UFC 230 predictions — Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis: Fight card, odds, expert picks

A fight card that is usually littered with huge names and marquee matchups appears to have fallen short in delivering when it comes to UFC 230 on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. UFC can’t take all the blame per se, seeing as two fighters scheduled for the main card suffered injuries just weeks before fight night (Dustin Poirier and Luke Rockhold), but still without a main event until three weeks before fighting at the World’s Most Famous Arena seemed more like poor planning.

However, it seems like UFC has stumbled into a somewhat entertaining main event on Saturday in New York when two-weight champion Daniel Cormier takes on fast riser Derrick Lewis for the heavyweight title while Chris Weidman takes on Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the co-main after originally being scheduled to face Rockhold. While questions abound about what happens from here, the amount of solid middleweight fights scheduled for Saturday night could provide some clarity to the division heading into 2019 with David Branch looking to rebound with a big win and Israel Adesanya continuing his rapid rise up the rankings against veteran Derek Brunson.

Here’s a look at the full card for Madison Square Garden with the latest odds from Bovada.

UFC 230 odds

Daniel Cormier (c) -700

Derrick Lewis +450

Heavyweight title

Chris Weidman -185

Jacare Souza +150


David Branch -370

Jared Cannonier +280


Karl Roberson -275

Jack Marshman +250


Israel Adesanya -335

Derek Brunson +255


Jason Knight -270

Jordan Rinaldi +210


Sijara Eubanks -500

Roxanne Modafferi +350

Women’s flyweight

Julio Arce -375

Sheymon Moraes +285


With a big card on tap, our experts took a crack at picking each of the main card fights. Here are your pick makers: Brian Campbell (combat sports writer), Matthew Coca (producer), Michael Mormile (producer), Jack Jorgensen (editor) and Brandon Wise (editor). 

UFC 230 predictions        

Cormier (c) vs. Lewis


Campbell on why Cormier will win: Lewis’ punching power and refusal to quit will keep the drama level from bottoming out for as long as this fight lasts. But short training camp for both and a sore right hand for Cormier still isn’t likely to alter the outcome. Lewis, the self-proclaimed brawler, simply isn’t anywhere close to the level of complete fighter that Cormier is. The champ will enter the Octagon holding distinct advantages in speed, experience, stamina and wrestling, with the latter allowing him to stink out the fight and disarm Lewis for as long as he needs should the fight ever get hairy. Look for Cormier to put on a clinical dismantling.

Wise on why Weidman will win: The All-American is out with a point to prove in New York City. Looking to get back into title contention, Weidman took a last-minute replacement in Jacare to stay active, but I don’t see Souza posing much of a threat. Despite coming off a knockout win over Derek Brunson, Jacare has proven to be much more adept at taking fights to the ground and locking up submissions. Look for Weidman to control the action with his own wrestling and taking down Jacare with a unanimous decision after punishing him on the ground.

Jorgensen on why Jacare will win: To me, this has the potential to come away as Fight of the Night, even though it wasn’t the co-main event that we were expecting. It’s an interesting matchup in that they share a common last opponent, perennial middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum, with Weidman getting the submission win in 2017 and Souza suffering the split-decision loss earlier this year. This could turn out to be somewhat of a war between these two before the main event, It’s really a tough call to make, but I can see Souza putting those experienced jiu-jitsu skills to use to earn the submission win somewhere in the third round — as long as he can keep his cardio intact, which may be asking a lot. 

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