This weekend sees the return of Junior Dos Santos as he looks to reclaim his stake as the baddest man on the planet when he takes on Stipe Miocic for the second time.
A much anticipated night of fights sees Joanna Jedrzejczyk defend her 125 pound belt for the 5th time against the female Wanderlie Silva, Jessica Andrade.
In addition to these two title fights we will also be blessed with a fantastic welterweight number one contender battle between Jiujitsu ace Damien Maia and resurging striker Jorge Masvidal.
All in all a great night of fights and a lot of lines worth betting on so lets take a closer look at some of these match ups.
|Stipe Miocic||Junior dos Santos||Pick available|
|Joanna Jędrzejczyk||Jéssica Andrade|
|Demian Maia||Jorge Masvidal||Pick available|
|Frankie Edgar||Yair Rodríguez||Pick available|
|Henry Cejudo||Sergio Pettis||Pick available|
|Eddie Alvarez||Dustin Poirier|
|Chas Skelly||Jason Knight|
|Krzysztof Jotko||Dave Branch|
|Marco Polo Reyes||James Vick|
|Jessica Aguilar||Cortney Casey|
Stipe Miocic vs Junior Dos Santos
In the second encounter between two of the finest striking heavyweights the UFC has seen Junior Dos Santos looks to make history as he attempts to reclaim his championship belt against reigning champion Stipe Miocic.
Junior dos Santos has had massively winning career with a highlight reel that could truly be considered one of the best in the sport. Junior entered the octagon with five wins and a single submission loss on the Brazilian regional circuit before amassing a whopping nine fight win streak with a huge seven of those by knockout culminating in an absolute demolition of Cain Velasquez for the belt. However Cigano’s career has taken a slight turn since losing the title in devastating fashion to the man he once took it from. Since his first loss in the UFC to Cain Velasquez the Brazilian has alternated wins and losses going 3 wins 3 losses in his last 6 fights, admittedly two of those losses were to Cain and to fearsome dutch striker Alistair Overeem, Junior however has not been able to rally 2 consecutive wins in almost five years!
Cigano has admitted to suffering from multiple injuries specifically his shoulder over the years which he has now had surgery on and apparently have healed well. Now to say the Cain beatdowns didn’t take a few fighting years off Junior would be simply stupid however against his latest opponent in Ben Rothwell Cigano looked remarkably fresh, firing quick combinations and truly playing the matador against what many people considered a dangerous power puncher. Now of course Ben Rothwell could be considered a perfect match up for the more fleet footed Dos Santos as he has never shown anything in the way of cutting the cage or any real educated footwork for that matter. Nonetheless Rothwell is a dangerous striker and has made short work of many his adversaries lately including a knockout victory over Alistair Overeem.
Junior whilst seemingly looking revitalised against Ben Rothwell shows his favourite weapons are still absolutely deadly but his flaws are still noticeable. Cigano sits in his stereotypical boxer stance with a bladed stance, front foot turned inwards, his lead hand at his waist and his right hand cocked ready to fire. Now none of these should be considered flaws however a bladed stance with foot turned inwards immediately limits your offence, offering you no ability to fire your lead leg for example. Now Junior has thrown one notable kick in his career and that almost decapitated a Samoan named Mark Hunt.
Junior whilst having massive power in his hands can sometimes lack diversity in his punch selection until he gets comfortable in a fight. This proved troublesome against Stipe in their first encounter whilst Stipe was content to walk Junior down with quick straight punches and inside leg kicks, Junior was whiffing on looping left hooks and telegraphed overhand rights. That was however until he settled into the later rounds consistently landing his jab to the body and eventually winning the war of attrition against the fatigued Stipe. Juniors sometimes lack of diversity and calculation in his strikes is only emphasised by his willingness to wait for the perfect strike which sees him regularly back up against the cage until he is literally touching it, which will only limits his offence and dramatically reduces his defensive options.
Junior Dos Santos Keys to victory
- Use the jab consistently and early to stop Stipe building a rythm.
- Halt Stipe’s forward pressure with his own aggression.
- Hit the body early & often to slow Stipe’s cardio.
- Do NOT allow his back to touch or even get close to the fence.
- Do NOT be comfortable resting against the cage taking shots.
- Mix in any form of kicks to keep Stipe guessing.
Stipe Micoc is quickly becoming one of the most fearsome and entertaining strikers the heavyweight division has ever seen. A Cleveland Golden Gloves boxing champion and NCAA division 1 wrestler at Cleveland State – his athleticism and well roundedness have proved problematic for almost every single opponent he has faced. With only two lone losses in his short career coming against the towering Stefan Struve and of course Junior Dos Santos in their first encounter.
Since that epic first encounter in December 2014 which saw both fighters truly pushed to their limits Stipe racked two more knockouts against Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovksi before crumpling decorated BJJ specialist Fabricio Werdum with a single punch to win the heavyweight strap. Though he is not without flaws as displayed in a close scare when the always dangerous Alistair Overeem momentarily disconnected his cognitive senses and sent him crashing to the canvass with a counter left hand after the Cleveland native looked to either engage or throw a lazy low kick.
The odds are certainly in Stipe’s favour in their second encounter at least on paper. Stipe is the fresher, faster fighter with considerably less mileage on his body with the confidence of being the reigning champion. Stipe has taken a relatively damage free career for someone fighting at the highest level of heavyweight MMA although it should be noted his solid chin can of course be cracked as displayed when he was TKO’d against Struve.
Stipe would be wise to use a similar game plan to his first fight where did his best Cain Velasquez impression pressuring his opponent and threatening with early and often takedown attempts. This method proved effective in the initial two rounds of the first fight. However following a relentless Cain Velasquez game plan and executing it through 25 minutes are two different things. Stipe began to tire as the fight grew due to a grapple heavy game plan and Dos Santos’s constant jabs to the body did nothing to help his gas tank.
Stipe Miocic Keys to victory
- Quick, Straight 1 – 2 combinations
- Utilise quick footwork
- Pressure Dos Santos to the cage
- Counter the body attacks
- Use leg kicks against the bladed stance of Dos Santos
- Threaten with takedown attempts
- Do not brawl
This fight is as close to a pick em as you can get in my eyes. Both have obvious knockout power which is equally notable amongst both fighters even in the heavyweight division. Although the difference in this fight will be the fight seeing the distance. With Junior’s apparent resurgence and confidence coming in off a dominant win and supposedly healed from injuries we could see revitalised Dos Santos throwing menacing combinations. However I do think it’s more likely we see an accumulation of strikes early from Stipe and the rounds will become closer as the fight draws on and Junior finds his rhythm. I believe the difference in their second fight will be the final bell will not be heard.
It was a miracle the first encounter made 25 minutes and with both accumulating damage since their first fight someone will be going out on their shield. This fight really has people divided in their opinion which leads to good odds but still a difficult fight to predict – I would rather look at what I consider the more likely outcome. We can go one of two ways or both if you’re feeling lucky. Both fighters have granite chins so the likelyhood of this fight ending in the first round is small however a lot of damage will be dealt out through 25 minutes – For what its worth I do lean JDS by knockout but not enough to place a confident pick.
The fight ends by KO -250 / +1.4 BET NOW
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