The Size Up: UFC 211 – Miocic vs. Dos Santos 2

Main Event – Heavyweight Title – Stipe Miocic (c) vs. Junior dos Santos

Miocic Notable Fights: Fabricio Werdum (w), Alistair Overeem (w), Junior Dos Santos (L).

Dos Santos Notable Fights: Stipe Miocic (w), Cain Velasquez(1w, 2L), Fabricio Werdum (w), Alistair Overeem (L).

Miocic Stat: His last 5 wins all came via TKO/KO.

Dos Santos Stat: He has beaten the last three UFC heavyweight champions.

Match Up

As a heavyweight fight, it doesn’t get much better than this in terms of quality. You have the technical, power striking and reliable takedown defense of Dos Santos against the quick, athletic all round game of Miocic. In their first fight, Dos Santos won a tight decision with the judges but all the bout really proved is that these two are extremely well matched and competitive.

Dos Santos, as he always does, will be trying to pick power shots in the pocket exchanges or when he’s pressuring and on the front foot. His jab can be a very solid weapon to help attain that cage position while his right hand can finish anyone if it lands clean. If the fight happens in those regions that Junior prefers, he has a better than average chance of winning.

It’s when he is pushed backward that the issues come. As Miocic showed in the first fight and Cain Velasquez showed twice, when you get Dos Santos backing up, the fight is yours for the taking. The Brazilian lacks the countering ability to punish the pressure being applied and opens gaping holes for takedowns and, especially, strikes when pressured.

As a result, that is exactly what Miocic will do; pressure. From moment one he will be on the front foot with strikes, he will try to take Dos Santos down and he will utilize the clinch to drain the energy and punching power.

That makes the battle for the centre of the Octagon and forward movement the winning and losing of this one.

The Pick

With 12 knockout wins a piece, despite going all five rounds in the first meeting, I think someone is getting finished here. In the two and a half years since their first outing, Dos Santos is 1-1 while current champion Miocic is 4-0 in a division where picking up consecutive wins is as rare as hen’s teeth. And although that doesn’t tell the whole story, it says a lot.

For me, Dos Santos has done extremely well to stick around the elite of the division since then but he hasn’t improved significantly in the way Miocic has. As in the first fight, I see this mostly taking place on the feet, with Miocic winning any grappling exchanges, but this time I think the improving accuracy and power of Miocic will see him through.

Co-Main Event – Women’s Strawweight Title – Joanna Jędrzejczyk (c) vs. Jéssica Andrade

Jędrzejczyk Notable Fights: Karolina Kowalkiewicz (w), Cláudia Gadelha (2w), Carla Esparza (w).

Andrade Notable Fights: Jessica Penne (w), Raquel Pennington (L), Joanne Calderwood (w).

Jędrzejczyk Stat: She has won all 13 fights as a professional.

Andrade Stat: Since moving from 135 lbs to 115 lbs she has won all three fights.

Match Up

Like the main event, this strawweight title fight is a match-up of an out-and-out striker against a strike first opponent with good grappling. Jędrzejczyk is the more technical of the two with beautiful, fast combinations coming behind a magnificent jab and improving takedown defense.

Andrade, on the other hand, is a powerhouse at the weight with big, swinging punches and, on occasion, effective grappling who looks for the finish at regular intervals. But for Andrade to win here, a gameplan of wild, powerful striking, without regular grappling, might not be enough.

In her bouts with Claudia Gadelha, Jędrzejczyk spent large portions of the fight against the fence. And although she remained off of her back for most of the fight, someone as strong as Andrade might see that as an area to attack. Andrade will come striking hard but, as my college Schwan Humes elegantly wrote about, she isn’t someone who might approach her fights with such a detailed, all around gameplan.

That could leave this a straight battle on the feet where Joanna will be avoiding the power while using her razor sharp technical striking to tune up Andrade who will be barrelling forward guns a’ blazin from moment one.

The Pick

The big question here then is what do you prefer? The power of Andrade coupled with a possible intelligent gameplan to take Joanna down? Or the guile, speed, takedown defense and technical/tactical awareness of Jędrzejczyk? For me, it’s the latter.

With that said, this could be a very dangerous task for the champ. As we know, Andrade will be looking for the KO with heavy strikes from range; which can go one of two ways for the Brazilian. She’ll either land and hurt Joanna. Or, she’ll get out maneuvered, countered and pieced up by one of the most talented technical wizards in the game.

Again, I see the latter happening on the way to a Jędrzejczyk decision victory.

Welterweight – Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal

Maia Notable Fights: Carlos Condit (w), Gunnar Nelson (w), Anderson Silva (L), Chael Sonnen (w).

Masvidal Notable Fights: Donald Cerrone (w), Benson Henderson (L), Gilbert Melendez (L), Michael Chiesa (w).

Maia Stat: In 30 fights he has only lost once inside the distance.

Masvidal Stat: He has gone to a decision 28 times in his career.

The Pick – I think this is one where you can make some money betting on the slick jiu-jitsu and brilliant takedowns of Maia being enough for whatever Masvidal brings.

Featherweight – Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodríguez

Edgar Notable Fights: Jose Aldo (2L), BJ Penn (3w), Benson Henderson (2L), Chad Mendes (w).

Rodriguez Notable Fights: BJ Penn (w), Alex Caceres (w), Andre Fili (w).

Edgar Stat: He is undefeated in non-title fights since Gray Maynard beat him in 2008.

Rodriguez Stat: He is undefeated in 6 UFC bouts.

The Pick: I have gone back and forth on this but I think the speed, agile bottom game and varied attacks of Rodriguez can get him the win.

 

Middleweight – Krzysztof Jotko vs. Dave Branch

Notable Branch Fights: Vinny Magalhaes (w), Anthony Johnson (L), Yushin Okami (w).

Notable Jotko Fights: Thales Leites (w), Magnus Cedenblad (L), Brad Scott (w).

Branch Stat: Before signing with the UFC he was a 2-weight WSOF champion.

Jotko Stat: 4 of his 6 UFC wins have come via unanimous decision.

The Pick: – I’m going for Jotko here in a very close decision.

Undercard Picks

Lightweight – Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier – Alvarez
Featherweight – Chas Skelly vs. Jason Knight – Knight
Lightweight – Marco Polo Reyes vs. James Vick – Vick

Women’s Strawweight – Jessica Aguilar vs. Cortney Casey – Aguilar
Featherweight – Jared Gordon vs. Michel Quinones – Gordon
Heavyweight – Chase Sherman vs. Rashad Coulter – Sherman
Featherweight – Gabriel Benítez vs. Enrique Barzola – Benitez
Light Heavyweight – Joachim Christensen vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov – Antigulov 

Bet Of The Week

Maia to win at Evens

Start Times

Early Prelims – 11pm on Fight Pass

Prelims – 1am on Fight Pass and BT Sport

Main Card – 3am on BT Sport


For more on UFC 211, check out the SevereMMA Podcast where Graeme and I discuss each big fight in detail.

Lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Co-host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Tuesday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more.

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