number of rounds. Should Miocic win, an early victory is a reasonable expectation, meaning under 2.5 rounds at 2.180* is worth considering. Conversely, a narrow majority of Cormier’s last ten MMA wins came in the third round or later, with over 2.5 rounds available at 1.724*.

Looking forward to UFC 252? Make sure to check out Pinnacle's predictions for all the other bouts on the night.

Odds subject to change

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