UFC 214: Cormier vs Jones 2 Preview and Picks
Ready for UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2 picks and betting odds & predictions? The biggest UFC card of 2017 comes our way this weekend from Honda Center in Anaheim, California – three title fights headline the pay-per-view portion while top contenders littler the rest of which should be a superb schedule.
Event: UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2
Date: July 29, 2017
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
Broadcast: PPV, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass
Main Card (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on Pay-Per-View)
The sport’s biggest rivalry between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones will FINALLY write another chapter, Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia will throw down for the Welterweight strap and the most dangerous woman on the planet Cris “Cyborg” Justino will fight Tonya Evinger for the Featherweight belt.
Other intriguing bouts on the card include Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone, Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir, Ricardo Lamas vs. Jason Knight and Aljamain Sterling vs. Renan Barao – it could be a classic night at the fight.
Here is a look at all of the fights on the card, the odds associated with each and what should play out on a night that many, many MMA fans have bee patiently waiting for.
Daniel Cormier (19-1): +195 vs. Jon Jones (22-1): -250
How about a little bad blood to close off the best card of the year? Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier final get it on after a couple years of delays and trash talking between the two. Jones beat Cormier in the first meeting by unanimous decision in 2015 – Jones has fought just once since that time thanks to positive drug tests and some stupid decisions while Cormier has defeated the likes of Anderson Silva, Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson (twice).
So why is Jones favored in this fight?
It’s the fact that Jones has already beaten Cormier back in January, 2015, the fact that there is no fighter with the freakish athleticism of Jones in all of MMA, the fact that Jones will definitely have some motivation following drug suspensions and issues surrounding his questionable decision making outside the Octagon and the fact that he will have an unfathomable 12-inch reach advantage against Cormier.
The arguments for Cormier are strong as well. He is arguably the best wrestler in the division, he has taken on and beaten the best in the world the last couple of years and his skills, especially striking have developed at a rate that few saw coming. The one argument against Cormier? His only loss came against Jon Jones.
Saturday marks just Jones’s fourth fight in the last four years – Octagon-rust could rear its ugly head but my thought is that the opposite will play itself out. A fresh, motivated Jones will do his best to stay out of Cormier’s danger zones – the ones he has been patiently scouting during his time of inactivity. Jones is just too athletic, too shifty and too dangerous anywhere this fight happens to go. Cormier is a great fighter – don’t get me wrong but Jones is on track to being a legend – one with a MAJOR chip on his shoulder.
MMA Betting Pick: Jon Jones -250
Tyron Woodley (17-3-1): -210 vs. Demian Maia (25-6): +170
The Welterweight Title will be on the line when Demian Maia who has looked untouchable the last couple of years takes on Tyron Woodley who himself has been as dangerous a they come inside the Octagon.
Woodley brings in a tremendous set of all-around skills – he is a two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler whose knockout power and strength inside the Octagon have been impressive to say the least. Maia, on the other hand has long been one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners on the planet – one that has developed a stand-up game and has become dangerous anywhere a fight happens to go.
Maia has traditionally had a difficult time with stud wrestlers – Chris Wideman and Nark Munoz gave him fits in the past – Woodley threatens to do the same here.
The challenger will push forward and try to get this fight to the mat – that plays right into the hands of Woodley’s strong wrestling pedigree and incredible counter-striking game.
My guess is that Woodley keeps this fight standing and forces Maia into a mistake or two along the way. Woodley is just too strong to be denied here and his style presents a matchup nightmare for the Brazilian here. Take the Champ to keep his roll going.
MMA Betting Pick: Tyron Woodley -210
Cris “Cyborg” Justino (17-1, 1NC): -1100 vs. Tonya Evinger (19-5, 1NC): +650
The best woman’s fighter on the planet Cris “Cyborg” Justino takes a 17-fight win streak into the Octagon Saturday night against a very game Tonya Evinger who herself has tasted MMA success as Invicta Champ – a title she held for two years.
This fight will be a contrast of styles – Cyborg has utilized sheer violence during her absolutely dominant career – 15 of her 17 career wins have come by knockout – nine in the first round.
Nobody has come close to keeping up with the power, the explosiveness and the intimidation factor of the Brazilian – nobody!
Enter Tonya Evinger whose game has certainly evolved since her early days when she was seen as a one-dimensional wrestler. Evinger has developed some serious striking along the way as well as a devastating submission game to become one of the more well-rounded fighters in women’s MMA.
She is good on the outside, her clinch is no joke and if this fight happens to go to the mat she is comfortable there. Evinger has shown that she can win anywhere a fight happens to go.
While I love what Evinger will bring Saturday, my head overrules my heart here. While I think an upset is certainly possible, I don’t think its probable. Nobody has touched Cyborg in years – I think that trend continues Saturday.
MMA Betting Pick: Cris “Cyborg” Justino -1100
Robbie Lawler (27-11, 1NC): -165 vs. Donald Cerrone (32-8, 1NC): +135
The rescheduled Welterweight bout between two of the division’s best finally takes place Saturday when former champ Robbie Lawler takes on Donald Cerrone in what has all the makings of a classic. Both men are high-octane and both have had a knack of leaving it all inside the Octagon.
Both fighters arrive off tough losses – Lawler most recently lost his belt to Tyron Woodley in devastating knockout fashion while Cerrone, before his latest injury lost in TKO fashion to Jorge Masvidal. Both men had impressive win streaks before their latest loss – Cerrone won four straight while Lawler won five.
Lawler will have the obvious advantage in the stand-up while Cerrone will have the edge in the clinch and on the mat. So, who wins?
While I was tempted to go with the upset here, I’m taking the former champ to prevail. Cerrone has been knocked out twice the last couple of years and he hasn’t faced anyone with the power and pure violence of Robbie Lawler.
I suppose the Cowboy could get this fight to the mat but the best the division has to offer haven’t been able to dictate the pace against Lawler and I don’t think Cerrone will be able to do so either.
Lawler will be fighting for the title again soon – consider Cerrone a good tune-up!
MMA Betting Pick: Robbie Lawler -165
Jimi Manuwa (17-2): -185 vs. Volkan Oezdemir (14-1): +150
Light Heavyweights kick off the pay-per-view Saturday with what looks like a very intriguing bout.
Both are top 10 guys in the division and both will be looking to make a name for themselves on the biggest stage. Manuwa and Oezdemir with relative newcomers to the spotlight.
Swiss import Volkan Oezdemir has won both of his fights since joining the organization including one against Ovince Saint Preux while Manuwa has elevated to one of the better strikers in the Light Heavyweight division (15 of his 17 wins have come by stoppage) and has claimed Performance of the Night honors in his last two fights since losing to Anthony Johnson.
Manuwa will obviously be out to beat Oezdemir with his insane 79-inch reach and his patient and accurate striking game. Oezdemir’s power has really carried him so far in his career.
Unfortunately for Oezdemir, his style plays right into Manuwa’s strengths. Expect Manuwa to bide his time, use his reach and height advantage and to take advantage of Oezdemir lack of big-fight experience here. Manuwa moves closer to a Title shot Saturday with an impressive KO win!
MMA Betting Pick: Jimi Manuwa -185
Prelims (8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on FXX)
Ricardo Lamas (17-5): -130 vs. Jason Knight (17-2): EVEN
MMA Betting Pick: Ricardo Lamas -130
Aljamain Sterling (13-2): -140 vs. Renan Barao (34-4, 1NC): +110
MMA Betting Pick: Renan Barao +110
Renato Moicano (11-0-1): -140 vs. Brian Ortega (11-0): +110
MMA Betting Pick: Brian Ortega +110
Andre Fili (16-4): -335 vs. Calvin Kattar (16-2): +255
MMA Betting Pick: Andre Fili -335
Prelims (6:15 p.m. ET / 3:15 p.m. PT on UFC Fight Pass)
Kailin Curran (4-4): +125 vs. Alexandra Albu (2-0): -155
MMA Betting Pick: Kailin Curran +125
Eric Shelton (10-3): +135 vs. Jarred Brooks (12-0): -165
MMA Betting Pick: Jarred Brooks -165
Joshua Burkman (28-15): +230 vs. Drew Dober (17-8, 1NC): -300
MMA Betting Pick: Joshua Burkman +230