UFC 210 Preview and Picks to Win
When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Where: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York
by Scott of Predictem.com
UFC 210 from Buffalo features a riveting card of fights. At the top of the card are a few potential barnburners—a title fight along with a pivotal pairing of contenders looking to get to the title picture. In the main event, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier takes on former victim Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Can Cormier replicate his first win over “Rumble” or will Johnson be able to crack the Cormier code and have his punching power take over the day? In the co-main event, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman, fighting close to home, tries to break a two-fight slide, as he takes on surging contender Gegard Mousasi. Let’s take a look at what we can come up with betting-wise in these two matchups.
Daniel Cormier, 18-1 (6 KOs, 5 Submissions), (-120) vs. Anthony Johnson, 22-5 (16 KOs), (-110)
Daniel Cormier defends his light heavyweight title against Anthony Johnson in the main event of UFC 210. It’s a rematch of a June 2015 fight where Cormier scored a rear-naked choke submission over Johnson in the third round. Cormier looks to repeat the win, where he was able to brave through the early assault from Johnson before applying the finisher. Johnson, meanwhile, looks to see his fearsome striking rise to the surface. In recent fights, only Cormier was able to avoid being victimized by the scary power of Johnson. Can he do it again?
Both sides of the argument have a good case in this fight. Johnson backers maintain that “Rumble” was pretty close to beating Cormier in the first fight. Cormier is now two years older, with some injuries and wear accrued over that time. And Johnson has subsequently looked very good in KO wins over Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader, and his last fight—a 13-second knockout over top contender Glover Teixeira. At the same time, Cormier backers can simply point to the result of the last fight to bolster their case. Johnson’s power was felt, but then nullified by the supremely-skilled and versatile Cormier. As far as 205-pounders with a tough style matchup for Johnson, Cormier tops the list with his durability and wrestling superiority.
Johnson was able to have his power play a factor in the first fight. But there are times when handicapping fights where you have to factor power in a bit differently. At the absolute highest levels of fighting, power often needs to be accompanied by another compelling trait. Johnson can certainly wrestle and do more than just slug, but at root he’s a puncher who is most effective early. His stamina can be a bit dicey and he’s not nearly as formidable when forced to be the recipient of punishment, as opposed to the one serving it. You see this time and again in all combat sports, where the more one-dimensional power guy hits a wall against a fighter who combines skills, toughness, and chin the way Cormier does. While violent assassins like Johnson appear to be the scariest of fighters on the surface, these types of fighters can be a bit lost at sea when things aren’t going their way.
That doesn’t mean the power of Johnson won’t be enough. Again, he had Cormier hurt badly early in their first fight. He had two years and three fights to grow, with wrestling and other aspects being worked on to fill out his overall game. In addition, Cormier has been a bit dicey in recent fights—pushed to the limit against Alexander Gustafsson and forced to go the distance with an aged and undersized Anderson Silva. In other words, there is some ammo for those projecting a more favorable outcome for Johnson.
At the end of the day, I prefer to have a fighter who is at nearly even odds who has more routes to victory. Johnson’s power is the most-compelling trait in the fight. But Cormier has shown he can handle it and prevail. And beyond power, most of the check-marks appear in Cormier’s column when breaking down the best traits to possess in MMA. This is a pick that can only be made with so much confidence, as betting against Johnson just creates a certain amount of stress, but I’m taking Daniel Cormier.
My Prediction to Win: I’m betting on Daniel Cormier at -120. Johnson’s power is a terrifying element to this fight, but Cormier offers tremendous value. He won the first fight and is better-rounded as a fighter. Bet your Cormier/Johnson pick using your credit card from the comfort of your own home and get a FAT 50% signup bonus up to $250 FREE at one of the best UFC betting sites on the web: Bovada Sportsbook!
Chris Weidman, 13-2 (6 KOs, 3 Submissions), (Even) vs. Gegard Mousasi, 41-6-2 (22 KOs, 12 Submissions), (-130)
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman takes on top contender Gegard Mousasi in a 185-pound matchup in the co-main event of UFC 210. Not too long ago, Weidman was an unbeaten champion, the vanquisher of the great Anderson Silva and among the best in the world. After consecutive KO losses to Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero, he faces a must-win situation and gets no favors with Mousasi as the opponent. A winner of 41 MMA fights, Mousasi is on a nice little roll with four straight wins, the last three by KO.
In another sport, Weidman would be afforded the opportunity to build his confidence back up. But in the UFC, he’s a victim of his own status and is certainly not being eased back into action with Mousasi as the opponent. The losses to Rockhold and Romero were losses where he took a lot of punishment and one has to wonder where he mentally—going from an undefeated world champ to a struggling contender trying to regain his foothold. But make no mistake, Weidman is still one of the toughest 185-pounders in the world, if his mental state is intact.
Mousasi, the 31-year old veteran, is a real handful. With 22 KOs and 12 submissions, he can get to the winner’s circle in a variety of ways. He had some ups and downs since joining the UFC, but with recent wins over Thales Leites, Vitor Belfort, and a revenge win over Uriah Hall, he may be in the best form of his career. And this is a chance to add a signature win to boost his claims for a title shot in the crowded 185-pound class.
To back Weidman, one needs to take a leap of faith, of sorts. But if you can get your head around the confidence issue and the possibility of lingering affects from his last two fights, he might not be in a bad spot stylistically. Mousasi is a more-dynamic striker and isn’t bad on the ground, but he’s struggled with gifted wrestlers before. And whatever edge Mousasi has when standing up might not be as vast as Weidman’s edge on the ground. While his last two fights painted him in a bad light, I see Mousasi as being a notch below that level and at an underdog price, Weidman could be a high-value choice. I’m going with Chris Weidman.
My Pick to Win: I’m betting on Chris Weidman at even-money. While he hasn’t been in the best of form lately, he has thrived at the highest level and his skills match up better with an opponent in Mousasi who might be a sliver beneath the elite level. Want MORE free cash? Get another 50% bonus (up to $1000 FREE) at MyBookie Sportsbook.
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