UFC 230

Cormier x Lewis

Picks, Parlays, and Pithy Analysis

A Haphazard Return to Madison Square Garden

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Picks

Cormier x Lewis
Weidman x Souza
Branch x Cannonier
Marshman x Roberson
Adesanya x Brunson
Knight x Rinaldi
Modafferi x Eubanks
Good x Saunders
Vannata x Frevola
Burgos x Holobaugh
Kelleher x Jackson

Parlays

“Tradition” EDITION
Weidman (-155)
Adesanya (-275)
Kelleher (+130)
$2.30 to win $9.57

“Diabolical” EDITION
Cormier (-666)
Branch (-350)
Marshman (+225)
Modafferi (+400)
Good (-550)
Vannata (-300)
$6.66 to win $245.52

Predictions

This event was carelessly planned and I’ve decided to mirror that sentiment with my own abridged analysis. They want $60 for a PPV that was glued together in less than a month, so I’m offering my two cents in less than a paragraph. I’m not particularly excited, but that won’t stop me from watching. I’m trapped here. Please, someone, help me.

Daniel Cormier x Derrick Lewis

for the Heavyweight Championship

In an effort to save this event from becoming a total disaster, the UFC whipped together a heavyweight title fight within the last month. Two-division champion Daniel Cormier is now defending his latest belt against the monstrous “Black Beast”, Derrick Lewis. The same Derrick Lewis who was in the Octagon 28 days ago, losing a fight, before miraculously bashing his opponent’s brain in during the final seconds. As fun as Lewis is to watch, and listen to, Cormier knows he has no business slugging it out with a much bigger brawler. Instead, expect the Olympic-calibur wrestler to force the clinch and take advantage of Lewis’ subpar cardio en route to an early submission finish. I know Lewis usually has the uncanny ability to will his way back to his feet when he gets taken down, but I envision him looking lost on Saturday. It’s a fun fight, even it only exists to fill a main-event-sized void. No way Cormier takes a chance on losing the forthcoming Lesnar payday. The champ will play it safe and do what it takes to get the W.

Chris Weidman x Jacare Souza

at Middleweight

This fight was also thrown together recently. Both men were scheduled to compete on this card, albeit against very different opponents. Weidman has seen better days, but his most recent win against the up-and-coming Kelvin Gastelum proves he’s still one of the most dangerous guys in the division. The former middleweight champ will have to be at the top of his game to take on the legendary Jacare Souza. Brazil’s Jacare will always have some of the best jiu-jitsu at 185 pounds and his alarmingly powerful striking doesn’t get the respect it deserves until it’s too late. Still, Weidman’s sharp boxing, combined with his massive heart, will likely nullify anything Jacare can throw at him. It’s a compelling matchup, but I don’t like that it’s taking place on three week's notice. Without much time to prepare, I have to give the edge to the (slightly) younger, hungrier fighter. Weidman takes a hardfought decision in his own backyard.

David Branch x Jared Cannonier

at Middleweight

David Branch can’t seem to catch a break. After an untimely exit from the UFC in 2011, Branch has only recently worked his way back to the organization and has gone 1-1 against top ten competition. He was hoping to make a statement against the highly-ranked Jacare Souza, but his opponent was plucked for the co-main event as soon as the card started to fall apart. Less than twenty days ago, Branch found out that instead of a pivotal fight against Souza, he was in for a tune-up against the relatively unknown Jared Cannonier. Certainly not the big name he was hoping for. While Cannonier may offer worrisome KO power, it should be nothing Branch hasn’t seen before. If my man was truly ready for Jacare, this should be a walk in the park. Branch wins by TKO somewhere in the second half of the fight.

Karl Roberson x Jack Marshman

Still at Middleweight

After an impressive knockout on Dana White’s Contender Series, Karl Roberson has gone 1-1 in the UFC. In my personal opinion, they’re pushing him too fast. Putting him against a veteran like Marshman will likely be another misstep. The UFC likes Roberson because he throws heavy, but I think a wiley Welshman like Jack can avoid the big strikes and force a slower pace. As the underdog, Marshman’s well-rounded game is being undervalued. Roberson’s cardio can make the difference, but I bet he learns a lesson from a more well-rounded fighter and loses a decision.

Derek Brunson x Israel Adesanya

I Can’t Believe It’s at Middleweight

Israel Adesanya couldn’t be a hotter prospect for the organization. He’s a veteran kickboxer with a stellar record and moxie on the mic — everything they dream of. The young Nigerian will make a fool out of anyone who stands in front of him and Derek Brunson loves to stand in front of his opponents. In contrast, the heavy-handed Brunson has been a middling contender for almost six years and can’t seem to put it together in big fights. I wonder why they booked this one? Israel by knockout to start the night.