UFC 211: Miocic vs. dos Santos 2 Preview

May 12, 2017
(SPONSORED CONTENT) -- UFC 211 emanates live from the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas this Saturday, May 13th. The event is headlined by a rematch between Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos. The main difference? This time the title’s on the line.

Stipe Miocic -145 over Junior dos Santos +125

The best bet in a heavyweight championship fight has always been the challenger. Since this division was created back in 1997, no champion has been able to successfully defend their title more than twice during a single reign. So there’s some things here working in favor of the champ, and a few historical trends that are definitely leaning against him.

Nothing is more pertinent to this matchup than Miocic’s most recent loss against Junior dos Santos. It could very well be that the two heavyweights just match up a certain way stylistically, with dos Santos’s experience and boxing prowess being the edge.

Miocic has not been as impressive during his four-fight win streak as that run would suggest, even though all those wins came via knockouts. Against Overeem, Miocic was hesitant and extremely vulnerable. He got knocked on his butt in the first round and if Overeem had been better prepared we might be discussing a different champion. In other words, there’s lots to suggest that Miocic’s striking defence still isn’t where it needs to be against a guy like dos Santos.

But the main concern is whether or not dos Santos is the same fighter we think he is. It’s hard to believe he hasn’t knocked a guy out with his fists in nearly five years when he did so to Frank Mir at UFC 146. Against Overeem in December 2015, he got cocky after a mid-fight flurry before his opponent responded immediately with a left hook that put him down for the count.

So this is a tough fight to call. Junior always has the tact, patience and power to end a fight but I don’t know if the 33-year old is on the right side of his career. We haven’t seen a monumental performance from him in a long, long time. Miocic, on the other hand, has spent the last two years destroying contenders, champions and challengers. Even against Overeem he was able to rebound in a matter of minutes.

Miocic could very well be in the middle of an ascension to a plane that few heavyweights have attained before, which is why he’s worthy of a bet with relatively tight odds.

However, there’s no shame in going down with a challenger in any heavyweight bet. That knockout power is always there.

Joana Jendrzejczyk -159 vs. Jessica Andrade +139

There is just zero point in betting against Jendrzejczyk. This feels like an usually tight line, likely due to Andrade’s impressive three-fight winning spree. She’s become a completely different fighter at strawweight, but I don’t think it’s enough to touch Jendrzejczyk. As I’ve said time and again, the champion in the women’s strawweight division is about as guaranteed as money gets in the UFC. Her odds are mightily attractive so jump on them early.

Jorge Masvidal -122 vs. Demian Maia +102

Demian Maia has been undergoing an unbelievable resurgence since his last loss back at UFC 170 against Rory MacDonald. Over the last three years, he has amassed 6 victories and shown the type of discipline, ruthlessness and patience he seemed to lack when he first started to become a big name. Most importantly, he’s also achieved a remarkable amount of consistency.

But when it comes to the welterweight division, there are few fighters that are gunning up the charts the way Masvidal is. The way he’s ended Cerrone, Ellenberger and Ross Pearson has been jaw dropping.

As time marches away from Maia – a fighter who will turn 40 this November – I find it harder and harder and harder to bet on him. Masvidal has just been too hot. If he can surpass Maia, he’s virtually guaranteed a title shot.

Yair Rodriguez +120 over Frankie Edgar -140

There’s almost no reason to think that Frankie Edgar deserves to be a favorite in this fight. Rodriguez is 10-1 in a less-than-remarkable career that hasn’t had many big wins outside of his TKO against B.J. Penn. I don’t know what to make of Edgar or this fight in general. There’s no telling if Rodriguez simply had the best night of his career at the best time versus Penn, or if he’s a true legend killer. If he is, then Edgar is next on his list. Without too many promising underdogs on this card, this is probably the best place to lean away from what the oddsmakers are suggesting.

Sergio Pettis +330 over Henry Cejudo -400

It’s almost impossible to fault Cejudo for being winless in his last two fights considering that one of those was a split decision and the other was a loss to Demetrious Johnson. There’s no arguing that Cejudo is one of the best flyweights in the world, and Pettis has nothing more than a puncher’s chance. But unless you have the stacks to make serious money off of Cejudo here, the smarter wager to make is a lob with a small flier at Pettis and hope that lightning strikes.


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