Cormier will challenge the heavyweight champ in the headliner of Saturday’s card, which will go down at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As this is being written, Cormier is the underdog for the scrap, in the range of +170 to +206. Well, recently Cormier was asked to comment on the fact that Miocic is a decent sized, favorite to win their contest, and while doing so, the 205 champ said this (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“Nobody’s really pushed him in [wrestling],” Cormier said. “I’m not anticipating that it’s going to be easy to take him down. I just know that the longer I can make us grapple, the better the odds are for me. Guy, I’ll tell you this, there are oddsmakers for a reason. They instilled me as the underdog and it’s great. Stipe Miocic is in a completely different situation. Last time [at UFC 220], he got disrespected. I feel I’m getting disrespected. Stipe Miocic is fighting a guy that, he’s never seen anything like this.
“There’s odds for a reason, but know that those odds and all that money that they’ve bet on him, it’s tied to one outcome. The only way he can win is to knock me out. There’s no other way he beats me. If he didn’t finish Ngannou on the ground, he is not finishing me on the ground. And if we fight for 25 minutes, there is no way he gets his hand raised. So all the money that people are betting, know that it’s tied to one outcome, because that’s the only way he wins the fight.”
So, should Cormier feel this way about the odds? There’s a couple of ways to look at it.
The fact that Miocic is the favorite shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. While Cormier has fought at heavyweight before, that was several years ago, and he’s giving up a fair bit of size and reach to the champ. Further, Miocic has won six straight fights, he can crack, and he’s widely considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights to date.
But, should Cormier be a 2-1 underdog? That’s an interesting question. “DC” is right in that Miocic has not faced someone with the wrestling pedigree that he has. In fact, during Miocic’s UFC run, he hasn’t fought anyone who’s even close to as good as a wrestler as Cormier is. Plus, this is a guy who’s only official defeat came against arguably the most talented fighter ever, in Jon Jones.
So, should Cormier be the underdog for the contest? Probably. Should he be that big of an underdog? Probably not.