Cormier vs. Oezdemir Pick
The UFC Light Heavyweight Championship is on the line in the co-main event of UFC 220 tonight. Here’s our pick for this clash.
According to the latest oddsmakers, Daniel Cormier is favored to retain his championship, as he is getting -340 odds to win. The challenger, Volkan Oezdemir is listed with a money line of +260 to win. Tonight’s bout takes place from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The main card will air live on PPV starting at 10PM ET.
Cormier is coming off what was a loss to Jon Jones last July, but the fight was changed to a no contest after Jones failed a drug test. Cormier was given the 205-pound championship back, a belt he had defended twice prior to the fight with Jones. Cormier is 19-1 in his career. A former Olympic wrestler, Cormier has developed improved striking throughout his career. However, his bread and butter is to grapple and grind opponents. Cormier will be more than happy to have this fight drag out, where he believes his cardio will be the X-factor.
Oezdemir is the first Swiss fighter to earn a UFC title bout. At 15-1, he is 3-0 in the UFC, picking up back-to-back wins in under a minute leading to this title opportunity. Oezdemir is a powerful striker with good takedown defense. He would like to keep this fight standing where he feels he has the edge. The challenger has also been good in the clinch, being able to use his punching power while dirty boxing.
Oezdemir certainly has the tools to win this fight, but if he is going to win it is likely because he scores a quick knockout. Cormier has beaten everyone he has faced not named Jon Jones because he fights smart and fights his style. Jones has a crazy reach that Oezdemir doesn’t have, so Cormier should be able to get inside and get the fight to the ground. The challenger’s lone loss came by submission and I see the champ grinding him out in the early round before eventually getting a submission on a tired Oezdemir.
UFC 220 PREDICTIONS: DANIEL CORMIER -340