As the UFC‘s annual International Fight Week approaches, so does the most anticipated fight of the summer. This July we will witness the main event of UFC 226, in which Stipe Miocic (18-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) defends his UFC Heavyweight title against the current UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC).
UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier
226 stands to be one of the biggest pay-per-view events of the year. While it will likely deliver in terms of excitement and viewing numbers, there are some potential downsides to this super-fight. Here are a couple scenarios of how things might play out:
Cormier currently holds the UFC Light Heavyweight title, and may already have a strong argument as one of the greatest fighters of all time. A win over Miocic would cement this claim for good. “DC” started off his career at heavyweight, where he has never lost. In his 13-0 run, Cormier won the XMMA Heavyweight Championship as well as the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix before making his light heavyweight debut.
If DC Wins
Despite his championship pedigree and experience at heavyweight, defeating Stipe Miocic is a tall order for DC. Miocic’s last loss dates back to December 2014 where he was defeated in a back and forth five round war with former champion Junior Dos Santos.
Should Cormier be successful on fight night he would likely hold two championships simultaneously. With viable contenders in both divisions, a logjam at the top of one is a near certainty. Just look at what happened at lightweight when Conor McGregor won the title. As age is a factor for 39-year-old Cormier, he must choose carefully who he steps inside the octagon with.
A heavyweight title-fight with the ultra famous Brock Lesnar is a possibility. However, Lesnar is currently under contract with the WWE. There will be quite a few obstacles to navigate before even negotiations for that fight could take place. Another option could be a third and final fight with his nemesis and the former champion, Jon Jones. Another all-time great, Jones is the only man who holds a win over Cormier. The two have shared one of the greatest rivalries in the sport, the temptation to have the last laugh may be strong for DC. Just like Lesnar though, a fight with Jones might be difficult to set up. By the time Jon Jones is eligible to fight again, the division could look very different.
Of course, anything can happen between now, UFC 226 and the remainder of 2018. Earning a title fight in the UFC can take just one great performance at times, as many have proven. But should Cormier win, things could get extremely interesting in terms of upcoming fights in both the UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions.
The current UFC Heavyweight champion Miocic is favored to secure the victory over Cormier in Las Vegas on July 7th. A win would extend his title defense streak to four. Prior to Stipe’s title reign, the record was two.
The heavyweight division is in good health, as there are quite a few top contenders getting ready to face off. At UFC 225 we’ll see #2 ranked Alistair Overeem taking on #4 Curtis Blaydes. Either one could very well make a case for a title shot with a great performance. Overeem is eager for a rematch after losing to Miocic at UFC 203 via first-round knockout. The up and coming Blaydes could cement himself as the next contender in line should he beat the #2 ranked heavyweight.
At UFC 226 there’s a sensational bout between #1 Francis Ngannou and #6 Derrick Lewis. Although Ngannou’s last fight was a dominant decision loss to Miocic, he wouldn’t be the first to get a title shot on a one fight win streak. Lewis was riding a six-fight winning streak before being stopped by the veteran Mark Hunt. After a rebound win over Marcin Tybura, “The Black Beast” would have a case for the title should he beat Ngannou.
There will be no shortage of upcoming contenders who will be ready to step up to face the heavyweight champion, should the opportunity arise. Although it would be a stretch to say Cormier would avoid said top contenders, the interest may not be there as he enters the final stages of his fighting career. Cormier will be after super-fights after UFC 226 whether he wins or not. Who can blame him? He has already established himself as one of, if not the greatest light Heavyweight fighter of all time.
Although there are potentially negative aspects to this fight, it is important to focus on the positives as the UFC will be giving us one of the greatest cards of the year. We should all enjoy the historic champion vs. champion title bout between the sport’s most prestigious divisions.
UFC 226 is set to take place on July 7th, 2018 at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas Nevada.
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