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The Ultimate Fighting Championships brings us another event from, what seems like their second home, Brazil with The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale on Saturday the 31st of May – an event which is headlined by a heavyweight battle between Stipe Miocic and Fabio Maldonado. Below we preview that fight and offer our free UFC Betting Tips on the event, with a 5/4 selection in the main event with Boylesports.

Stipe Miocic was set to clash with Junior dos Santos in what would have been a pivotal heavyweight clash but unfortunately a late injury to dos Santos saw him withdraw from the fight. With the UFC heavyweight division not the deepest talent-wise, and with the need to keep the fight relevant to the Brazilian audience, they had to draft in light-heavyweight Brazilian fighter Fabio Maldonado.

It was a decision which raised a few eyebrows given Maldonado never looked particularly “ripped” at the 205lb light-heavyweight limit and he has came in looking soft at 225lbs for this fight. Stipe Miocic isn’t the largest of heavyweights (238lbs) but he’ll still carry a significant height, weight and reach advantage.

Maldonado is one of the toughest fighters in the UFC and his sole KO/TKO loss (in 6 career losses) came when the doctor refused to let him carry on between rounds against Glover Teixeira in a fight where he was taking a heavy beating. He comes in as one of the best pure boxers in the organisation and loves to trade blows – an idea which may not be too clever against an opponent larger than he is used to competing against.

Fight Metric shows us that both men land lots of strikes but with Maldonado noticeably absorbing more strikes, and with a poorer defence. Miocic should be able to get through his defences on a number of occasions and an accumulation of punches from Miocic isn’t going to be enjoyable. In the end Miocic’s physical advantages will prove too much and Maldonado may also have some cardio issues meaning I foresee a stoppage win for Miocic.

Miocic is as short as 1/7 in the outright market but the bet of interest is Stipe Miocic to win by KO/TKO which is best priced at 5/4 with Boylesports, whilst odds-on elsewhere.