UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier Preview

 

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier will air on July 7, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Preliminary Card (Fight Pass)

JAMIE MOYLE (4-2-0) vs EMILY “SPITFIRE” WHITMIRE (2-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s strawweight division. Moyle brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Whitmire brings Muay Thai and grappling. Very identical these women are. From a grappling perspective, Moyle’s jiu-jitsu appears superior. Whitmire has some grappling, but no real focus. Her Muay Thai is good, but Moyle can still compete with her own. From the looks, Moyle will bring this to the ground and squeeze the fight out of Whitmire. My prediction: Moyle wins via submission in Round 3.

LANDO “GROOVY” VANNATA (9-2-1) vs DRAKKAR KLOSE (8-1-1)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Vannata brings striking, jiu-jitsu and wrestling. Klose brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Both are on a quest to rise; Klose looks to be closer than Vannata. Yes, Vannata has great jiu-jitsu and wrestling, but Klose’s seems a little more well-rounded. Klose’s boxing is more efficient than any of Vannata’s striking techniques. That being said Klose looks to be breaking into the rankings soon. My prediction: Klose wins via split decision.

DAN “THE HANGMAN” HOOKER (16-7-0) vs GILBERT “DURINHO” BURNS (14-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Hooker brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Burns brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Hooker’s Muay Thai is a deadly weapon; Burns’ is deadlier. Yes, Hooker has kickboxing as well but is not very aggressive with it. Burns is aggressive in every area. Even his jiu-jitsu will prove to be dangerous and more than Hooker can chew. My prediction: Burns wins via TKO in Round 2.

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)

CURTIS “CURTIOUS” MILLENDER (15-3-0) vs MAX “PAIN” GRIFFIN (14-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Millender brings striking and wrestling. Griffin brings kickboxing, Kempo, taekwondo, kung fu, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Griffin’s kickboxing and Muay Thai combinations appear to be a real threat to Millender. However, Griffin’s jiu-jitsu is not that great were Millender has great wrestling. Griffin must remain standing to keep control, but against a wrestler like Millender that might not even be possible. My prediction: Millender wins via split decision.

#3 RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO (26-5-0) vs #11 ROB FONT (15-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. Assuncao brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Font brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Identical in techniques; Font’s Muay Thai is more aggressive. Assuncao could strike with him, but he still doesn’t seem to try as hard as Font. Font always looks to give it his all and that is why he looks to be walking away with another impressive victory under his belt. My prediction: Font wins via TKO in Round 3.

#14 PAUL “THE IRISH DRAGON” FELDER (15-3-0) vs MIKE “PLATINUM” PERRY (11-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Felder brings Muay Thai, taekwondo, karate, and jiu-jitsu. Perry brings boxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Yes, Perry’s boxing background looks dangerous for Felder, but that’s really all he has to compete with. Felder on the other hand actually relies on his jiu-jitsu, not just his Muay Thai or any other striking technique. Perry looks to be another hype train that will be nothing more than a disappointment. My prediction: Felder wins via unanimous decision.

#9 URIAH “PRIME TIME” HALL (14-8-0) vs #10 PAULO “THE ERASER” COSTA (11-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the middleweight division. Hall brings striking, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu. Costa brings boxing, kickboxing, and jiu-jitsu. Both well-equipped, but Costa’s boxing and kickboxing are more aggressive. Hall has good kickboxing of his own, but not as powerful. Even his jiu-jitsu doesn’t seem much of a threat compared to Costa. In order to stand a chance Hall must push forward and attack with force. It will be difficult with Costa being such a big and strong guy while doing to same to Hall. My prediction: Costa wins via knockout in Round 1.

Main Card (Pay-Per-View)

GOKHAN “THE REBEL” SAKI (1-1-0) vs KHALIL “THE WAR HORSE” ROUNTREE JR. (7-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. Saki brings kickboxing and Muay Thai. Rountree brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. The wrestling of Rountree appears to be a problem for Saki. However, Saki proved his Muay Thai is no joke. Rountree’s boxing really doesn’t match up to Saki. In that case, Saki will probably beat him to a pulp until he can no longer continue. My prediction: Saki wins via knockout in Round 1.

#9 MICHAEL “MAVERICK” CHIESA (14-3-0) vs #12 ANTHONY “SHOWTIME” PETTIS (20-7-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Chiesa brings striking, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Pettis brings boxing, taekwondo, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. He is a former WEC and UFC Lightweight Champion. Pettis should be taking this fight with ease, but his recent performances will prove otherwise. His speed, attacks, defense and cardio have all seemed to have disappeared. Chiesa, on the other hand, as great striking and wrestling to wear Pettis down to another beating. Pettis still could pull off a crazy cage kick, but that is not likely. My prediction: Chiesa wins via unanimous decision.

#1 FRANCIS “THE PREDATOR” NGANNOU (11-2-0) vs #5 DERRICK “THE BLACK BEAST” LEWIS (19-5-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Ngannou brings boxing and savate. Lewis brings boxing. Two of the heaviest strikers in the division go head-to-head for the first time. Lewis has great power; Ngannou has dangerous power making him the top dog in this fight. Lewis can take hits, but he has never faced the power of Ngannou. Unless he can wear him out then he will find himself out cold before he knows it. My prediction: Ngannou wins via knockout in Round 1.

(C) MAX “BLESSED” HOLLOWAY (19-3-0) vs #1 BRIAN “T-CITY” ORTEGA (14-0-0, 1 NC)
This is a five-round main event for the featherweight championship. Holloway brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. He is the current featherweight champion. Ortega brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Two top fighters at the top of their game will make this an interesting fight. From what they both posses I see Holloway’s Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu getting the best of Ortega. Edgar has boxing to mix with his wrestling. However, Holloway is much faster and paces himself; Ortega, not so much. Ortega’s only hope is to use his boxing and finish Holloway early in the fight. Holloway possesses magnificent speed: at the same time, unloading strikes wearing him down with each one. My prediction: Holloway wins via TKO in Round 3.

(C)[HEAVYWEIGHT] STIPE MIOCIC (18-2-0) vs (C)[LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT] DANIEL “DC” CORMIER (20-1-0, 1 NC)
This is a five-round main event for the heavyweight championship. Miocic brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. He is the current heavyweight champion. Cormier brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. He is the current light heavyweight champion. With both fighters being at the top of two different divisions it will be tough to choose a favorite. Based on career performance it appears Miocic’s boxing and wrestling are above that of Cormier. Yes, Cormier’s Olympic wrestling is insane; Miocic’s wrestling along with cardio appear more efficient. However, Cormier is no man to take lightly and he for sure will be pressuring Miocic from start to finish. My prediction: Miocic wins via unanimous decision.