Over the years we’ve seen countless classic bouts in UFC, but we don’t always get served up a second slice of the action with a rematch. It probably happens more than it doesn’t, but we have been denied a few interesting sequels in the past. Thankfully, not this time.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few months, you’ll be aware of the announcement for UFC 241, with Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic’s long awaited rematch leaving plenty of fans of the sport salivating at the prospect of it happening on August 18th for the main event of the night.
Alongside the fact it was an excellent first fight between the two, there’s also another reason this match-up is great to see for the sport of UFC. There have been moans and groans in some quarters, perhaps understandably, at the way the sport is heading more towards the theatre and drama that WWE presents – something traditionalist fans simply don’t want to see in UFC.
Ever since Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG purchased the UFC for $4 billion in 2017, there has been a noticeable change in the promotion around the sport which has caused tension amongst the UFC community. That tension resurfaced after the first fight between Cormier and Miocic, when winner Cormier pulled WWE superstar Brock Lesnar into the cage to challenge him, following various stories of both Lesnar and Cormier calling each other out to fight. It certainly wasn’t the usual post-fight routine by a fighter and left many fans of the sport raging and concerned as to what direction UFC was heading in.
Thankfully, the Lesnar/Cormier show which would have felt like something out of WrestleMania ended and hasn’t materialised into an actual UFC fight. Now, instead – and thankfully – we’re being served up the pure essence of UFC in a mouth-watering match-up between two superb fighters who put on an excellent fight the first time around. For the moment at least, UFC has been pulled back from the brink of WWE absurdity and the cringeworthy Hollywood melodrama which many fans are hoping doesn’t take over the world of combat sport.
To the fight itself now and if the first bout is anything to go by, then we’re in for a classic. The first fight was an epic encounter between two highly skilled athletes, with Cormier using his clinching and dirty-boxing skills to nullify Miocic’s superior striking at distance and the clear size advantage the man of Croatian descent has. The rest is history, as they say, and Cormier prevailed by stopping Miocic in the first round but no matter who wins the second time around, the fact that we’re seeing another battle take place between these two is a victory for the sport of UFC over theatrical marketing.
Ahead of the fight, bookmakers appear to have Cormier as slight favourite, with 888 Sport pricing him at 13/20 to win the rematch, although many experts feel this could be a tighter encounter this time around, so odds of it going the distance at 41/20 (888Sport) represent decent value too.
As for Stipe Miocic, he’s currently priced at 5/4 (888Sport) to get the win, which is a potentially solid return given his skills and the fact that he’s a fighter more than capable of turning things around in this second fight, especially with his superior height advantage.
Much like the first match-up, it’s a tough one to call again but one thing is for sure, it’s a fight everyone needs to see.