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.
BREAKING NEWS: Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier will face off for the UFC HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE at UFC 226 in Las Vegas! https://t.co/71BWu4WXPc
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 26, 2018
5Dimes has Miocic as a -200 favorite, with Sportsbook offering the best price at time of writing, with odds of -180.
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 with Sportsbook.
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.
— MMA Bros (@TheMMABros) January 24, 2018
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.