Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier will finally settle their score tonight at UFC 252 and Cageside Press has its picks set.
|Ryan Fortune (82-42)|
|Jay Anderson (76-48)|
|Joe McDonagh (73-51)|
|Josh Evanoff (68-56)|
|Dan Doherty (65-54)|
|Dylan Bowker (59-51)|
|Justin Gibbons (47-41)|
|Eddie Law (49-43)|
|Gabriel Gonzalez (66-58)|
The main event of UFC 252 is the final bout of a trilogy between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. They’ve fought once a year since 2018, with Cormier winning the first bout by first-round knockout and Miocic winning the second by fourth-round stoppage. Miocic has only fought Cormier in that timeframe while Cormier defended the belt against Derrick Lewis while he still had it. Cormier was picked by six of nine writers.
The co-main event is an intriguing clash of styles as Sean O’Malley takes on Marlon Vera. O’Malley is budding into a star with a 4-0 record in the UFC and a pair of blistering knockouts this year. He also has a huge following on YouTube and Twitch. Vera had won five straight fights leading up to his last bout, a controversial unanimous decision loss against Song Yadong. O’Malley was picked by six of nine writers.
It’s old school vs. new school with Junior dos Santos battling Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Dos Santos, a former champion, has come up short against two of the best talents the heavyweight division has to offer in Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou most recently, stopping a three-fight win streak. Rozenstruik was 4-0 in the Octagon with all stoppages before running into Ngannou in his last fight. Dos Santos was slightly favored with five picks to four.
Longtime veteran John Dodson faces up-and-comer Merab Dvalishvili. Dodson has been in the UFC since 2011 and most recently beat a big prospect in Nathaniel Wood with a third-round knockout. After controversial losses to both Frankie Saenz and Ricky Simon to start off his run with the promotion, Dvalishvili has rattled off four straight wins. All but two writers picked Merab.
Herbert Burns welcomes Daniel Pineda back to the UFC to open up the main card. Burns, the brother of welterweight contender Herbert Burns, has been brilliant in the Octagon thus far with a pair of first round stoppages against prospect Nate Landwehr and veteran Evan Dunham. Pineda last fought for the promotion in 2014, going 3-4, but knocked out both Jeremy Kennedy and Movlid Khaybulaev in PFL last year. However, both wins were overturned due to a failed drug test. Burns was unanimously picked.