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UFC 230: Daniel Cormier vs Derrick Lewis Picks and Predictions

Daniel Cormier celebrates as the light heavyweight and heavyweight double champ
Daniel Cormier celebrates as the light heavyweight and heavyweight double champ. Photo by UFC (YouTube)
  • It’s UFC 230 in all its tattered glory!
  • The UFC heads to Madison Square Garden on November 3rd for its last New York event of the year
  • Daniel Cormier defends his heavyweight strap against Derrick Lewis in the main event

The smoke has cleared and we’re finally looking at the final iteration of UFC 230. There will be no Nate Diaz vs Dustin Poirier  (Damn!) or Valentina Shevchenko vs Sijara Eubanks (Thank God!). Instead, the headliner will be a heavyweight title fight between Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis. Not even Lewis believes he deserves a title shot, but this is the fight business and his stock is at an all-time high right now.

Chris Weidman was booked to fight a rematch against Luke Rockhold, but instead he’ll face Ronaldo Souza in the co-main event. In many ways it’s a more interesting match-up. Weidman vs Rockhold 1 wasn’t too entertaining and a rematch would probably have been much of the same.

UFC 230 has been through the ringer and the main card is nothing like what was first announced. It’s not what was promised, but still, there’s a lot of potential for a very entertaining night.

UFC 230: Daniel Cormier vs Derrick Lewis  Odds

Winner Odds
Daniel Cormier (c) -700
Derrick Lewis +450

There are several reasons why Derrick Lewis (21-5, 1 NC) shouldn’t be fighting for the heavyweight strap at UFC 230. First and foremost, he shouldn’t be stepping back into the cage just a month after his grueling last fight. Alexander Volkov pummeled Lewis for close to three rounds at UFC 229, only to have Lewis land a knockout in the final ten seconds. In an ideal world, he wouldn’t be medically cleared to fight this soon.

There’s also the issue of whether Lewis deserves a title show. Stipe Miocic was the most successful heavyweight champ in UFC history, and he’s been passed over for a fighter who hasn’t achieved all that much in the sport.

Lewis is the living embodiment of a “puncher’s chance.”

But despite all that, this fight is going ahead. Daniel Cormier (21-1, 1 NC) will make his first heavyweight title defense against the Black Beast. It should be an easier fight than a rematch against Miocic or a showdown against Brock Lesnar, but it’s still a pretty risky fight. Lewis is the living embodiment of a “puncher’s chance.”

Tale of the Tape: Daniel Cormier vs Derrick Lewis

Cormier
VS
Lewis

21-1, 1 NC PRO RECORD 21-5, 1 NC
10-1, 1 NC UFC RECORD 12-3
5 ft 11 in HEIGHT 6 ft 3 in
72 in REACH 79 in
July 7th, 2018 LAST FIGHT October 6th, 2018
39 AGE 33

Cormier is undoubtedly the superior fighter in this match-up. Lewis’ technique can be laughable at times, his cardio is atrocious, and his lingering back issues frequently derail his fights. But he has ungodly power in his fists, and that has saved him countless times.

We’ve seen too many fighters gas themselves out trying to put Lewis away. Instead of cruising to an easy decision victory, they underestimate how durable Lewis can be and end up taking unnecessary risks against him. He’s strangely difficult to hold on the ground and can absorb a ridiculous amount of damage.

There’s very little chance of Lewis winning by decision after five exhausting rounds against Cormier.

Cormier doesn’t need a flashy win on Saturday. He may be more than happy to drag Lewis into the championship rounds and pick him apart. There’s very little chance of Lewis winning by decision after five exhausting rounds against Cormier.

Lewis is out of his depth against Cormier and is not prepared for a five-round fight. He will not have completely recovered from his last fight and his long term injuries continue to haunt him. There’s little to be made from picking Cormier, but it feels like safe money.

Pick: Daniel Cormier (-700)

UFC 230: Chris Weidman vs Ronaldo Souza Odds

Winner Odds
Chris Weidman -185
Ronaldo Souza +150

This fight will help to answer two pressing questions. We’ll likely find out how close the 38-year-old Ronaldo Souza (25-6, 1 NC) is to the end of his fighting career, and we’ll see whether Chris Weidman (14-3) has well and truly bounced back from his three-fight losing streak.

Both fighters are pretty similar in many ways. They both like to set the pace and fight moving forward, often swarming and overwhelming their opponents. They’re both submission artists who are also comfortable fighting on their feet. And they both share the same last opponent — Kelvin Gastelum.

Tale of the Tape: Chris Weidman vs Ronaldo Souza

Weidman
VS
Souza

14-3 PRO RECORD 25-6, 1 NC
10-3 UFC RECORD 8-3
6 ft 2 in HEIGHT 6 ft 1 in
78 in REACH 72
July 22, 2017 LAST FIGHT May 12, 2018
34 AGE 38

Weidman struggled against Gastelum early in the fight, but was able to find his footing and earned a submission victory in the third round. Souza was taken the distance and lost by a close split decision. Neither fighter looked spectacular. Weidman appeared a little apprehensive as he tried to break his losing streak, and Souza was a little time-worn and sluggish.

It looks to me that Souza only has a few good fights left in him and Weidman’s confidence is still a little shaky after three brutal knockouts. This is a slightly closer fight than the line suggests. There’s value in Souza at +150.

Pick: Ronaldo Souza (+150)

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