Curitiba, Brazil hosts what is a stacked card for UFC 198. The main event features a showdown for the heavyweight title between Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic. This should be a very competitive fight as the betting odds reflect. Werdum won the belt by beating Cain Velasquez last June, and that's the last time the title has been on the line. Miocic comes into the fight off back to back knockout victories over Mark Hunt and Andrei Orlovski. The co-main event pits two Brazilians against each other as Vitor Belfort takes on Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in what looks to be a #1 contender fight for the middleweight title.
The main card also features the debut of Cris Justino as she takes on Leslie Smith, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Corey Anderson, and Warlley Alves vs. Bryan Barberena. Unfortunately we won't get to see the fight I was most looking forward to, Anderson Silva vs. Uriah Hall due to Silva having to pull out for a gall bladder operation. Hopefully we see this fight down the road.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic should make for an entertaining fight, as it pits the striker against the grappler. Werdum holds a huge grappling advantage over Miocic, as he would against anybody in the division. Therefore, Stipe has to keep the fight standing where he can utilize his boxing skills. That being said, even if Miocic is able to keep the fight standing, Werdum has a great chin so Stipe's best chance of winning is to pile up the rounds and get the decision. I don't see that happening. I just don't think Miocic can stay standing for all five rounds. Fabricio Werdum successfully defends his belt for the first time and then gears up for Alistair Overeem.
As competitive as the main event should be, I just don't think the same holds true for the co-main event. Jacare has been on a tear and is one of the best middleweights on the planet. I don't see Belfort holding an advantage over Souza in any area and unless he surprises him and lands the perfect punch within the first round it's going to be rough night for him.
Fabricio Werdum (20-5-1) vs. Stipe Miocic (14-2) Current Line: Werdum -175, Miocic +145 Pick: Werdum by submission
Ronaldo Souza (22-4, 1 NC) vs. Vitor Belfort (25-11) Current Line: Souza -290, Belfort +240 Pick: Souza by submission
Cris Justino (15-1, 1 NC) vs. Leslie Smith (8-6-1) Current Line: Justino -1600, Smith +900 Pick: Cyborg by TKO
Mauricio Rua (23-10) vs. Corey Anderson (9-1) Current Line: Anderson -155, Rua +125 Pick: Anderson by decision.
Warlley Alves (11-0) vs. Bryan Barberena (11-3) Current Line: Alves -500, Barberena +375 Pick: Alves by TKO
Enjoy the fights!
The Fighting Champion
Blogging about mixed martial arts, sports betting and providing winning sports picks.