UFC 226

This Saturday, UFC 226 sees a champion vs. champion megafight take center stage as UFC Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (18-2 MMA; 12-2 UFC) defends his crown against UFC Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (20-1(1) MMA; 9-1(1) UFC). The UFC rankings have both men in the pound for pound top 5 – Miocic at #2, Cormier at #4.

UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier airs live from Las Vegas this Saturday night, July 7. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1 and 7:00 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

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Talk of this fight began in earnest in the immediate aftermath of UFC 220 earlier this year. There, both men dispatched of their respective challengers with relative ease, and with no viable contenders in either division, talk of this match-up surfaced. And, amazingly, just 6 months later, here we are. The two men coached TUF, and will now meet in just the 3rd UFC champion vs. UFC champion fight in company history.

Stipe Miocic won the Heavyweight title from Fabricio Werdum in 2016. In the two years since, he’s been something of a fighting champion, breaking the record for most UFC Heavyweight title defenses, with three. He’s currently on a 9-1 run, and coming off a win where he completely outclassed Francis Ngannou on the mat. That ability to toggle between heavy hands and solid wrestling has served the proud Cleveland native very well, as he’s become a solid fighter all-around.

Daniel Cormier has been the UFC Light Heavyweight champion since basically May 2015, with periodic moments of Jon Jones coming in to briefly make some claim to the belt. The only two blemishes on Cormier’s otherwise spotless career come against career rival Jones, with one of those losses getting changed to a No Contest, and the other highly questionable at this point.

Cormier has not fought at Heavyweight since 2013, but he was very successful there, going 13-0 and winning the Strikeforce Grand Prix. He dropped down because at the time, his teammate Cain Velasquez seemed to have a stranglehold on the Heavyweight division. At 39 years old, Cormier is openly talking about this being one of the final 2-3 fights of his career. Always in the shadow of Jones, this would be a HUGE career moment for him.

The UFC likes to overload International Fight Week with compelling fights and this year is no different. Starting with Israel Adesanya’s showcase on Saturday in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter finale and ending with the superfight between light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic for Miocic’s heavyweight belt at UFC 226, the week is the UFC’s chance to show off its incomparable talent depth.

Miocic vs Cormier

The UFC 226 start time, TV schedule for the Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier fight card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The fight card is broken into three different parts and airing on three different mediums. This post will help explain which fights are airing where and at which times. The main card airs on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET. This portion is as follows:

MAX Holloway was forced to pull out from his highly anticipated featherweight title bout against Brian Ortega but a stacked card still awaits fight fans at UFC 226.

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Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic headline the night as they square off for the heavyweight strap while Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis do battle in the same weight class in the co-main event.
Paul Felder’s welterweight battle against Mike Perry is also expected to provide plenty of highlights.
The preliminary card is scheduled to start at 10am AEST.

Dan Hooker rounded off the early prelims with a devastating knockout of Gilbert Burns in the first round of their lightweight bout.
Hooker dropped Burns with a right hook then followed that up with a left that sent him crashing to the canvas and it was all over for the Brazilian.

The UFC likes to overload International Fight Week with compelling fights and this year is no different. Starting with Israel Adesanya’s showcase on Saturday in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter finale and ending with the superfight between light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic for Miocic’s heavyweight belt at UFC 226, the week is the UFC’s chance to show off its incomparable talent depth.

There’s still a lot to look forward to even though featherweight champion Max Holloway was pulled from his title defence against Brian Ortega due to concussion issues.
Here are three non-title fights to really keep an eye on at UFC 226:

It was the year of Ngannou in 2017. Like a gigantic caterpillar turning into a very violent butterfly, the Cameroonian metamorphosed from an intriguing up-and-comer into a terrifying one-punch knockout artist who had a whiff of Mike Tyson about him. Then Ngannou got in the cage with Miocic and got taken to school over five rounds.

This fight against Lewis is Ngannou’s first opportunity to show that he has the mentality to come back from a loss that exposed a huge hole in his game, namely, his wrestling. Lewis, on the other hand, has quietly been putting together a title-shot resume — he’s won seven of his past eight and earned performance bonuses in his last three fights. Whoever wins this one has a clear line to Miocic should the champ retain his title.

When Holloway vs Ortega dropped off the pay-per-view card this fight got bumped up. The UFC knows what it is doing. Put together at the last minute because Felder’s original opponent James Vick was moved to another card, these two are in all likelihood going to stand and bang, unless Felder goes to his incredibly deep bag of tricks. A wolf in sheep’s clothes, Felder is incredibly well-rounded and never gets the respect he deserves. He’s won his past three fights, all in incredibly impressive fashion, and is extremely well-rounded. Perry, on the other hand, has a style that almost guarantees excitement. He fights likes he looks: an old-school MMA brawler.

Against lower competition that style was effective and for a brief time he was in the “keep an eye on” discussion with interim welterweight champion Colby Covington. They even got into a memorable Twitter spat. Unfortunately, Perry isn’t at Covington’s level but he will be the bigger man when he fights Felder, who is normally a lightweight, so you never know. Perry’s power is very, very real.

The middleweight division used to be the land of monsters. The GOAT, Anderson Silva, reigned supreme; Dan Henderson popped his head in from time to time; and the likes of Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin and a young Chris Weidman got their shot at the top. Those days are long gone, but 27-year-old Paulo Costa is among a cadre of young almost-title challengers who are a fight or two away from competing for the belt.

Costa looks like he’s chiselled from granite, hits like a Mack truck and has gotten a KO/TKO in all three of his UFC fights. He has not, however, fought anyone as good as Hall who, at 33, has settled into the role of gatekeeper for the division. Should Costa get past him, the Brazilian will likely end the weekend with a top-five ranking.

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