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UFC 252 predictions — Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic: Fight card, odds, expert picks, prelims, date

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UFC 252 predictions -- Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic: Fight card, odds, expert picks, prelims, date

Title fights don’t get much bigger than this. Two of the most accomplished fighters in UFC history are set to square off for the third time in the main event of UFC 252 when Stipe Miocic faces Daniel Cormier. Each fighter has scored a knockout in the previous two meetings with Miocic getting the upper hand in the last bout. Now, the two will look to settle the score in the grudge match.

Miocic set the record for most consecutive heavyweight title defenses at three before Cormier scored the shocking first-round knockout in 2018. Cormier, a former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion in his own right, has stated he will retire win or lose on Saturday after a decorated MMA career.

But there’s plenty of depth to be found beyond the main event of the evening. There’s a pair of veterans looking to add one more win to the resume when Jim Miller and Vinc Pichel link up in the preliminary main event. In Miller’s case, a win moves him closer to topping Donald Cerrone’s mark for most victories in UFC history. Plus, a few rising stars get their chance to shine as Sean O’Malley takes on Marlon Vera in the co-main event and Jair Rozenstruik faces former champ Junior dos Santos in a heavyweight contest.

Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon, including a complete preview of UFC 252 with Hall of Famer ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans below.

Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride. Let’s take a closer look at the rest of the card with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook.

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UFC 252 fight card, odds

  • Daniel Cormier -115 vs. Stipe Miocic (c) -105, heavyweight championship
  • Sean O’Malley -300 vs. Marlon Vera +230, bantamweights
  • Jairzinho Rozenstruik -135 vs. Junior Dos Santos +115, heavyweights
  • Herbert Burns -280 vs. Daniel Pineda +230, featherweights
  • Merab Dvalishvili -240 vs. John Dodson +200, bantamweights
  • Vinc Pichel -130 vs. Jim Miller +110, lightweights
  • Virna Jandiroba -310 vs. Felice Herrig +250, women’s strawweights
  • TJ Brown -155 vs. Danny Chavez +130, featherweights
  • Livia Renata Souza -170 vs. Ashley Yoder +145, women’s strawweights
  • Parker Porter -120 vs. Chris Daukaus +120, heavyweights
  • Kai Kamaka III vs. Tony Kelley, featherweights

With such a massive main event on tap, the crew at CBS Sports went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card. Here are your pick makers: Brent Brookhouse (Combat sports writer), Brian Campbell (Combat sports writer), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor) and Michael Mormile (producer).

UFC 252 picks

Miocic (c) vs. Cormier Cormier Miocic Miocic Miocic Cormier
O’Malley vs. Vera O’Malley O’Malley O’Malley O’Malley O’Malley
Rozenstruik vs. dos Santos dos Santos dos Santos Rozenstruik Rozenstruik Rozenstruik
Burns vs. Pineda Burns Burns Burns Burns
Dodson vs. Dvalishvili Dvalishvili Dvalishvili Dodson Dodson Dodson

Campbell on why Cormier will win: If Cormier is able to shake off nagging injuries and get into five-round championship shape once more, this is his fight to lose. He’s simply better in every category save for stamina and top-end power and has more ways to win. Should DC give Miocic an avenue for victory, the underrated defending champion will take it. But if this trilogy becomes more tense and technical than the first two, it plays more into Cormier’s hands, particularly if he can do a better job mixing in takedowns and sticking to the game plan. 

Brookhouse on why Miocic will win: Cormier is 41, more than a year older than when he had originally planned to retire. Miocic also has to be thinking constantly about how digging to Cormier’s body completely changed their first meeting. With Cormier’s stamina already a potential issue, Miocic can sap Cormier early with body work and also open up shots to the head as Cormier brings his hands down to defend the body, very similar to how things played out to end the second fight between the two. That said, this is as hard a pick as any fight in recent memory, which is a product of how truly elite these two men are.

Campbell on why O’Malley will win: Vera is too dangerous and versatile to imagine O’Malley cutting through him with the ease that Anderson Silva did in his UFC debut against Chris Leben. With that said, however, we still don’t know just how great O’Malley really is. That’s what makes this fight so intriguing. Expect Vera’s all-action pace to force O’Malley to have to lean on his intangibles in ways he never has before and prove he can make adjustments against one of the division’s toughest outs. If “Sugar” Sean really is for real, he will do just that. Every step up to now, he has played the part perfectly. 

Campbell on why dos Santos will win: At 36, the former champion has looked at times in recent years like the end could be near only to right the ship and win a big fight. His three-fight win streak two years ago, which included a stoppage of Derrick Lewis, was a reminder that he’s still got it. But what happens should he be knocked out for the third straight fight when he takes on the savage Rozenstruik on Saturday? Given his opponent’s still raw skills, this is a fight JDS very much can win by boxing on the outside and patiently relying on his technique. It may get dicey at times, but there’s enough at stake for him to keep hope alive that there’s still plenty left in the tank. 

Who will win UFC 252, and how exactly will each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight on Saturday’s card, all from the accomplished expert who’s up over $20,000 and has nailed 16 of the last 18 UFC main events.

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Zaidoo has already booked a return trip to Porto

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Zaidoo has already booked a return trip to Porto

Tunisia will now face Burkina Faso in the CAN quarter-finals, which eliminated Gabon today.

Tunisia eliminated one of the top favorites to win the African Cup of Nations (CAN), Nigeria, by winning 1-0 to advance to the quarter-finals where they will face Burkina Faso.

The goal that qualified Tunisia was scored early in the second half, in the 47th minute, by midfielder Youssef Mskani of Al Arabi, currently ranked sixth in the Qatar I League.

Tunisia’s qualification against Nigeria is surprising considering North Africa’s ‘eighth place’ finish as one of the best third-placed teams in a group they only had one win against a fragile selection from Mauritania and two defeats, against the Gambia and Mali, both 1-0.

On the other hand, Nigeria advanced to Group D with nine points added from three wins, one over title contender Carlos Queiroz coached Egypt and two more over Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.

Porto Zaidu FC played 90 minutes for the Nigerian team, whose premature return to Porto is certainly good news for Porto coach Sergio Conceição.

It’s also worth noting that Nigeria were reduced to 10 after the 66th minute when Everton’s English striker Alex Iwobi was sent off with a straight red card.

Tunisia will now face Burkina Faso in the CAN quarter-finals, who eliminated Gabon today in the final shoot-out after a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation and extra time.

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BOLA – Portugal defeats the Netherlands (futsal)

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BOLA - Portugal defeats the Netherlands (futsal)

Portugal beat the Netherlands 4-1 in the Group A round 2 game which they dominated and controlled from start to finish. At half-time the national team was leading 2-0 (Saaduni in own net, 6 minutes and Pani Varela, 20 minutes), which was extended to 3:0, and Pani Varela was back in the spotlight (23′). The Dutch didn’t get past a goal of honor (Buzuyan, 33′) and in the final minutes Afonso Jesus set the final score at 4-1.

40′ – End of the match.

40′ – 4:1, PORTUGAL, GOAL, Afonso Jesus, stealing the ball from an opponent and, when the Netherlands is playing with an attacking goalkeeper, kick on goal with the goal open.

39′ – What a big loss in front of the goalkeeper, Eric, allowing Kuik to recoup.

38′ Joao Matos (Portugal) gets in a strike blocked by a Dutch defence.

35′ – Pani Varela (Portugal) has a shot blocked by the Dutch defence.

35′ Fabio Cecilio (Portugal) gets in a strike blocked by a Dutch defence.

33′ – 3-1, GOAL FROM THE NETHERLANDS, Buzuyan, on the rebound, after the first hit on the bar by El Gannuti.

32′ – After a corner Pani Varela first has an effort on goal.

31′ – Martinus (Netherlands) is in a great position to close the gap, but Portugal’s Andre Sousa fails to score.

29′ – Another shot by Andre Coelho and another save by Cuik.

29′ – Portugal are very close to a 4-0 lead by Andre Coelho but Cuik makes a stunning save.

28′ – André Souza (Netherlands) gets in a strike, but Bouzambou (Netherlands) scores.

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27′ – Thiago Brito (Portugal) goes wide.

25′ – Fabio Cecilio (Portugal) saves Cuik.

24′- Buyuzan (Netherlands) gets a yellow card.

24′ – Martinus gets in a strike, but Andre Souza saves the opponent.

23 ‘- 3:0, GOAL PORTUGAL, Pani Varela, after hitting the ball passed between Kuiku’s legs.

22′ – Bruno Coelho (Portugal) will try his luck.

22′ – Mossaoui (Netherlands) also misses the Portuguese goal.

22′ – Bouzambu (Netherlands) has an effort on goal.

21′ – The second half has begun.

Interval – The national team wins 2-0 over their Dutch counterpart with Saaduni (6 minutes) in his own net, with a bad rebound from Zika and Pani Varela (20 minutes), following the table with Ziki, the lightning-fast Kuik.

20 minutes – 2:0, GOAL PORTUGAL, Pani Varela, after the table with Ziki, shooting with violence, at an angle. What a great goal!

19′ – Tomas Paso (Portugal) dribbles well and shoots hard, but Cuik again lands 2-0 away.

18′ – Bruno Coelho (Portugal) gets in a free kick, Cuik pushes forward.

17′ – André Souza (Portugal) thanks to a perfect save.

14′ – Ziki (Portugal) tries to surprise with his heel, but the ball hits a wall of Dutch players surrounding the Portuguese.

10′ – Another strike from Pauleta (Portugal) and another interception by the Dutch defender.

9′ Paulet (Portugal) has a shot blocked by a defender.

9′ – Good shot from Martinus (Netherlands) from the side.

7′ – Thiago Brito (Portugal) gets in a strike, but Cuik saves it.

6′ – 1:0, PORTUGAL GOAL, Saadouni, own goal, while inadvertently dodging a ball thrown by Ziki.

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5′ – Ziki (Portugal) dangerous shot.

5′ – Pani Varela (Portugal) goes wide.

4′ – Again Portugal: now Bruno Coelho has hit Cuik’s defense.

3′ – Another good opportunity to score for the national team, but Erik gets a shot from Kuik, who saves him for a corner.

1′ – A great opportunity for Portugal, but Cuik is defending for the line.

1′ – The game has started.

Five starters are available:

Portugal – André Souza (GR); Eric, Joao Matos (C), Bruno Coelho and Pani Varela

Netherlands – Cuik (GR); Buzambou, Mossaoui, Saint-Just and Velsebourg

Portugal will face the Netherlands, hosts of the European Futsal Championship, at 16:30 in the match for qualification to the 2nd round of Group A.

Follow the game here.

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Eriksen set to return to Premier League after panic

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Eriksen set to return to Premier League after panic

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Danish international to strengthen Brentford, British press assures

After a big scare set by Christian Eriksen at Euro 2020, the 29-year-old midfielder is about to complete his return to the competition and soon to the Premier League.

The English newspaper The Sunday Mirror guarantees that Eriksen will strengthen 14th-placed Brentford in the next 72 hours, simply by skipping the club’s routine medicals.

Eriksen has spent the last few days training with the Ajax team in order to get back to perfect pace as soon as possible and do his part for the bees.

Eriksen has been a free player on the market since 17 December, when Inter announced the sacking of a Danish international who was banned from Serie A due to having a cardiac defibrillator implanted to control any anomalies.

The player went into cardiac arrest in a Euro 2020 group stage match between Denmark and Finland and has some doubts about whether he can return to professional football. Panic appears to be a thing of the past as Eriksen is about to move to the second English club of his career after a successful run at Tottenham Hotspur between 2013 and 2019.

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