UFC 241 Main Card Predictions
UFC 241 takes place this coming Saturday night in Anaheim, CA. Live from the Honda Center. Here at MFST we’ve got our predictions for the main card down below.
Get ready for tomorrow night’s hard-hitting fight card. It is going to be a war from top-to-bottom. While there are a few lack luster fights on the under card, the main card is surely looking to serve up plenty of action to keep your eyes glued to any screen that you’re watching UFC 241 on.
With so many UFC events going on, it’s easy to get lost with which of your favorite fighters are due next for upcoming fights. There’s not really a lot of star power on this UFC 241 card, other than Nate Diaz, but that doesn’t mean that this should be a card to skip.
From the prelims to the main card, UFC 241 is stacked with potential knock outs and exciting finishes. This card features the heavyweight championship bout that will close out the PPV with “Cormier vs Miocic 2.”
The co-main event has potential “Fight of the Year” with two of the all-time fan favorites, Anthony Pettis taking on Nate Diaz. This fight will be an interesting one since its being contested at welterweight. Pettis is still getting use to this division, and Diaz has not fought in this weight class since his fight with Conor McGregor in 2016.
Derek Brunson +125 vs. Ian Heinisch -155
Even if this fight does go all three rounds, you can bet on Heinisch doing whatever he can to punish Brunson. Heinisch was the one who kept calling for this fight, and he got it. Heinisch does not believe that Brunson is on his level, and on Saturday Brunson will have the chance to prove Heinisch wrong.
Both fighters are riding win streaks coming into this fight, but Brunson is on a one-fight win streak after dropping two prior to finally getting back in the win column, and Heinisch has been nothing but impressive as he comes into UFC 241 on a fight-fight win streak. This is also his third fight in the UFC and he’s been perfect since making his debut with the promotion.
At 35 years old, there’s no doubt that Brunson desperately needs this win. It would be huge for his win/loss record, but most notably, Brunson was knocked out two times in a row, before he was able to grind out a decision victory over Elias Theodorou.
Both of these Middleweights have no problem putting away their opponents, but we also know that striking is not the impressive feature that both of these fighters have, they’re both great wrestlers. I see Brunson going for the takedown early on and trying to set up a knockout, but Heinisch just presents himself as too much trouble for Brunson. It will be a close round 1, but I don’t see this fight heading into the third round.
Heinisch by TKO, round 2.
Gabriel Benitez +220 vs. Sodiq Yusuff -300
Flyweights are always fun to watch. It’s like watching a real life Dragon Ball Z fight. This flyweight contest should also be another exciting fight on the main card. Benitez has not fought since May 2018, but he’s also only fought seven times in the past five years.
Benitez is the more mature fighter between the two, but although Yusuff is the favorite to win on Saturday, he’s going to have a tough time with a stiff opponent in Benitez. Benitez has some of the most power leg kicks in their division. While Yusuff loves to mix things up and use his speed to throw off his opponents, Benitez will have a great counter if he’s able to wear down the legs and mid-section of Yusuff.
The hype for Yusuff is at an all-time high right now. Yusuff has had some impressive victories in his young career in the Octagon, but the victories over the well-known fighters were already on losing streaks. It should also be noted that Yusuff has yet to score a successful takedown or submission in the UFC.
Benitez has already been underutilized by the promotion, but this comes down to whoever has the better hands if this fight were to stay on the feet. Both men are very similar in height and reach, but the key to victory for Benitez here is to chop down the legs of Yusuff with his brutal kicks and to take this fight to the ground. Yusuff on the other hand is still making his case as to why he’s going to be the next future flyweight champion.
Benitez by unanimous decision.
Paulo Costa +125 vs. Yoel Romero -155
This is going to be one hell of a fight with several possible outcomes. Unfortunately for Costa, not many fans and MMA analysts are giving much of a winning shot for the man who has yet to taste defeat in the Octagon. Just look at some of the mans scary highlights down below.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 16, 2019
At 42 years old, Romero is older than his opponent by 14 years. That’s always been a concern for Romero. The explosiveness is there and Romero is in tremendous shape, but we’ve seen Romero gassed out in the later rounds due to unsuccessful early round finishes. Romero is coming off a loss after losing to Robert Whittaker for the second time.
Costa is a perfect 12-0, and also 4-0 since arriving in the UFC. Costa is also a dangerous finisher. All of his victories in the UFC have been from KO’s. Costa is a lion, and now he’s looking at the older Romero as his prey.
A victory over Romero would be huge for the younger Costa. Even though he has a perfect record, there’s no eye popping opponents on his resume. Since entering the UFC his first two opponents had a combined record of 1-7. He then went on to demolish former warrior, Johnny Hendricks, who was already on the tail-end of his career, and lastly was Uriah Hall who wasn’t even ranked as a top 10 fighter in the division.
This fight could be over in a matter of seconds, of it could go into the third round. Whichever way the fight goes, it’s going to be a slug fest.
Costa by TKO, round 3.
Nate Diaz -130 vs. Anthony Pettis +110
If only this bout was contested for five rounds, if it does go the distance since it’s being contested for a three round fight, I’m sure nobody would complain if another two rounds were added to this fight.
— Dana White (@danawhite) August 16, 2019
California will be “lit” as the kids say today, as the crowd will be on fire for this fight. Nate Diaz is heavily loved there and he will look to carry that momentum into the Octagon on Saturday night. Pettis being the veteran that he is will not let any loud event center stop him from doing his thing either.
Both fighters are kind of downplaying it now, but we know that there’s a lot of bad blood between these two fighters, and finally after all theses years, we’re finally getting this dream fight.
Even with double-digit losses at 28-11, Diaz still remains a heavy draw when it comes to ratings. It’s hard to predict how this fight will turnout, because the last time we saw Diaz in the Octagon was in 2016 against Conor McGregor, in which he lost that fight in a decision victory.
Since 2015 Pettis has been 4-6. With a professional record of 22 wins 8 losses, 6 of those have come recently in his later career. Now that Pettis has decided to move up to welterweight, his last fight had several MMA fans on the edge, since nobody had a clue as to what could happen when he stepped foot in his new division against Stephen Thompson.
— UFC (@ufc) March 24, 2019
Pettis by unanimous decision.
Main Event Championship Bout
Daniel Cormier (champion) -140 vs. Stipe Miocic +120
Running it back to determine the Baddest Man on the Planet
— ESPN (@espn) August 15, 2019
Last summer Cormier put on an instant classic when he was able to put the lights out on the former heavyweight champ, Miocic. This time around all eyes will be on what changes both fighters due, compared to their last bout.
In their first fight, nobody had any doubts in the talents of Cormier, but very few predicted a first round KO over Miocic. Mainly because Miocic was the younger man, but also he was no slouch himself. Miocic had won six straight heavyweight fights, and five of those victories were decided by TKO’s. Those wins were over guys like Junior Dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum and Francis Ngannou to name a few.
Miocic also had three straight successful title defenses. As for Cormier, Miocic will have the champ on his toes all night. If anything, I see Cormier having to stick to a wrestling game plan for Miocic, because anything can happen if these two were to let this ride out with strikes to the end.
— UFC (@ufc) July 8, 2018
When the first fight took place a year ago most MMA fans were in shock with the outcome of this fight. Although I could see another first round KO this time around as well for either guy, I predict a more competitive fight with both guys having their moments in the fight.
Miocic will be 37 in less than a week, and looks to get his title back at UFC 241. The question to that everybody will be ask after this fight is what’s next for the 40 year-old, Cormier. The Olympian has been dominant for a long time, but win or lose, a trilogy with Jon Jones could be next for Cormier.
Cormier by submission, round 4.