UFC 230: Cormier vs. Lewis Odds, Tickets, Predictions and Pre-Weigh-In Hype

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06:  Derrick Lewis celebrates knocking out Alexander Volkov of Russia in their heavyweight bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)
Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

If you like Derrick Lewis, Daniel Cormier and middleweights, UFC 230 is the show for you.

The Black Beast will look to upset DC in a heavyweight title fight that is set to be preceded by four straight middleweight contests on the pay-per-view card from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Lewis is making a quick turnaround after fighting on UFC 229 in October. He fought Alexander Volkov in a third-round TKO victory to earn his shot. He is consequently set to fight Cormier, who is making his first title defense as a heavyweight after beating Stipe Miocic for the belt in July.

New York's own Chris Weidman will fight Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in the co-main event. The two will be looking to put themselves in position to fight for the championship that belongs to Robert Whittaker.

Here's a look at the complete card. Odds according to OddsShark.


Tickets: StubHub


Main Card (PPV, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champion Daniel Cormier (-700; wager $700 to win $100) vs. Derrick Lewis (+450; wager $100 to win $450) for the UFC heavyweight title
  • Ronaldo Souza (+145) vs. Chris Weidman (-175)
  • David Branch (-370) vs. Jared Cannonier (+280)
  • Jack Marshman (+215) vs. Karl Roberson (-275)
  • Israel Adesanya (-335) vs. Derek Brunson (+255)


Prelims (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Jason Knight (-270) vs. Jordan Rinaldi (+210)
  • Sijara Eubanks (-500) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (+350)
  • Julio Arce (-360) vs. Sheymon Moraes (+270)
  • Lyman Good (-600) vs. Ben Saunders (+400)


Prelims (Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)

  • Matt Frevola (+230) vs. Lando Vannata (-300)
  • Shane Burgos (-300) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (+230)
  • Montel Jackson (-145) vs. Brian Kelleher (+115)
  • Marcos Rogerio de Lima (+180) vs. Adam Wieczorek (-230)


Daniel Cormier Drawn to the History of Madison Square Garden

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier holds an open workout for fans and media at Madison Square Garden on October 31, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Last time we saw Daniel Cormier in the Octagon, he was crowned the heavyweight champion and laid out his plans for retirement.

A fight in November to set up a retirement fight in March 2019 will supposedly be the way the dual-champ walks away from the sport. That makes it surprising that he won't be taking on a bigger name than Lewis in one of his final fights.

But the lure of fighting in Madison Square Garden is drawing him more than the opponent, apparently.

"When they called me and asked me to do the fight, I'm kind of a sucker for history," Cormier said, per Brian Campbell of CBS Sports. He continued:

"They go, 'Daniel, we are going to give you X amount of money to fight so and so at Madison Square Garden. Do you remember when Muhammad Ali fought at Madison Square Garden? Mike Tyson fought there too. This place has hosted some of the greatest fights in history. That s--t means something to me, and they trick me like that sometimes."

The Black Beast is a dangerous opponent in this spot. With Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar fights potentially waiting in the wings, Cormier needs to keep his status as champion, but he will be facing one of the biggest power punchers in the sport in Lewis.

Take Lewis' most recent fight. For the better part of three rounds, Volkov picked him apart.

But all it ever takes with Lewis is one punch, and as the third round was nearing its conclusion, Lewis landed that strike. And thus a title shot was earned.

Cormier might be a sucker for history, but he can't afford to get suckered into a slugfest. However, this is the same man that took power punches from Anthony "Rumble" Johnson and managed to survive long enough to pick up the win.


Jacare Souza Feels Like He's Fighting for Brazil

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza holds an open workout for fans and media at Madison Square Garden on October 31, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Weidman might not be all that popular in Brazil. The All-American has had plenty of high-profile fights with Jacare Souza's compatriots—namely Anderson Silva (twice), Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida, Demian Maia—and they have all gone Weidman's way.

If there's a high-profile Brazilian in the middleweight divisoin, Weidman has vanquished them.

Except for Souza, that is.

Jacare feels the weight of his record against Brazilian's and plans on scoring one for his homeland on Saturday night.

"I have huge respect for Chris Weidman," Souza said, per Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. "I like him as a person and as an athlete, but I see it as a rematch. I feel like he had already defeated me before. He has defeated many [Brazilians], and I'm going there like if he had defeated me as well—and I never lose twice to the same person, so I'm very confident."

Souza might be acting like he lost to Weidman once before, but the matchup is an interesting one that has oddsmakers looking at a near pick'em situation.

Jacare is a smothering submission artist, while Weidman has demonstrated the ability to pressure with his wrestling and top game in a way that we saw come back in a third-round submission win over Kelvin Gastelum.

If Jacare is going to pull off the win, it's going to be in a way that proves his elite jiu-jitsu can best Weidman's wrestling skill.


Israel Adesanya Looking to Embarrass Derek Brunson

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 03:  (L-R) Opponents Derek Brunson and Israel Adesanya face off during the UFC press conference inside the Orpheum Theater on August 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Israel Adesanya has superstar potential.

With his confident attitude, flashy striking abilities and 14-0 record, he's a human highlight reel who could make marketing big fights pretty easy.

But that doesn't mean he will realize that potential. There comes a point in every flashy striker's career when they see their first challenge against someone with an excellent wrestling game to stifle the flash.

It's a sink or swim moment, and this one could be Adesanya's. Derek Brunson, who averages nearly three takedowns every 15 minutes, according to FightMetricis a step up in competition for the Nigerian.

Adesanya doesn't appear to be too concerned about his wrestling, though. He's too busy taking jabs at the middleweight's striking abilities:

Sporting News Australia @sportingnewsau

"@DerekBrunson is jealous of where I'm at," says @stylebender ahead of #UFC230 @UFC_AUSNZ #UFC https://t.co/F6YYCDrLH9

While Brunson's wrestling is effective, he's turned to his stand-up game of late. He hasn't completed a takedown in his past three fights.

If he chooses to strike with Adesanya, it could be a great introduction to the Last Style Bender's immense striking talent.