Early UFC Odds: Brock Lesnar a Big Underdog Against Daniel Cormier
On Saturday, July 7th, Daniel Cormier pulled off the biggest victory of his career as he knocked out the former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic to win the promotion’s top title. Cormier was a big underdog in this bout, but appeared invincible against Miocic. With the victory, Cormier becomes the second-ever two division champion as he also holds the UFC light heavyweight title.
If Cormier’s KO victory wasn’t surprising enough, the altercation with Brock Lesnar following the fight definitely brought a heavy dose of shock value. And wasting no time, following the post-fight in-cage fracas, the UFC announced that Lesnar will take on Cormier for the UFC heavyweight title. Upon that announcement, bookmakers have released their opening odds for this matchup.
Early UFC Betting Odds: Lesnar vs Cormier
According to BetDSI, UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier is a -260 favorite and Brock Lesnar is a +200 underdog. Breaking it down for those unfamiliar with these betting lines, you would have to bet $260 dollars on Cormier just to win $100. If you were to bet $100 on Lesnar, and he won, then you win $200.
Based on the trajectory of each fighter’s MMA career, these odds are great if you are betting on Cormier. Despite giving up a huge height and weight difference, Cormier is the more skilled fighter. His bout with Miocic proved that DC is arguably the best fighter in the UFC. Lesnar hasn’t even fought in two years. I believe these odds are going to increase in favor of Cormier between now and the fight.
Brock Lesnar’s Last Fight and Betting Odds
Lesnar last fought at UFC 200 on July 9th against Mark Hunt, which was his first fight since a December 2011 loss to Alistair Overeem. Against Hunt, Lesnar was an underdog at +135 and Hunt was the favorite at -145 according to 5Dimes. Lesnar would go on to defeat Hunt via decision. Unfortunately, the bout would be overturned by the Nevada Athletic Commission due to a failed test by Lesnar.
Lesnar has not been a favorite in a fight since his bout against Cain Velasquez on October 23, 2010. The following is a list of Lesnar’s career fights (5-3) and his betting odds courtesy of 5Dimes and Bestfightodds.com:
|Brock Lesnar Odds||Opponent||Opponent Odds||Result|
|+135||Mark Hunt||-145||No Contest|
|+130||Alistair Overeem||-150||Loss via TKO in 1st|
|-165||Cain Velasquez||+145||Loss via TKO in 1st|
|-145||Shane Carwin||+125||2nd round submission|
|-250||Frank Mir||+157||TKO in 2nd round|
|-145||Randy Couture||+100||TKO in 2nd round|
|-230||Heath Herring||+150||Unanimous Decision|
|-175||Frank Mir||+110||Loss submission 1st round|
|N/A||Min Soo Kim||N/A||1st round Submission|
Daniel Cormier Recent Betting Odds
In UFC 226, Cormier opened and closed as a significant underdog. At best Cormier was +145 and at worse he was hovering near +210. His opponent, Miocic, was as high as -290 for this fight. Some sports books saw a furious amount of last minute wagers on Cormier, which led to Miocic coming all the way down to just below -200.
Other than his two fights against Jon Jones and an early heavyweight contest against Anderson Silva, Cormier has been a favorite in every single fight dating back to hisearly MMA battles in Strikeforce.
Next Steps for Brock Lesnar
As mentioned, Brock Lesnar failed a drug test following his fight against Mark Hunt and the UFC was forced to suspend him for a year, which made him eligible to return inside the octagon on July 15, 2017. However, Lesnar decided to return to the WWE instead, and retired from fighting again. Now that Brock has decided to come back to the UFC after a 2-year hiatus, he has to re-enter the USADA and UFC anti-doping program. This means he has to finish out another 6 months of the original post-Hunt fight suspension and will not be able to compete until January 8, 2019, according to ESPN.
In the meantime, Lesnar can continue his contractual obligations with the WWE. However, these obligations are unclear at best. Most pundits believed that Lesnar would be at Summer Slam in August. Unfortunately, there is no concrete evidence as to Lesnar appearing. Additionally, there’s little evidence that Lesnar will return anytime in the near future. Some pundits believe that Lesnar has at least one more fight left on his current WWE contract.
For a long time, it was also believed that Lesnar would drop the title to Roman Reigns before Brock took a lengthier leave of absence from the WWE. But now, signs are starting to point to a possible showdown between Lesnar and Bobby Lashley who finished with a 15-2 MMA record and also has a solid amateur wrestling background like Lesnar. Not only does the majority of the WWE Universe hate Roman Reigns, but they are really getting behind the idea of Lashley being the one to dethrone Lesnar.
Next Steps for Daniel Cormier
For Daniel Cormier, he has stated over the last year or so that he wants to retire at the age of 40 which will be in March of 2019. Cormier has also stated that he wants to fight one more time before the end of 2018, and then take on Brock Lesnar before retiring. Dana White has discussed the possibility of another fight for Cormier in 2018, but it will most likely be a Light Heavyweight contest.
Either way, Cormier could win these next two fights and ride off into the sunset with a massive payday from his PPV bout against Lesnar.
Final Thoughts on Lesnar vs Cormier
In all likelihood, this fight won’t take place until early 2019. If Cormier doesn’t fight again in 2018, then he could theoretically wait until facing Lesnar in January or February. If Cormier does fight again this year then he will most likely take on Lesnar in February or March of 2019 at the earliest. Keep in mind, when these two competitors fight, Lesnar will be 41-years old and Cormier will be 40-years old or close to it.
Whether you like Brock Lesnar or not, he definitely brings a lot of attention with him. MMA fans like to root against him, pro wrestling fans root for him, and the mainstream media loves his soundbites. However, not everyone is a fan of Lesnar’s dance with the UFC. Rising heavyweight star Curtis Blaydes is upset with the UFC giving Brock a title shot without earning it. Blaydes made the following comments about Lesnar via his Twitter account:
“Brock Lesnar needs PEDs to beat one of the greatest striking heavyweights in combat sports history Mark Hunt.”
Blaydes would also go on to post a few more unflattering Tweets about Lesnar. I’m willing to bet that there are more fighters that feel the same way as Blaydes does. However, there’s one thing that Lesnar can do that Blaydes and no other heavyweight can do – sell PPVs. In the six PPVs that Lesnar headlined, he sold over 5.7 million PPV buys. Furthermore, 4 of his last 5 fights have sold over 1 million PPV buys. That my friends, is why he’s going to fight Cormier early next year.