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UFC 226: Miocic vs Cormier


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Alright then, Saturday 7th July in Vegas. It's International Fight Week so it's a biggie. 


Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier - Heavyweight Title

Francis Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis 

Mike Perry vs Paul Felder

Anthony Pettis vs Michael Chiesa 

Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree

Uriah Hall vs Paulo Costa 

Raphael Assuncao vs Rob Font

Lando Vannata vs Drakkar Klose 

Curtis Millender vs Max Griffin


Dan Hooker vs Gilbert Burns 

Jamie Moyle vs Emily Whitmire


Look at that! Every bit as good and stacked as 225 that. I think I prefer this, actually. 



Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier gets top billing, obviously. Champion vs Champion. And more than that, it's the first time in UFC history that the reigning heavyweight champ squares off with the reigning 205lb champ. For me though, history and accolades and bragging rights aside, this is just a great fight on its own merits. 

Both men last fought on January's UFC 120 PPV in Boston. 


In the main event, big Stipe successfully defended his title by completely dominating Francis Ngannou to a 5 round shutout. Just gave Ngannou nothing. Going in, the hype was all on Ngannou's frightening KO power, which is legit, but Miocic was once again overlooked. Nobody was really talking about Stipe much in the buildup, on the night he proved why that's a mistake. 


The co-main that night was kind of a similar story. Volkan Oezdemir came in with a fair bit of hype after scoring a few quick knockouts. DC took him to school though. The experience and craftiness proved too much. Cormier won the fight everywhere and finished Volkan by TKO in the second. 

And here we are. 

The main reason this is happening now is really because there's little else interesting for either man in their respective divisions for the time being. Stipe has almost cleared out the heavyweight division now with decisive wins over Ngannou, Overeem, Werdum, Dos Santos, Hunt and Arlovski. Outside of a clash with Cain Velasquez, he's beat all the top heavies of his generation. And he's done it in a 2 or 3 year span, which is mental really. DC's also got little going on in terms of interesting challengers at 205. Leaving the Jon Jones mess aside, Cormier's beat pretty much everyone else. Gustafsson, Rumble twice, Volkan, Anderson, Hendo. There are fresh fights for both still but the guys I'm thinking of are working their way up right now and need more time. So if there was ever a time to just bite the bullet and do this fight, I guess it's now. 


Really interesting one. Stipe's been dominant against the biggest and baddest heavyweights over the last few years so in theory, a 205er coming up shouldn't be much hassle. But there's more to it than that and it's not just any 205er. Cormier is a ridiculously skilled wrestler and he's fought, and flourished, as a heavyweight before. He went 13-0 as a heavy at the start of his career, won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and managed to beat the likes of Josh Barnett, Bigfoot Silva, Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. Of course, Stipe is a different beast but it's not like DC isn't used to fighting bigger men. Even at 205, he's been mixing with Jones and Gus who are giant 205ers. It's not like DC moved down in weight because he couldn't cut it at heavyweight, he moved down because heavyweight was 'Cain's division'. 

Not sure how I feel about this. But I love that DC's getting this opportunity. If he wins this then he's matched Conor McGregor's achievement of holding two division's titles at the same time. He'll always have those Jon Jones shaped blemishes on his résumé, despite the asterisks with the PEDs and stuff, but if he manages to pull this off it kind of makes up for that. It'd be an incredible accomplishment. But Stipe Miocic is a bastard of an obstacle in the way of that. 



Francis Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis in 'The Battle of the Black Beasts'. This is ending with one man horizontal, surely. Like I touched on above, this is Ngannou's attempt to bounce back from the loss to Stipe. It was a fight which badly exposed what Ngannou is lacking, and that's any sort of grappling game. But I do feel like the backlash against Ngannou was a bit over the top. Worth remembering who he was in with. Plus there are positives to take from it. He was able to go 5 rounds with Stipe, something even the likes of Overeem, Werdum and Hunt weren't able to do. It's undeniable he needs loads of work on his overall game but let's face it, this isn't the fight where he's going to need to show it. Derrick Lewis isn't coming to shoot a nifty single-leg, is he? This is just going to be two massive, stupidly heavy handed monsters trying to punch each others' heads off. Nothing more to read into it than that. I'm a big fan of both so it's going to be kind of bittersweet whatever the result. But it should be fun while it lasts. Definitely not the fight to go for a piss or get something to eat. 



Anthony Pettis vs Michael Chiesa is back on. This should've happened back in April at UFC 223 but it didn't...because McGregor. Of course that's when he threw a tantrum and took it out on a poor innocent bus. Smashing glass everywhere, including all over Michael Chiesa. Hopefully nothing stupid happens this time and we get this fight on because it should be fantastic. Think it was my 'one to watch' for 223. Love the way these two match up. The striking exchanges should be exciting but it's the grappling where I could really see this becoming a bit of a barnburner. Pettis needs to start making shit happen now though. Really feels like he's lost his way. It was only a few years ago he seemed on track to becoming a proper superstar but he's been derailed time and time again. If he loses this I can't see a way back. 



Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree is this card's ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** for me. It's not even the best fight on the card but it's got my nips hard. Huge fan of Saki. One of the best kickboxers on the planet at one time. Don't let his 1-1 MMA record fool you. This is no CM Punk/Mike Jackson situation. His MMA loss was way back in 2004. He went on to compile a 83-12-0-1 kickboxing record before his next MMA fight. His second outing in MMA was his UFC debut back on September's Fight Night in Japan. He knocked out Henrique Da Silva in the first round in a really exciting brawl. I don't see him going too far in MMA really but he should make for some wild fights along the way. Here he's up against Khalil Rountree. 28 years old, 6-2-0-1 record. He's been decent when I've seen him. He's got some power and he's aggressive. Doesn't want to be standing too much against Saki though so I'm guessing we'll see more of the grappling side of his game here. 



Uriah Hall vs Paulo Costa could be absolute fireworks. I usually always preface my write-ups for Uriah Hall's fights with a warning that it could be spectacular or it could be lacklustre as fuck. Because he's got that Belfort thing where he's so explosive and dangerous it's almost like he's scared to actually let his strikes detonate sometimes. And that's when you get those frustrating snoozers. I think there'll be none of that this time though. He can't afford to stand around waiting because Paulo 'Borrachinha' Costa will fuck his life up given the chance. Costa looks like a killer. One of the hottest prospects in the sport right now. He looks like a walking USADA violation but as long as he keeps passing, who are we to judge? Maybe he just eats his broccoli and cauliflower like a good lad. All jokes aside, he looks the business. 27 years old, 11-0 with 11 finishes. Smashed up Johny Hendricks in his last fight. Top man. Make no mistake, Hall is going to have to be ON for this. He's got the capability, I certainly wouldn't write his chances off. This is a man who stopped Gegard Mousasi with a highlight reel Tekken style combo not too long ago. He's lethal when he lets his shit fly. 



Yancy Medeiros vs Mike Perry is another potential corker. Yancy Medeiros is never really in a shit fight. He had one of the best fights of 2017 against Alex Oliveira. Lost to Donald Cerrone in his last outing but he's always game and up for a scrap. And a scrap is what he'll get from Mike Perry. He's coming off back-to-back decision losses to Max Griffin and Santiago Ponzinibbio. But he's always got that fight changing power and Yancy is the type who will throw down with him. These two are really tailor-made for a FOTN bonus. 



Raphael Assuncao vs Rob Font could be a really good technical fight. Assuncao is one of the unsung best bantamweights in the world. He's 35 now but he's arguably in the best form of his life. He's on a 3 fight win streak right now. Beat Aljamain Sterling and Marlon Moraes on points then most recently KO'd the fuck out of Matthew Lopez. He's a BJJ black-belt with power in his hands. And this is his 14th year as a pro. Not many guys in the division with his experience. Rob Font's no cakewalk though. 15-3 with wins over Thomas Almeida and Douglas Silva De Andrade. He also went the distance in a losing effort against John Lineker, which is almost a moral victory in itself. I'd favour Assuncao though. 



Dan Hooker vs Gilbert Burns is another fight I love the sound of. I've really grown to become a bit of a Hooker fan (thank fuck my wife doesn't read this forum). He's got a less than stellar 16-7 record but he's rarely involved in anything shit and he seems to be hitting his stride now and finding some consistency. He's won his last 3 fights, all finishes and all against good-decent names. He submitted Marc Diakiese who was getting some hype. And he knocked out Jim Miller and Ross Pearson, both with vicious knees. He politely called out Paul Felder (to his face) after his last fight, I'd have been well up for that. But he's got to get past Gilbert Burns first. Burns is 14-2 in MMA. He's a 3 time BJJ world champion and black-belt but he won his last couple of fights by KO. He's a handful. Could be a sleeper to steal the show, this. 



Lando Vannata vs Drakkar Klose, fuck this could be yet another sleeper. This card is ridiculously deep. I love Lando. How can you not? He's 9-2-1 overall in MMA. He's had 4 UFC fights so far and I'm not exaggerating when I say there hasn't been a minute of it that wasn't wildly entertaining. He stepped in last minute and almost knocked out Tony Ferguson in his UFC debut. Then he KO'd John Makdessi with a picture perfect spinning kick to the chin. Then he followed that up with back-to-back incredible fights against David Teymur and Bobby Green. Don't remember much about Klose and I'm not even bothering to look him up. Don't need to. Lando's involved so it'll at least be good. 



Curtis Millender vs Max Griffin will probably be buried down on Fight Pass sadly. Says everything about how loaded this show is that a fight this good is so far down the card. At first glance people might look at these two and go 'who?' But they've both shown real promise. Millender (15-3) really impressed me in his UFC debut. He knocked out Thiago Alves with a big knee after pretty much tooling him the whole fight previously. That's no joke. And Griffin (14-4) outstruck and outclassed Mike Perry on FOX in February. 


Fucking love pretty much all of this. I know it's a little way off but a card this good, we should really be talking about it. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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DC on Helwani's new ESPN show; 

Obviously, the main focus is on the fight with Miocic in a few weeks, but they touch on a few other interesting points. DC seems determined to retire next March. He turns 40 that month and I guess he's set that as his deadline to be done by. Ideally, he's looking to finish up by beating Stipe then squeezing in a fight with Brock and a third go against Jon Jones. Can't really see that panning out between now and March given Brock and Jones' current situations plus the fact that they seem more into fighting each other than anything involving Cormier. 3 fights between now and March is doable but it's a big ask IMO. 

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I've been avoiding this sub forum since financial circumstances led me to cancelling my BT Sports subscription. The less I read, the less I miss, that's my thinking.  I wish I hadn't looked at that card now.

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D.C doesn't need Jones in his life again. D.C is one of the finest 205-220lbs fighters to ever compete in the sport. But Jones is just all wrong for him. D.C fought out of his skin in their 2nd fight and Jones still won in decisive fashion. 

I actually think D.C matches up better against Miocic. There is at least a possibility that D.C's wrestling might be effective against Miocic. I think Miocic is the better boxer of the two, but I can picture D.C being competitive on the feet. If D.C mixes things up and fights the right fight, he might just pull off the victory. Although I am leaning towards Miocic. 

Brock? That's a great match-up for D.C. I don't think Brock has much to trouble him at all. If D.C is champion by the time Brock returns, then I guess the the fight could happen. If Brock returns to the UFC, I have little doubt that the UFC will give him the easiest and most viable route possible for a title shot. They will probably match him up against Ngannou or Lewis, then immediately fast-track him to a title shot  Who knows? Maybe the UFC will give Brock a title shot straight away. 

Edited by jimufctna24
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1 hour ago, jimufctna24 said:

D.C doesn't need Jones in his life again. D.C is one of the finest 205-220lbs fighters to ever compete in the sport. But Jones is just all wrong for him. 



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The more I ponder this the more I just don't have a clue. I mean, you fancy Stipe has the advantage on the feet due to the power, but DC is a very underrated boxer with a good chin. In the same regard, DC is the better wrestler, but Stipe has shown it's a big weapon he has too - I'm sure he'll be drilling TK defence hard.

I wasn't really into this when it was first announced because the other options felt more appealing, but I'm pleased I no longer feel that way. I think part of the reason I didn't want it is I don't want to see either man lose such a big career fight, but here we are.

I noticed Jones has been desperately trying to attach himself to the narrative of the fight, which is smart. If Brock isn't ready, the winner probably gets a roided up Jones. It's just a shame that man isn't a broken Velasquez, because that's indeed some Rocky shit.

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And it was going so well...

Yancy Medeiros is injured and out of his fight with Mike Perry :cry: the UFC are actively looking for a replacement to keep Perry on the card, according to Helwani. 

Any ideas who could jump in? If it wasn't for the fact he just went a hard 5 rounds a week ago, I'd say Cerrone would've been perfect for this but that's not likely now given the timing. Probably too short notice to expect a name vet like Lawler or Condit to step in. We're only just over a week away from this show. 

Who fights Platinum Mike? 

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Never even considered him because he's a 155er. But he makes a lot of sense when you think about it, with his fight on the 14th with James Vick just being cancelled, Felder was already in camp so all this would mean is he's fighting a week earlier but now he doesn't have to cut down to 155. It's perfect. I hope they get it done. 

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Really hope Felder gets the fight. You have to feel for him. He hasn't fought all year and it's through no fault of his own. First his Iaquinta fight at 223 got fucked up by McGregor's cuntery, then the UFC pull this Vick fight apart so they can do Vick vs Gaethje instead. Felder's been fucked around big time the last few months. 


Edited by wandshogun09
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