Stipe Miocic has long had a reputation as an every-man’s champion, but the UFC heavyweight king proudly takes this term to extremes. Staying true to his roots has worked for him thus far, and the Ohio native believes doing so will lead to success in the biggest fight of his career, which comes Saturday against Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC 252. Their trilogy bout takes place at the Apex facility in Las Vegas, where the main UFC 252 fight card is set for 10 p.m. ET. Miocic’s training staff includes a commercial banker and a local judge, while Cormier works from the celebrated American Kickboxing Academy that has produced several UFC champions.
This is just one of many differences between the fighters who are vying to be regarded as arguably the top MMA heavyweight of all-time with a victory on Saturday. Cormier is a -115 favorite (risk $115 to win $100), while Miocic is priced at -105 in the latest UFC 252 odds from William Hill. In the co-main event, rising bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley (-330) takes on Marlon Vera (+270). Before making any UFC 252 picks, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley has to say.
Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every single UFC card and does extensive research before each event.
Over the past 17 months, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up more than $20,000. The accomplished MMA analyst has been on fire and connected on 16 of his last 18 main-event selections, a stretch that included a streak of five straight underdogs. At UFC Fight Night last Saturday, Marley accurately predicted an early stoppage win for Derrick Lewis (-200) against Aleksei Oleinik (+170) in the heavyweight main event. He also correctly predicted a decision victory for Chris Weidman (-120) against Omari Akhmedov (+100) in the middleweight co-main event. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.
Now, with UFC 252 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every fight. Those selections are only available at SportsLine.
Miocic vs. Cormier preview
Cormier (22-2-1) is a former two-division champion whose only career losses in the UFC have come to light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones and Miocic. He fought Jones to a competitive decision loss, and a defeat in their second match was later overturned to a no-contest after Jones failed a drug test.
The 41-year-old became heavyweight champion with his upset of Miocic as a massive underdog in their first meeting. He connected with an uppercut that led to a first-round stoppage and stopped Miocic’s record for heavyweight title defenses at three.
But Miocic (19-3), 37, pleaded for a rematch and made good on his vow to regain his belt. Cormier almost managed another early victory, but Miocic rebounded to score a fourth-round technical knockout that was the result of a flurry of body shots.
The fighters used to be on somewhat friendly terms, but their battles have created a rift. Both have said they already have proven to be the better fighter and will show it again by winning the rubber match. You can only see Marley’s coveted Miocic vs. Cormier picks here.
Top UFC 252 predictions
We’ll share one of Marley’s UFC 252 predictions here: He is backing Virna Jandriroba (-310) to earn a decision victory against Felice Herrig (+255) in a women’s bantamweight matchup.
Herrig (14-8) is a six-year UFC veteran and one-time rising prospect who has dropped her last two fights. The 35-year-old Illinois native will step into the Octagon for the first time since losing a decision to Michelle Watterson in October 2018. She had to withdraw from a scheduled bout against Xiaonan Yan in June of last year because of a torn ACL.
Jandriroba (15-1), 32, has split a pair of UFC bouts following a 14-0 start in her MMA career that included a 3-0 run in Invicta FC. The Brazilian earned her first UFC victory with a second-round submission of Mallory Martin in December of last year.
“I favor Jandiroba because she can get a submission at some point,” Marley told SportsLine. “Her lone loss was to Herrig’s friend and training partner, Carla Esparza, so maybe she also has strong insight.”
How to make UFC 252 picks
Marley also has strong picks for Miocic vs. Cormier 3 and every other bout on the UFC 252 card. He’s also backing one combatant who is the “more dangerous fighter and the better striker.” You can see those UFC 252 picks only at SportsLine.
Who wins UFC 252? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight on Saturday’s UFC 252 card, all from the accomplished expert who’s up over $20,000 and has nailed 16 of the last 18 UFC main events, and find out.
UFC 252 odds (via William Hill)
Daniel Cormier (-115) vs. Stipe Miocic (-105)
Sean O’Malley (-330) vs. Marlon Vera (+270)
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-155) vs. Junior Dos Santos (+135)
Merab Dvalishvili (-180) vs. John Dodson (+160)
Magomed Ankalaev (-300) vs. Ion Cutelaba (+250)
Vinc Pinchel (-115) vs. Jim Miller (-105)
Livia Souza (-150) vs. Ashley Yoder (+130)
Parker Porter (-125) vs. Chris Daukaus (+105)
Virna Jandriroba (-310) vs. Felice Herring (+255)
Herbert Burns (-260) vs. Daniel Pineda (+220)
Ike Villanueva (-115) vs. Jorge Gonzalez (-105)
Kai Kamaka (-245) vs. Tony Kelley (+210)