Fri, Nov 2, 10:57am by Staff Writer
The UFC heads to New York this weekend (Sunday AEST) for a visit to the iconic Madison Square Garden (MSG) for it’s next pay-per-view instalment, headlined by the heavyweight championship bout between Daniel Cormier versus Derrick Lewis.
The UFC have made it’s now annual trip to the venue one of it’s events of the year with last year seeing the return of cage legend Georges St Pierre headline the event where he dethroned reigning middleweight champion Michael Bisping via submission in the third round.
This time around we see reigning two division champion Daniel Cormier headline the MSG card in what will be the first defense of his heavyweight title. At UFC 226 in July, Cormier entered rarefied territory in the Mixed Martial Arts by becoming a dual division UFC champion in knocking out Stipe Miocic in the first round to claim the heavyweight title whilst being the reigning light heavyweight titleholder.
However he will relinquish that title upon UFC 232 in December with the winner of the Jon Jones v Alexander Gustafsson bout to take his belt..
Cormier’s opponent will be one of the most popular fighters on the UFC roster at the moment, the number 2 ranked Derrick Lewis.
Lewis is fresh off a third round TKO victory over Alexander Volkov which saw him knockout his more fancied opponent in stunning fashion with only 15 seconds left in the fight whilst trailing badly on the scorecards.
The fact that Lewis is now fighting for the title less than a month later is extraordinary. Cormier-Lewis was not yet slated for the card at the time of UFC 229 and was only added to the event after the promotion did some reshuffling of fights leading to this bout becoming the headliner.
With such a quick turnaround for Lewis, he heads into the bout as a major underdog, rated a $5.80 chance with Cormier an overwhelming $1.14 to retain his title.
If he is successful, Cormier is likely to face WWE superstar and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in a megabout early next year.
In the co-main event, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman (no. 2) will do battle with Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza (no. 5) over three rounds.
Weidman’s original opponent Luke Rockhold was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury with Jacare called up to take the fight a fortnight ago.
Weidman is a clear $1.60 favourite heading into the bout with Souza at $2.35.
The remainder of the pay-per-view portion of the card is filled with middleweight bouts with (no. 7) David Branch ($1.25) to face Jared Cannonier ($4.00), Karl Roberson ($1.34) to do battle with Jack Marshman ($3.27) and (no. 6) Derek Brunson ($3.57) to face (no. 9) Israel Adesanya ($1.30).
There is a total of 13 fights scheduled for Sunday’s (AEST) event.
UFC 230 is set to be an exciting fight night for the promotion led by the number 1 pound for pound fighter of the organisation in Cormier.
Daniel Cormier v Derrick Lewis on paper appears on face value a token title appearance for Lewis as a result of his surprise late fight knockout victory at UFC 229 and his highly talked about post fight interview following the bout.
That being said, Lewis is a fighter that cannot be overlooked and it must be remembered that Cormier over the past few years has campaigned at the smaller light heavyweight division and despite his devastating knockout win over Miocic at UFC 226, he will enter the bout with a four inch height and eight inch reach disadvantage to Lewis.
However, it would be a surprise to see Lewis see out the full five round fight distance this soon after his fight against Volkov last month and with Cormier’s olympic level wrestling pedigree, expect him to grind Lewis down over the course of the fight, with a late round stoppage a likely possibility.
Suggested Bet: Rounds 4, 5 or by Decision @ $4.30 (When will the Fight End (5 Rounds)
Value Bet: Daniel Cormier to win in Round 4 @ $15.00 (Round Betting)
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