It only seems fitting that Ohio native Stipe Miocic, who broke the 52-year sports curse by defeating Fabricio Werdum at UFC 203 to become the UFC heavyweight champion, be the one to headline the UFC’s first event to be held in Cleveland.
Miocic defends his title for the first time when he faces 17-year MMA veteran and 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem on September 10. Overeem has 66 professional fights on his resume and is coming off a four-fight win streak with notable wins over Stefan Struve, Roy Nelson, Andrei Arlovski and Junior dos Santos.
Odds have Miocic with a slight champion’s edge at -120 over No. 3-ranked Overeem at +110 coming into the fights. Even with Overeem’s long career experience, look to Miocic to hold onto the UFC heavyweight championship belt to keep Cleveland in good standing.
And if one heavyweight showdown wasn’t enough to entice fans to watch, former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum faces Travis Browne in the co-main event.
The fight marks Werdum’s first showing since losing the title belt to Miocic just four months ago. Prior to that loss, Werdum was on a six-fight win streak with impressive wins over Cain Velasquez, Mark Hunt, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mike Russow, Roy Nelson and Travis Browne (who he fought in 2014 at UFC on Fox 11).
Browne has gone 5-3 in his last eight fights with wins over Alistair Overeem, Gabriel Gonzaga, Matt Mitrione, Brendan Schaub and Josh Barnett.
Oddsmakers have Werdum as the favorite at -210 over Browne at +188 in this matchup. Look to No. 1-ranked Werdum and No. 6-ranked Browne to both make a statement about moving up the ladder in this heavyweight dealbreaker.
UFC 203 will also mark the professional debut of Phil Brooks, better known as C.M. Punk on the professional wrestling circuit. Brooks made his mark in the World Wrestling Entertainment industry as a former two-time WWE champion and turned his sights to MMA in December 2014 when he was signed to the UFC. In the nearly two years since, Brooks has been deep in learning and training to prepare for his long-awaited first professional fight.
Brooks is slated to face relative newcomer Mickey Gall, who is slated by oddsmakers as the -460 favorite over Brooks, who is listed as the +365 longshot in his professional debut. This fight may end up having a lot of people talking no matter what the final outcome.
Below are the betting odds listed as of 09/09/16 for www.5dimes.eu:
Preliminary Card on pay-per-view
Stipe Miocic (15-2-0) -120
Alistair Overeem (41-14-0, 1 NC) +110
For the UFC heavyweight championship title
Fabricio Werdum (20-6-1) -205
Travis Browne (18-4-1) +188
Mickey Gall (2-0-1) -460
Phil Brooks “C.M. Punk” (0-0-0) +365
Jimmie Rivera (19-1-0) -170
Urijah Faber (33-9-0) +160
Jessica Andrade (14-5-0) -140
Joanne Calderwood (11-1-0) +130
Preliminary Card on Fox Sports 1
Jessica Eye (11-5-0, 1 NC) -140
Bethe Correia (9-2-0) +130
Brad Tavares (13-4-0) -196
Caio Magalhaes (9-2-0) +181
Nik Lentz (28-7-2, 1 NC) -450
Michael McBride (8-1-0) +400
C.B. Dolloway (16-9-0) -190
Francimar Barroso (18-5-0) +165
Light heavyweight contest
Early Preliminaries on UFC Fight Pass
Yancy Medeiros (12-4-0, 1 NC) -120
Sean Spencer (12-5-0) +110
Drew Dober (16-7-0, 1 NC) -160
Jason Gonzales (10-2-0) +140
DISCLAIMER: Betting lines documented in this post may be taken from more than one source and may change prior to the fight. As always, know your local, state and national laws before placing any type of bet. MixFighter.com makes no specific recommendations or endorsements toward betting or sites which offer betting or real money fantasy style betting that are mentioned in this article or otherwise. MixFighter.com assumes no legal responsibility for a reader’s interpretation of odds or bets placed as a result of this article. Betting lines per 5dimes.eu as of 09/09/16.