UFC 230 Fight Card: PPV Schedule, Odds and Predictions for Cormier vs. Lewis

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2018

Daniel Cormier, left, and Derrick Lewis square off for photographers during the weigh-ins for their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 230, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Derrick Lewis captured the attention and hearts of fans with a memorable performance at UFC 229, now he'll look to parlay that into a championship at UFC 230 against Daniel Cormier. 

It isn't the main event that anyone expected, but it's two fan favorites slugging it out in a title fight. Nothing to complain about there. 

This card has seen some major overhauling in its buildup. Originally, the card was to be anchored by a women's flyweight title fight between Sijara Eubanks and Valentina Shevchenko. Fortunately, the UFC attempted to make something a little bigger for the Madison Square Garden and the heavyweight title fight was put together to save the card. 

There's also the matter of the co-main event. New York favorite Chris Weidman was scheduled to rematch Luke Rockhold in the penultimate fight on the card, but an injury to Rockhold forced a shuffling of the card that now sees Jacare Souza get a crack at the former champion. 

Regardless of all the changes and shuffling the end result is a card that has meaningful fights (especially in the middleweight division which hosts four of the final five bouts) and the potential for fun. 

Here's a look at the complete card with odds and predictions for the evening's biggest contests. 

All odds via OddsShark.


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 (+185) vs. Chris Weidman (-150)
  • David Branch (-360) vs. Jared Cannonier (+270)
  • Jack Marshman (+235) vs. Karl Roberson (-305)
  • Israel Adesanya (-300) vs. Derek Brunson (+230)


Prelims (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Jason Knight (-280) vs. Jordan Rinaldi (+220)
  • Sijara Eubanks (-600) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (+400)
  • Julio Arce (-260) vs. Sheymon Moraes (+200)
  • Lyman Good (-650) vs. Ben Saunders (+425)


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

  • Matt Frevola (+225) vs. Lando Vannata (-285)
  • Shane Burgos (-340) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (+260)
  • Montel Jackson (-150) vs. Brian Kelleher (+120)
  • Marcos Rogerio de Lima (+175) vs. Adam Wieczorek (-225)


Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 1: (L-R) UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis pose for media during the UFC 230 ultimate media day at the New York Marriott Marquis on November 1, 2018 in New York, NY.  (Photo by Ed Mulho
Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Daniel Cormier is one of the most accomplished fighters in MMA history. Derrick Lewis is one of the most likable characters in the sport right now. 

This feels like more of a flavor-of-the-week matchup to entice fans to buy rather than a compelling matchup, but there is one thing to watch for. 

Can Lewis pull off a massive upset because he has incredible power?

Cormier is an Olympic-level wrestler, terror in the clinch and solid striker. He's going to have the technical advantage wherever the fight goes, but the one thing that is hard to account for is pure power, and that's something the Black Beast has in spades. 

Lewis is tied with Cormier teammate Cain Velasquez for the most knockouts in the heavyweight division, and his last display of violence against Alexander Volkov is the most recent example of how dangerous he can be. 

Dana White @danawhite

Cormier vs Lewis this Saturday LIVE on PPV!!! #UFC230 https://t.co/U0rN0yHpic

Volkov picked Lewis apart for nearly three complete rounds of action, but Lewis persisted. Continuing to come forward and throw with reckless abandon paid off as a booming right hand met its target, and the beginning of the end ensued. 

Lewis—much like a horror movie villain—must be finished off when an opportunity presents itself. Otherwise, he'll just keep coming back. 

DC isn't Volkov, though. He won't just have an advantage in the stand-up. He'll also be able to wrestle Lewis to the ground and wear him out. 

Once there, DC will finish what he starts. 

Prediction: Cormier via third-round TKO


Chris Weidman vs. Jacare Souza

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 1: (L-R) Chris Weidman and Ronaldo Souza pose for media during the UFC 230 ultimate media day at the New York Marriott Marquis on November 1, 2018 in New York, NY.  (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

One of the tightest lines on the card doubles as one of the most high-profile fights on the card when Chris Weidman and Jacare Souza collide. 

Luke Rockhold's absence from the card is a bit disappointing, but this matchup of two grappling virtuosos is a good consolation prize. 

Both are coming off fights with Kelvin Gastelum. Souza lost a disappointing split decision in which the Brazilian landed more significant strikes and was more accurate. Weidman is coming off a third-round submission victory in which he took down Gastelum seven times. 

It was a win that Weidman desperately needed after losing three straight fights. 

"Thank God I was able to persevere and come out of all that adversity on the other side, and get a win over Gastelum," Weidman said, per Zane Simon of Bloody Elbow. "And finish Gastelum—only person to ever finish him. He’s a tough dude. And then I hit adversity again with my thumb; two thumb surgeries. And we’re back; we’re back again. But, coming off a win, it feels way better, to be honest. Because you already know. You’re not questioning yourself as much. You don’t question yourself. It’s just, I already know what I’m capable of."

Confidence means a lot in MMA. Now that it's been more than a year since the win over Gastelum, it'll be interesting to see if the confidence boost from breaking his losing streak is evident in his fight with Souza. 

He'll need it to as this is about as evenly matched fight as you can get in the division. He'll need confidence and a bit of a hometown boost to get this one in his favor. 

Prediction: Weidman via decision


Israel Adesanya vs. Derek Brunson

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 1: (L-R) Derek Brunson and Israel Adesanya pose for media during the UFC 230 ultimate media day at the New York Marriott Marquis on November 1, 2018 in New York, NY.  (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Israel Adesanya's path to UFC stardom sees it's biggest obstacle at the beginning of the main card. Derek Brunson will step into the cage with the Last Stylebender. 

Brunson is not an elite middleweight, but he's not far off. His well-rounded blend of wrestling and striking make him the most formidable opponent that Adesanya has seen in his 14-0 run as a mixed martial artist, though. 

Adesanya's status as the favorite comes from a diverse striking game that has seen him score two Performance of the Night bonuses in just three UFC fights. 

If Brunson looks to wrestle Adesanya, it'll be the most difficult challenge of his career. We haven't seen someone with Brunson's wrestling skills try to stifle his kickboxing game. 

If Brunson elects to turn this into a striking matchup because he has knocked out an older Lyoto Machida and Uriah Hall, this could turn into a bad night for him. Brunson hasn't always shown the best chin. He's been knocked out four times in his career, and his chin will be tested again. 

Prediction: Adesanya via second-round TKO