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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. 

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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. 

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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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Benfica Chaves League Preview by Roger Schmidt

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PREVIEW

ABOUT Benfica returns to competition, after a break from national team commitments, with the reception of Chaves this Friday, March 29, at 18:00 at the Estadio da Luz, in the game of the 27th round of the championship. Betkliche League.

Already preliminary press conferencewhich took place on the Benfica campus, Roger Schmidt emphasized that the team is in good shape meet with Chaveza rival who has nothing to lose when faced with the threat of relegation.

At the start of the decisive stage of the season, the coach remembered and praised that the Reds were still fighting for three trophies (Betklić League, Portuguese Taça and Europa League) and this was necessary. “We must use this opportunity and this moment to accelerate our highest level in everything.“, emphasized Roger Schmidt, distinguished Coach's Award at the ceremony dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the Club.

Roger Schmidt

“We are in good shape, the first game is always demanding, but we are ready to play it.”

Roger Schmidt

What was it like preparing for this game against Chavez without any international players?

It was a typical international break, some players were with their teams, and I think it was a good opportunity for us to rest a bit and then get back to training. We did it very well and are excited to play again. Playing at home after the national team break is always a good start. All the national team players returned in good shape, a little tired, but without injuries. I'm happy with that, my biggest fear is always that they will get injured. We are in good shape, the first match is always demanding, but we are ready to play it. The decisive phase of the season begins and everything we have done over the last eight or nine months of this season had to be prepared for these weeks. We have six or seven weeks left to play, we still have three competitions to play and it really is a special season. When you can still win three trophies at the end of March, it's a very good season. Our task is to use this opportunity and this moment to accelerate to the highest level in everything. So, anything is possible. We have this expectation. For tomorrow [sexta-feira, 29 de março]Chavez and I know that this team is always difficult to play against. They are facing relegation, they have nothing to lose at our stadium. This is a good team, they have a good coach, and we have to solve this problem.

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How did you feel when you left the Club’s 120th anniversary ceremony?

On Tuesday [26 de março], The gala was impressive. It always gives us a feeling of how great the Club is and how much love and passion there is in it. I'm always pleased to see that and how Benfica treats their history, former players and everything else. It's always something special and I'm so glad to be a part of it. We want to take this opportunity to please everyone around Benfica and within Benfica.

Roger Schmidt

“Playing at home after the international break is always good”

Are you considering resting Otamendi and Di Maria for this game against Chavez before the two matches against Sporting? Is Ba suitable?

Of course they could rest. The question is: “Would it be beneficial for them to rest?” Both players like to play consistently and quickly. Sometimes they need a rest, like I gave Angel a few times. [Di María], when he played a lot of games in a row and there were big games ahead of us. Sometimes it makes sense to keep them out, but they are both key players for us and have performed at the highest level all season. I always have to make a decision about what is best for us and the players. Are they ready to play at this pace? They have shown this over the last 15 years. Are you ready to return to the club after the national team games and play again? They have also shown this over the past 15 years. I have no doubt that they are ready for tomorrow. [sexta-feira], play. Alex Ba is fine, we still have a little problem with load management, he had a problem and we want to be careful that it doesn't happen again. He's fine now, it was good not to play for the national team, he trained again and we tried to rest him at the right time. He's ready to play.

Di Maria has been going through a turbulent time for several days now: he and his family have received death threats. Is the player 100% physically and mentally ready for this game and the rest of the season?

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What happened to him and his family shows how crazy the world is. It is catastrophic and catastrophic if something like this happens. It is clear that receiving such messages affects the player and the individual. We try to support him as best we can. He is professional and experienced enough to handle such situations, but such situations are completely difficult and rare, especially in a family. This is the worst thing that could happen, but we talked about it. He is trying to live a normal life. Of course, when something like this happens, some thoughts arise in your head, so we will try to support you as best we can.

Roger Schmidt

“It’s time for all of us to show a very good attitude and performance on the field.”

In the last game of the championship, he said that a player who does what Kökçu did cannot be in the team. So, have you spoken to him? Can we expect him to be in the team for this game against Chaves?

As I said during the challenge with Casa Pia [26.ª jornada], my concern was to focus on the game. It would have been better not to mention him in this interview. He returned today [quinta-feira], we talked about it and it was actually exactly what I expected. It was not his intention to create this noise and negativity around our team. I already said before and after the Casa Pia game that I have complete confidence in him as a player, in terms of quality and also in his character. You made a mistake, this interview did no good to anyone. It was not good for us, for him and for Benfica, that's very clear. Now we have to deal with this. Even when players make mistakes, they are still my players, and sometimes I have to support them in difficult times. This is what we have to do, we've talked about it and now it's time to talk about it on the pitch. It's time for all of us, not just him, to demonstrate a very good mentality and performance in field. Everything that is not good for us, that can distract our attention a little, should be excluded. We have resolved this situation domestically and it is time to look forward. I'll be back tomorrow with the team [sexta-feira].

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Kökçu was in the Turkish national team. Do you feel that your role in the national team is different from your role in Benfica?

I think I've said everything about Orkun. [Kökcü]. National teams and clubs are always different. These are different players, different tactical approaches. I don't think much about the choice. National team coaches have their own ideas, their own goals, and they must use the players as they see fit. I'm focused on what's happening here on our team, not just with Orkun. [Kökcü], but in general. Players who make it to national teams love to do it because it's a great honor for everyone. The national teams are preparing for summer competitions… These are two different things, and I am completely focused on the Club.

Roger Schmidt

“Everything we did over the last eight or nine months of this season had to be prepared for these weeks.”

As for Juan Bernat, who was seen in training, will he be fit enough to contribute by the end of the season?

All of us, including himself, expected a different season. He is a very experienced player. Unfortunately, he came in with a minor injury, but he recovered and played a few minutes for us in five or six matches. Not full games, but a few minutes. He has been injured since the end of October, for five months now. I think now is not the time to think too much about next season, we need to think about it. He's working hard to get back on the field. He returned to training with the team this week, the first time in five months he has returned and we hope that he stabilizes with the workload, the football load and, of course, that he makes an impact in the last six or seven years. weeks. This is his situation at the moment. We are on a good track and we hope it will have a good impact at the end of the season.

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″I couldn’t leave without winning this award″

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″I couldn't leave without winning this award″

Statements from Otavio, the player of FC Porto, who this Monday received the Golden Dragon as Footballer of the Year.

Speech: “I thought and I didn’t say anything that I thought. It happened by itself, I’m very happy, I was looking for [o prémio] a lot of time. I saw others, I couldn’t leave without winning this prize. Thank God I won and now it’s time to make the most of it.”

Did you tell the President that you want the Golden Dragon? “I never commented, asking for an award was not my style, it was deserved, I was very happy, many could have won. I am very happy”.

Feeling: “This is something to be proud of, this is the best person in the club, everyone wants to win, this will go down in history. It will be kept under lock and key in the museum that I have. It will get worse.” , nothing will come of it, it will be well stored.

Gala: “It’s always great, because of covid-19, the gala concert has not been held for many years. It is always special, everyone wants to be part of the gala concert. Being a dragonado, he is even more special. We did a good job and this is proof.”

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″Most competitive costume required, Pepe’s costume″

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″Most competitive costume required, Pepe's costume″

Statements by Sergio Conceiçao after receiving the Golden Coach of the Year award at the Golden Dragons Gala

Golden Dragon cost: “I represent many people in this Golden Dragon. The first time I went to Olival with the president in 2017, he named the four essential pillars of FC Porto: rigor, competence, ambition and passion. Looking at it and being with it every day. My players, who don’t usually wear a formal suit as they do today, but the most competitive suit that is required, which is Pepe’s suit, give me great joy when I get up and go to work.”

Technical team and others: “With a super competent technical team, a health department, where there is not only Dr. Nelson Puga and therapists, but also an optometrist, pedologist, a number of people who work daily so that the players do not miss anything. and so that year after year they can get better and win, which is what we want.”

Techniques: “Victory. Not forgetting the people in the kitchen, in the restaurant, the people involved in analysis and observation, the equipment technicians, because today everyone is a technician… [risos]🇧🇷 Lawn techniques too, because I am very picky about the height of the lawn. I think that every detail is important and matters. Finally, a number of people who contribute to making this possible. This is not mine, this belongs to the people of Olival, who are always led by our great, my friend and godfather, the president.”

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A family: “Finally, to paraphrase our Gonzalinho [Borges], I want to dedicate it completely to my family, which is not easy, and parents, as always. Not being among us, they will certainly be very proud, not least because they have received two more extremely important people in the life of the club and that together they are up there watching us so that FC Porto becomes bigger , was getting better. , become stronger and win. And let’s keep it up. Is always. Because we deserve it. We are also honest, serious, dedicated and competent workers.”

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