UFC 241
UFC 241 Preview and Predictions (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

MMA Friends…the time has come. We have been waiting for some time for the rematch from July 2018: Daniel Cormier versus the former champ Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. But this UFC 241 card has so much more to offer aside from the Main Event Heavyweight Tilt. We have the return of Stockton’s finest Nate Diaz and a fight that has been building for ages in Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa. So let’s dive into the main card for UFC 241 and take a look at the fights, shall we?

Derek Brunson v Ian Heinisch (Middleweight)

Derek Brunson versus Ian Heinisch is an interesting middleweight matchup that poses to be somewhat of a step up fight for each man. Brunson, coming off a win over Elias Theodorou earlier this year, is looking to climb back up the rankings at 185. In his way is Ian Heinisch, undefeated in the UFC after winning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, is looking to make a name for himself in this division. Both men know how to finish fights by stoppage (14 for Brunson, 6 for Heinisch). It will be interesting to see how Heinisch fares his first time under the lights on the main card of a UFC PPV. Stylistically, this one has potential for a shootout. Brunson: UD

Gabriel Benitez v Sodiq Yusuff (Featherweight)

Gabriel Bentiez versus Sodiq Yusuff, for my money, has fight of the night potential. Bentiez, winner of 3 of his last 4, coming off a KO victory versus Humberto Bandenay in May has looked great in his last two fights. Standing in front of him is Sodiq Yusuff, a man I believe has star written all over him. Since winning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, he has seen the octagon twice, winning both fights in impressive fashion. I believe the stiff, crisp striking of Yusuff and his ability to stuff the takedown will overwhelm Benitez here. But keep your eyes on this one, as the winner here is sure to jump up the crowded 145 ladder. Yusuff: TKO 2nd Round

Yoel Romero v Paulo Costa (Middleweight)

We as fight fans have been not so patiently waiting for this fight since it was originally booked back in November of 2018 for the MSG card. Romero, an Olympic silver medalist and for my money should be the Middleweight Champion after losing a very close split decision rematch against Robert Whittaker in June of 2018. But make no mistake about it, the Soldier of God is always ready for a war, and he is going to get one with Paulo Costa. Costa, undefeated in his professional career, is looking for his signature win in the UFC which will propel him into title contention. The real question here is, which man is in better shape? These men are chiseled out of stone its not fair. Right..the fights. I don’t expect this fight to see the judges, seeing that both men are coming off of barn burners in their last fight. Buckle up for this one. Costa: TKO 1st Round

Anthony Pettis v Nate Diaz (Welterweight)

Remember how I said keep your eye on Bentiez versus Yusuff for fight of the night? A bit of foreshadowing there. Because this is the fight. The people’s main event. Pettis versus Diaz has been a fight years in the making. Pettis has looked incredible since making the jump to 170, showcasing that in a KO Win against Stephen Thompson back in March. We know he is always ready to throw down, and lord knows so is Nate Diaz. Stockton’s finest makes his return to the UFC from a 3 year layoff after losing a razor thin decision to one Conor McGregor. Diaz is always in great shape, (for goodness sakes, the man does triathlons for fun) has some of the best boxing skills in the sport and is a killer off his back. But I don’t see this fight seeing the ground once, that is until someone gets rocked. UFC 241 in Anaheim is the perfect platform for these two warriors to go to battle. Expect fireworks and tons of animosity in this one, folks. Pettis: UD

Daniel Cormier (C) v Stipe Miocic (Heavyweight)

The rematch is finally here. After a long 14 month weight since their first encounter in June 2018, they run it back. Stipe Miocic has been vouching for this fight since his KO loss to Cormier and now he gets it. Miocic has not taken a fight since that time, where as Cormier has fought once, defending the title against Derrick Lewis in November that year. Stipe Miocic, in many people’s opinion, mine included, is the greatest heavyweight champion of all time. Especially after his dominant performance the fight before against Francis Ngannou. Which makes this rematch perfect. Because the popular opinion is that Cormier, since making the move up to heavyweight, winning the title and defending it, has solidified himself atop the mountain of greatest P4P fighter. I think the winner of this fight takes the crown as heavyweight GOAT. I am intrigued to see if theres any “ring rust” on Miocic due to his extended layoff. And tomorrow, we get to find out. All in all, UFC 241 is dripping with potential to be a contender for card of the year. Cormier: 4th Round Sub

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