UFC 230 picks: Can Derrick Lewis upset Daniel Cormier?
UFC 230 picks: Can Derrick Lewis upset Daniel Cormier?
The heavyweight championship will be on the line in the night’s main event, with Daniel Cormier looking to hold onto his title as the baddest man on the planet opposite Derrick Lewis in a relatively short-notice affair.
The UFC makes its way to the Big Apple for its annual New York City card at Madison Square Garden. After a number of remarkably disappointing changes (re: Dustin Poirier vs. Nate Diaz, Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold), the card will go on as is. The heavyweight championship will be on the line in the night’s main event, with Daniel Cormier looking to hold onto his title as the baddest man on the planet opposite Derrick Lewis in a relatively short-notice affair. Below, we take a look at Saturday’s complete fight card, with odds courtesy of Bovada. ## UFC 230 odds and picks, main card ## Champion Daniel Cormier (-700) vs. No. 2 Derrick Lewis (+450) Listen, there’s a reason Daniel Cormier took this fight while a potential blockbuster payday with Brock Lesnar was on the table in 2019. The UFC’s simultaneous light heavyweight and heavyweight champion dared not risk his date with Lesnar by facing arguably more deserving opponents in Stipe Miocic or Curtis Blaydes. He chose Derrick Lewis, who, despite his No. 2 ranking and 9-1 record over his last 10 bouts, will still be just one month removed from his most recent victory. This is the same Derrick Lewis who also suffered a broken finger while warming up for said victory at UFC 229 on Oct. 6. For Cormier, headlining UFC 230 represents an opportunity to sneak in one extra payday without really risking what will likely be the biggest payday of his fighting career. He knows he can beat Lewis, and the oddsmakers tend to agree. __Free entry:__ [Great prizes in UFC 230 contest](https://betchicago.chalkline.com/games/ufc-230) That’s not to say Lewis isn’t a dangerous fight, because he is—big time. Consider his last fight: Lewis was out-struck to the tune of 121-39. There were several instances when it appeared Alexander Volkov was only a few strikes away from putting “The Black Beast” away. Lewis was visibly distraught, and was only about 15 seconds away from earning one of the most telling, one-sided losses of his UFC career before lightning struck. It took just one punch for Lewis to erase his massive deficit, reminding the world that he’s never really out of a fight so long as there’s time left on the clock. In essence, Lewis can very well knock Cormier out. But that’s assuming Cormier gives him the chance to do so (spoiler: he probably won’t). Lewis will look to engage in an early striking battle with the double-champ, but look for Cormier to make use of his wrestling pedigree and put Lewis on his back. Think Johnson vs. Cormier at UFC 187 and Cormier vs. Johnson II at UFC 210. Cormier will avoid the biggest bombs Lewis has to offer, grinding him out to defend his place as the baddest man on the planet. He won’t give Lewis room to breathe, much less room to strike. And once he’s got the big man tired, he’ll sink in a submission of some kind to call it a night. Steer clear from this fight, unless you’re confident in Lewis’ ability to knock an opponent out off his back. __Betting Pick:__ Stay away ## No. 3 Chris Weidman (-185) vs. No. 5 Ronaldo Souza (+150) Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman makes his return from the latest extended layoff of his pro career. He’ll make the walk to the Octagon for just the seventh time since toppling Anderson Silva for a second time back in 2013. The ex-champ firmly believes a win at UFC 230 catapults him into a title fight to regain his former glory, but his would-be 2-3 record since 2015 could dictate otherwise. Whatever the case, he’ll need to get past an always-relevant Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, who also looks to make a sizable case for the title by capping off his 2018 with a big win. Souza started off the year in a one-sided outing against Derek Brunson before dropping a razor-thin split decision against the man currently scheduled to contend for middleweight gold, Kelvin Gastelum. A battle between two of the better grapplers the division has to offer present day, we can expect Weidman and Souza to nullify each others’ greatest strength and turn this into a stand-up battle between two capable strikers. All that considered, I’ll take Weidman and his forward pressure here. __Betting Pick:__ Weidman ## No. 7 David Branch (-450) vs. Jared Cannonier (+325) Originally expected to face Ronaldo Souza, David Branch now faces Jared Cannonier after an injury to Luke Rockhold catapulted Souza into the co-main event. The former World Series of Fighting double champ hopes to make it 3-1 since rejoining the UFC in mid 2017. A well-rounded fighter with skills both on the feet and on the mat, Branch welcomes former heavyweight contender Cannonier to the middleweight division. It’ll mark Cannonier’s first trip to 185 pounds, moving down from 205 after suffering three losses in four fights. A fairly undersized fighter for both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions, Cannonier’s drop to middleweight could have boasted solid results against most any other opponents. But we can’t expect much success here considering a) Branch has previously competed against larger men before, and b) Branch isn’t the sort of opponent most men face when debuting in a new division. There’s just too much riding against Cannonier as he embarks on a new division to have much faith in his chances of pulling off the upset. __Betting Pick:__ Stay away ## Karl Roberson (-275) vs. Jack Marshman (+215) Bumped up onto the main card after the devastating fallout of Dustin Poirier vs. Nate Diaz, Karl Roberson vs. Jack Marshman will now get a share of the spotlight of the annual Madison Square Garden card. Roberson is coming off the first loss of his professional career, now six months removed from a first-round submission defeat to Cezar Ferreira at UFC 224. The “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” alum had pulled off six straight to kick off his career, picking up impressive first-round wins over Ryan Spann and Darren Stewart while under the Octagon banner. He meets Jack Marshman, who’s 2-2 since making his UFC debut in 2016. The 28-year-old Wales native hasn’t done much to instill a great deal of confidence against the ranked opponents he’s faced thus far, but his experience against higher tier fighters makes him a compelling pick against his less seasoned opponent. __Betting Pick:__ Marshman ## No. 6 Derek Brunson (+255) vs. No. 9 Israel Adesanya (-335) Don’t let the rankings fool you: Israel Adesanya is the frontrunner in this clash of top-10 middleweights. The undefeated 29-year-old striker is a member of the UFC’s new breed of strikers, bringing a more sophisticated understanding of the stand-up arts. Adesanya’s exemplified his next-level striking in three straight wins since joining the UFC ranks earlier this year, topping Rob Wilkinson, Martin Vettori and Brad Tavares. He’ll look to pick up his fourth win in 10 months, taking on the toughest challenge of his pro career in Derek Brunson. Brunson will look to bounce back from a devastating first-round loss to Ronaldo Souza in January, the sort of loss that’s helped unravel the hype surrounding Brunson’s chase for the title. There’s no doubting the sort of power Brunson has to offer at 185 pounds, earning each of his last six wins via first-round knockout—a run that includes the likes of Lyoto Machida, Uriah Hall and Sam Alvey. All of those wins, if nothing else, have allowed Brunson to gain confidence in his striking. That’s just the problem: for as effective as his head-first approach has been in racking up wins, his sloppy techniques make him a massive target for elite-level strikers like Adesanya (or Robert Whittaker, who picked Brunson apart back in 2016). We’ve yet to see Adesanya tested in his UFC career. Chances are we still won’t after Saturday night. __Betting Pick:__ Stay away ## UFC 230 odds and picks, prelims __Jason Knight (-270) vs. Jordan Rinaldi (+210)__ Pick: Rinaldi __No. 4 Sijara Eubanks (-500) vs. No. 7 Roxanne Modafferi (+350)__ Pick: Stay away __Julio Arce (-375) vs. Sheymon Moraes (+285)__ Pick: Moraes __Lyman Good (-600) vs. Ben Saunders (+400)__ Pick: Stay away __Matt Frevola (+230) vs. Lando Vannata (-300)__ Pick: Vannata __Shane Burgos (-300) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (+230)__ Pick: Stay away __Brian Kelleher (+120) vs. Montel Jackson (-150)__ Pick: Kelleher __Adam Wieczorek (-230) vs. Marcos Rogerio De Lima (+180)__ Pick: De Lima2018-10-31T17:14:39.877Z2018-10-31T09:50-07:00