UFC 198 matchups

A breakdown of the fights on the main card of UFC 198 on Saturday at Curitiba, Brazil:

Fabricio Werdum (20-5-1) vs. Stipe Miocic (14-2)

CLASS: For Werdum’s heavyweight title

LINE: Werdum minus-165

STORYLINE: A matchup of two of the division’s most athletic fighters. Werdum is a remarkable story. He speaks five languages and is one of the true good guys of the sport, yet he has struggled to get past the label of one-dimensional jiu-jitsu ace that he was saddled with early in his career. Werdum has completely transformed his striking game during his improbable run to the UFC title and defeated some of the best heavyweights in mixed martial arts history. Miocic also has been on a solid run. He has won five of his past six fights and is coming off back-to-back knockouts of Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski. Miocic has a great shot to take the title as long as he keeps the fight standing. Werdum’s advantage on the ground is the biggest edge in the fight, however, and he should be able to take charge once the action hits the mat. Miocic also will have to deal with a hostile crowd of 45,000 outside at a soccer stadium. The circumstances are not ideal for the belt to change hands.

PICK: Werdum by third-round submission

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (22-4-0, 1 No Contest) vs. Vitor Belfort (25-11)

CLASS: Middleweight

LINE: Souza minus-320

STORYLINE: Two Brazilians will square off with a middleweight title shot possibly on the line for the winner. Souza had the same opportunity in December, but lost a split decision to Yoel Romero. Though it snapped Souza’s eight-fight winning streak, the result was later changed to a no-contest because of Romero’s positive drug test. Souza has a dominant ground game and is a rightful favorite over an aging Belfort. The number is way too high, though. While Belfort isn’t quite the fighter he was two years ago, he’s still one of the sport’s fastest starters. Souza most likely will have to endure an early onslaught of kicks and punches. Should he make it through the first several minutes, Souza should take control. It’s probably worth a bet on Belfort at this price, though.

PICK: Souza by second-round submission

Cris “Cyborg” Justino (15-1-0, 1 No Contest) vs. Leslie Smith (8-6-1)

CLASS: Women’s catchweight (140 pounds)

LINE: Justino minus-1,700

STORYLINE: This could get ugly fast. Justino is probably the most feared striker in women’s MMA history. She will make her UFC debut after several years of posturing about whether she could make it down to 135 pounds, which is the top weight class in the organization. An exception was made to bring her in for a fight as the UFC visits her hometown. There weren’t many takers when Justino was in need of an opponent. Smith pursued the opportunity, but she doesn’t have much of a chance. Her striking defense is suspect, and that deficiency should get exposed early. The biggest question was answered Friday when Justino made weight, coming in at 139 pounds.

PICK: Justino by first-round knockout

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (23-10) vs. Corey Anderson (9-1)

CLASS: Light heavyweight

LINE: Anderson minus-240

STORYLINE: Rua was once a wild brawler, but has become more technical with age. It’s a good thing, because his chin isn’t what it was early in his career. Anderson is a rising star with a huge edge in wrestling and cardio, but this could be more of a challenge than expected. Rua has enough experience to keep the fight standing. If this is a striking battle, Rua has a legitimate shot, especially with the crowd completely on his side. Rua, 34, has lost four of his past six fights. The former light heavyweight champion may not have another title run in him, but he’s still dangerous in spots. This very well could be one of those spots.

PICK: Rua by second-round knockout

Warlley Alves (11-0) vs. Bryan Barberena (11-3)

CLASS: Welterweight

LINE: Alves minus-600

STORYLINE: Barberena is a massive underdog against an undefeated prospect for the second straight time. In January, he derailed one of the most hyped young fighters in recent memory when he submitted Sage Northcutt. He gets another chance against the Season 3 champion from “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.” Alves has a strong all-around game, but will have his biggest edge on the mat. Barberena, who is probably better suited for the lightweight division, most likely wants to turn this into a brawl. But Alves isn’t Northcutt. He has four UFC wins, three by submission.

PICK: Alves by first-round submission

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
Covering The Cage: UFC 229 Press Conference Wraps Up
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over what happened during the UFC 229 press conference between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for College Football Week 13
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for NFL Week 12
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for College Football Week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for NFL Week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik break down the NFL Week 10 slate.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik break down college football week 11 match ups.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 9 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 10
Description: Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 8 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 9
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 9 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 8
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 8 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 7 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 7 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 6 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 5 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 5
Todd Dewey and John Lukasik go over their picks for week five of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 4
Todd Dewey and John Lukasik go over their picks for week four of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Cromwell sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week four of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Cromwell sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week three of the NFL.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like