UFC 252

UFC 252: At UFC 252, Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier will square off for the third time, this time to ultimately settle the dispute.

Daniel Cormier says a loss on Saturday would haunt him for the rest of his days, and he refuses to let himself live with that burden. The iconic former two-division champion holds this fate in his hands when he walks to the Octagon for the final time on Saturday against Stipe Miocic for their trilogy bout ato headline UFC 252. The event takes place at the Apex facility in Las Vegas and the main UFC 252 fight card is slated for 10 p.m. ET. Cormier has insisted that, win or lose, Saturday’s fight will be his last as a professional.

He believes his relentless desire to go out on top will be the difference, but Miocic has a similar self-belief system and took the upper hand with a win in their previous meeting. Cormier is a -115 favorite (risk $115 to win $100), while Miocic is listed at -105 in the latest Miocic vs. Cormer odds at William Hill. In the co-main event, bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley (-330) faces Marlon Vera (+270). Before locking in your UFC 252 picks, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA expert Brandon Wise has to say.

A CBS Sports editor specializing in MMA, Wise has been dissecting the sport for more than five years. He specializes in picking main-card fights for UFC, which has enabled him to be profitable every year. Wise is in his second year of consistently delivering winners to SportsLine members. He went a perfect 5-0 at UFC 239 and was 4-1 at both UFC 245 and UFC 249. He also nailed Khabib Nurmagomedov’s destruction of Conor McGregor in 2018, Stipe Miocic’s upset of Daniel Cormier, Holloway’s downfall in 2019 and Justin Gaethje’s TKO victory over Tony Ferguson in May.

Since the UFC returned following a two-month period of inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic, he has gone 40-21, while nailing the method of victory a remarkable 27 times. Wise kept his 2020 hot streak going last week by telling SportsLine members to expect an early knockout from Derrick Lewis (-200) against Aleksei Oleinik (+175) in the heavyweight main event. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, with UFC 252 fast approaching, Wise has carefully studied every matchup on the main card, identified the best value in the UFC 252 odds and released his MMA picks for each fight. He’s only sharing those selections here.

Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier expert preview
Wise knows the main event will produce the defining moment for the careers of each fighter. Both have repeatedly said they are the better fighter after they split a pair of bouts. The winner of their trilogy fight will get the final say in this dispute.

The former friendly contemporaries started what has become a heated rivalry after Cormier stopped Miocic’s run of heavyweight title defenses with a stunning first-round knockout in July 2018. In doing so, he joined elite company as a rare two-division champion. The others are Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo.

Cormier (22-2-1), 41, defended the title once against Derrick Lewis and Miocic fumed as the champion pursued a bout with Brock Lesnar as opposed to agreeing to a rematch. When the Lesnar fight fell through, Cormier signed for the rematch and Miocic got his revenge with a fourth-round stoppage in August of last year.

The understated Miocic (19-3), 37, believes a second win over Cormier might finally garner the respect he deserves. The Ohio native’s six-fight win streak before his loss to Cormier included victories over former champions such as Fabricio Werdum and Junior Dos Santos. He also defeated the previously unbeaten Francis Ngannou, who is now the second-ranked contender. You can see Wise’s Miocic vs. Cormier picks here.

Top UFC 252 predictions
We’ll share one of Wise’s UFC 252 main-card selections here: He is backing Junior Dos Santos (+135) to pull the upset of Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-155) in a matchup of ranked heavyweights. The winner will be in the mix for a title amid a top-heavy division.

The fifth-ranked Dos Santos (21-7) is widely considered one of the top athletes the heavyweight division has ever seen because of his agility, speed and boxing ability. The Brazilian briefly held the heavyweight belt and has twice come up short in subsequent title shots. He remains in the top five despite back-to-back stoppage defeats.

Rozenstruik (10-1), ranked No. 6, made a strong impression with four consecutive stoppage victories to start his UFC career. But he lasted just 20 seconds before absorbing the short end of a knockout blow by second-rated Francis Ngannou in May.

“Dos Santos has proven time and again an ability to bounce back from losses, and I expect more of the same this week,” Wise told SportsLine.


UFC 252 Stream

UFC 252 Stream: This will be the third time the pair have faced off against one another with the UFC heavyweight title on the line, and there’s an argument to be made that this fight will determine who is the greatest ever in that weight class.

UFC 252 kicks off this Saturday. And while it’s hardly the blockbuster card UFC 251 was, it’s a well worth a watch regardless, playing host to maybe the most compelling heavyweight trilogy fight in UFC history: Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier.

Cormier got the better of Miocic with a first round KO during their first encounter. Miocic got his revenge in the second fight after brutalizing Cormier with body shots in a fourth round TKO.

Both are capable of knocking out the other, but Cormier’s a former Olympic wrestler and while he opted to use his wrestling sparingly in the first two fights, he’s openly stated he plans to wrestle in the third fight. That’s bad news for Miocic, who was taken down and mostly held there for the majority of the first round in their last fight.

Beyond the main event, UFC 252 has a few compelling fights. Rising star Sean O’Malley faces off against Marlon Vera — let’s see if that hype train keeps on rolling. Junior Dos Santos takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a battle between two of the heavyweight division’s hardest hitters. Those fights alone make UFC 252 worth tuning in for.

The card has already lost a fight — Ion Cutelaba tested positive for COVID-19 so his fight against Magomed Ankalaev has been taked off UFC 252. Here are all the fights we know are on the card at time of writing. We’ll update later with additional info.

Moments after Sean O’Malley scored a first-round knockout win over Alfred Khashakyan on a 2017 Dana White’s Contender Series card, he looked into the camera and said, “Welcome to the ‘Suga’ Show.” On Saturday, O’Malley faces Marlon Vera in the bantamweight co-main event of the UFC 252 pay-per-view card.

The event, which takes place at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view. O’Malley’s win over Khashakyan earned him a UFC contract. He won his first two official UFC bouts via decision. His victories in his two most recent outings have come by way of first-round knockout. Now 4-0 and the winner of $150,000 in fight-night bonus awards with the UFC, the 27-year-old, who is 12-0 overall, steps into his first co-main event as the No. 14 ranked fighter in the UFC’s 135-pound division.

The 27-year-old Vera might not have a ranking number next to his name, but he has an experience advantage over his opponent. Vera has fought for the UFC since 2014. He is 9-5 with the promotion and has scored eight stoppage wins. His recent five-fight winning streak, which ended when he went the distance at featherweight against Song Yadong in May, included three knockouts and two submissions.

One of the most memorable rivalries in recent memory comes to a close on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier will meet in the main event of UFC 252 from the UFC Apex facility with the heavyweight title on the line. The pair have traded knockouts in the first two meetings with Miocic gaining the upper hand in the last bout. Now, they look to settle the score for good.

Miocic has been sidelined since the rematch, having had surgery on his eyes as a result of damage suffered from Cormier eye pokes. Cormier, meanwhile, may be fighting the final bout of his career as the 41-year-old has claimed he would retire before turning 40, but has pushed forward in pursuit of settling things with Miocic.

The fight to determine who many would argue is the greatest heavyweight mixed martial artist of all time got the green light on Friday at the UFC 252 official weigh-in at the Apex in Las Vegas.

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will face former dual-division champion Daniel Cormier for the third consecutive time when their trilogy bout tops the UFC 252 fight card. Having split the first two fights, it would be difficult to deny that the winner of this fight will be seen as the best heavyweight fighter ever. Yes, even including Fedor Emelianenko.

Miocic stepped on the scale first, notching 233 pounds. Cormier weighed 236 pounds when he weighed in.

The UFC 252 co-main event features Sean O’Malley, a huge fan favorite, who easily made weight at 136 pounds. He has the opportunity to prove just how good he is when he face Marlon “Chito” Vera, who also weighed 136 pounds for their bantamweight bout.

Two fighters, however, missed the mark.

The first fighter to miss weight was TJ Brown, who weighed 146.5 pounds when he weighed in for his featherweight fight with Danny Chavez, who weighed 146 pounds. Brown was given an additional hour to lose the 0.5 pounds, but failed to get down to 146 pounds.

One of the final two fighters to the scale with minutes to go in the two-hour weigh-in window, Herbert Burns blew past the featherweight limit, weighing 149.5 pounds for his fight with Daniel Pineda. That was a full 3.5 pounds above the cut-off for a 145-pound non-title fight. Pineda weighed 146 pounds.

Generally when a fighter misses weight, he forfeits a percentage of his fight purse to his opponent to keep the fight on the card. UFC officials had not yet verified whether that would be the case in either of the two bouts where athletes missed the mark for UFC 252.