Miocic Opens as Narrow Favorite for Championship Clash at UFC 226

Miocic Opens as Narrow Favorite for Championship Clash at UFC 226 article feature image

Kevin Jairaj / Bob DiChiara-USA TODAY Sport

The showpiece event of UFC International Fight Week 2018 will see the UFC’s reigning heavyweight and light heavyweight world champions go head to head for the heavyweight belt, and it’s the defending champion who’s the betting favorite.

Undisputed UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has opened as the early favorite for the July 7 main event at UFC 226, set for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.


Cormier, the former Strikeforce Grand Prix champion who is undefeated as a heavyweight, is best priced at +168 with SportBet, and is as short as +147.

Expect those Cormier odds to shorten as the fight approaches. He may be the shorter man, but his capacity to go five full rounds against the likes of Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson means he’s battle tested, and his undefeated record as a heavyweight is also not to be ignored.

That’s not to say Miocic isn’t a worthy favorite, however. The Ohio first responder has raised the bar for UFC heavyweights by becoming the first fighter in UFC history to successfully defend the heavyweight world title on three successive occasions.

Miocic went the distance with Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC 220 earlier this month, dragging the hard-hitting Cameroonian into deep waters and dominating him with his superior wrestling and cardio.

But that’s not likely to happen against two-time US Olympic wrestler Cormier, which means we’re likely to see a five-round battle of attrition between two hard-hitting, superbly conditioned world champions.

It’s going to be a heck of a fight, but my advice is this: If you’ve already decided you’re picking Cormier, consider taking him soon, as I’d expect his odds to shorten by the time we hit fight night.