UFC 226 Rewind
July 8, 2018
By Brian Edwards
UFC 226 Betting Results
‘DC’ has stood for Daniel Cormier throughout his storied athletic career. Now it can also represent The Double Champ.
In front of a packed house at T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night, Cormier enjoyed his defining moment in the UFC 226 main event. Fighting at heavyweight for the first time since defeating Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson at UFC 166 in October of 2013, Cormier knocked out Stipe Miocic with 27 seconds remaining in the first round.
Miocic became the first heavyweight in the promotion’s history to defend the belt three times when he dusted Francis Ngannou earlier this year at UFC 220. Couple that victory with the first-round KO to win the belt on the road in Brazil vs. Fabricio Werdum, in addition to a pair of first-round KO title defenses against Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos, and there’s no denying that Miocic is the greatest heavyweight champ in UFC history.
And the pride of Ohio was beaten by Cormier via first-round KO. Yep, it's been a disastrous week for the city of Cleveland.
Where does that leave Cormier in the pantheon of elite fighters who have graced the Octagon? We’ll get back to that in a minute.
The headliner lasted 273 seconds and there was never a dull moment. Both men met in the center of the cage and started throwing down. Miocic was getting the best of it early, backing up Cormier with heavy punches. They got into a grappling situation and Miocic landed multiple strikes and knees to the body.
About two minutes in, Cormier started to have success with his counter punches. He was no longer backed up against the fence. They got after it with punches and kicks in the center of the Octagon.
From a clinch situation, Cormier dropped Miocic with a perfect right hook. DC pounced on Miocic with subsequent punches before the referee intervened.
Cormier hooked up his betting backers with an excellent return, especially for those that bet him in the days, weeks or even months before the bout. By the time the co-main event ended, Miocic had been bet down to a favorite in the -160/-170 neighborhood, but he had been in the -240 range since mid-June. Therefore, gamblers who bet Cormier late might’ve only cashed a +150 ticket, but most brought home a return of at least +200.
The ‘under’ (3.5 rounds) for a +110 payout was an easy winner. The prop bets on Cormier garnered monster payouts. For example, DC to win inside the distance was +445, while Cormier to win in Round 1 was +1175 and Cormier by KO paid +600.
After Bruce Buffer rang up “Annnndddd NEW!,” Cormier took the microphone from Joe Rogan. He told the frenzied crowd, “Listen to DC! There’s a guy that I’ve known for a long time. He’s a wrestler, he’s an All-American, he’s a former UFC champion. I never thought I’d fight him but Brock Lesnar, get your ass in here!”
Lesnar, seated cage side, happily accepted the invite. He walked into the Octagon and shoved Cormier immediately, nearly knocking him completely off balance and on his ass. Still on the microphone, Cormier said, “Push me now, get slept later.”
Lesnar entered the USADA testing program last week and if he remains clean (Big IF!), he can fight again in six months.
Back to Cormier's place in UFC history, he's in the conversation for the all-time greatest fighter along with Georges St. Pierre, Demetrius Johnson, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva.
Cormier has never lost at heavyweight and only dropped down to light heavyweight because his long-time training partner was the champ at the time. Speaking of Cain Velasquez, Cormier made sure to give him enormous credit for this performance.
DC has beaten Miocic, the greatest heavyweight ever. He took out former champs Frank Mir and Josh Barnett. He won the Strikeforce Grand Prix Tournament, mauling Antonio Silva in the semifinals just months after 'Bigfoot' had destroyed Fedor.
Cormier has easily beaten a pair of legends in Dan Henderson and Anderson Silva. Rogan once accurately described Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson as "a terrifying man, ladies and gentlemen." DC made him tap out twice in the second round.
The only blemish on Cormier's resume is Jon Jones, but 'Bones' tested dirty for PEDs ahead of their scheduled rematch at UFC 200 and once again after beating DC at UFC 214. Jones has wasted much of his prime getting arrested, being stripped of his belt and failing drug tests, while Cormier has been clean throughout a career in which he's carried himself with nothing but class and dignity.
Jones was scheduled to face 'Rumble,' but he got arrested and never went to battle with the fighter most thought would present him with the most problems. When Jones first beat Cormier at UFC 182, the USADA drug-testing program hadn't quite started.
The Jones Apologists will go to bat for that scumbag until the end of time. As recently as last week, Jones once again said "who's your Daddy?" to Cormier on social media even though he's well aware that DC's father was murdered a long time ago.
Cormier replied, "sit back and watch me be great." And somewhere in Albuquerque on Saturday night while his social media accounts were all crickets, Jones had to do just that.
Cormier, at the age of 39, is now just the second fighter in UFC history to simultaneously own two belts. Not even Jones can make that claim or attempt to scoff at that accomplishment. Instead, he remains on suspension and out of the spotlight, forced to watch DC "be great" and put himself in the mix as perhaps The Greatest.
The co-main event was an unmitigated disaster. However, for gamblers like me who had a rough night up to that point, it was a gorgeous snoozer with Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis winning by unanimous decision over Ngannou (30-27 twice, 29-28) as a +270 underdog.
Turns out, Lewis’s shove of Ngannou at Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins delivered as much action as the actual fight. Neither fighter was willing to engage in a fire fight, especially Ngannou. When asked about his sudden fall from grace with back-to-back poor performances, UFC President Dana White said, “His ego got completely out of control after the win over Overeem.”
The welterweight showdown between Mike ‘Platinum’ Perry and Paul Felder proved to be the bloodbath that everyone expected. Perry won a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) as a +145 ‘dog to avoid a three-fight losing skid.
Felder, who took the fight on short notice and was making his debut in the 170-pound loop, saw his three-fight winning streak snapped. Although he broke his arm during the fight, had a big cut on his forehead leaking beginning in the first round and a “small” hematoma (easy for me to say, right?!) over his right eye for half of the fight, he swung for the fences with Perry until the final bell sounded.
Both me were robbed of 50 large apiece when the UFC decided to give out four Performance of the Night bonuses instead of dubbing their war as the Fight of the Night.
Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis was mired in a 2-5 slump over his past seven fights going into his lightweight scrap with Michael Chiesa. As a +155 underdog, Pettis produced a career-saving win by submitting Chiesa with a triangle armbar 52 seconds into the second stanza.
In the pay-per-view opener, Khalil Rountree starched Gokhan Saki with a 96-second first-round KO as a +140 underdog. Bettors on the ‘under’ (1.5 rounds at a -155 price) were winners and the payout on Rountree to win in Round 1 was +300.
Paulo Costa was getting busted up early by Uriah Hall in the Prelims headliner on Fox Sports 1. Costa came on strong against a game Hall in the second stanza, though. The 27-year-old Brazilian remained unbeaten and improved to 4-0 in the UFC with a second-round KO as a -320 ‘chalk.’
**B.E.’s Octagon Nuggets**
-- When Lesnar got the microphone in the Octagon, he said, “I walked into the building and watched these heavyweight disasters. Ngannou is a piece of shit. Miocic is a piece of shit. DC, I’m coming for you, motherf__ker!”
-- Bovada opened Cormier as a -145 favorite vs. Lesnar early Sunday morning. However, by Sunday afternoon, Cormier was up to -225. Lesnar was listed as a +175 underdog (risk $100 to win $175).
-- Raphael Assuncao improved to 11-1 in the bantamweight division with his unanimous-decision triumph over Rob Font (30-27 across) as a -150 favorite. Assuncao’s only loss came to the current champ, T.J. Dillashaw, at UFC 200, but he’s won four in a row since then and should be in line to face the winner of Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt (at UFC 227 on Aug. 4).
-- Curtis Millender brushed off a slow start to knock off Max Griffin as a -170 favorite. Millender won a UD (29-28 across) to win for an eighth straight time and improve to 2-0 in the UFC.
-- Drakkar Klose bounced back from the first loss of his career to trounce Lando Vannata as a +170 underdog in a lightweight tussle. Klose is now 9-1-1 overall and 3-1 in the UFC, while Vannata fell to 0-2-1 in his past three outings. Vannata, who is just 1-3-1 in the UFC, need not worry about his job security, though. After all, the dude participated in three Fights of the Night and earned a Performance of the Night bonus in his first four Octagon appearances.
-- The four POTN winners were Cormier, Pettis, Costa and Rountree.
-- Pettis had a big night. He got 30 percent of Chiesa purse since he missed weight. ‘Showtime’ also won 50K with the POTN bonus and he was 135 large to show and win. Therefore, he was paid $339,400 and that’s before whatever his Reebok payout will be.
-- Miocic made $750,000, while Cormier got $500,000 to show (with no win bonus) plus the 50K for POTN honors.
-- Lewis earned $260,000 (130K to show and win), while Ngannou was paid $100,000.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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