Key to victory tomorrow night at UFC 211 for both Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos broken down by Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier

By Wade Keller, MMATorch editor

Juniot dos Santos (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

On UFC Tonight on FS1 this week, current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier says tiring out Stipe Miocic is the key to victory for Junior Dos Santos on Saturday night at UFC 211 in his main event UFC Hvt. Title fight.

“For Junior, he needs to utilize his boxing and go to the body more,” Florian said. “That was very successful for him in the first fight. Stipe got tired in that fight. He’ll also have to be perfect with his takedown defense. The longer it’s a boxing match, the better it is for him. His keys are utilizing his movement. He has to get in and get out without getting taken down. He needs to avoid the traps and not get caught against the cage, and he needs to defend the takedown.”

Cormier said he thinks Dos Santos has improved since his first fight against Stipe just over two years ago (December 2014), a five-round decision victory. “In his last fight against Ben Rothwell, he looked phenomenal,” Cormier said, “He mixed everything up so much. He had Rothwell lost. He couldn’t find a pattern. I think the training at ATT was paying off. When he goes first, he’s very dangerous.”

If Dos Santos is better than in his first fight, and if he won the first fight against Miocic, what does that mean for Miocic? Cormier said Miocic can win if he adjusted his approach.

“He was a little overzealous in the first fight with Junior,” he said. “He kind of wore himself out. You’re the man now, Stipe. There’s no reason to feel overwhelmed. That was his first big fight. He fought well. Now he needs to slow it down. He knows he’s the champ now and should take his time. He’s got to move forward, but be smart and not be overaggressive. He needs to get inside and throw combinations from the clinch. And he should find a takedown to mix up the timing of Dos Santos.”

Florian said Stipe should adjust strategy, and if he does, he favors him to win. “For Stipe, I see two things,” he said. “First is his kicking game. Junior ducks down to throw to the body. Stipe needs to throw that lead kick to the head to counter it. And he has to throw the combos off the break, when he’s in tight.”

Florian predicted victory for Stipe. “I’m picking Stipe. I thought Stipe won the first fight. It was very close, but I think Stipe is the better guy and has learned a lot from the first fight. It’ll be a great fight.”

CHECK OUT THIS UFC 211 FULL PREVIEW: Grocke’s Preview and Predictions including Miocic vs. Dos Santos for UFC Hvt. Title, Jedrzejczyk vs. Andrade for Strawweight Title

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