UFC 226: History on the line in main event

UFC 226 Cain Velasquez Daniel Cormier

UFC 226 will be held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday. Stipe Miocic is fighting a guy that he's never seen anything like this. He turned the Switzerland native into a Swiss Miss by the time the fight was over.

Several years ago, Cormier and Jon Jones brawled off the stage following a press conference.

And for Miocic, the steady, non-trash-talking firefighter from the Midwest, this fight is a chance to perhaps prove he can be a mainstream star for the UFC - something he says he doesn't care about, but which he certainly deserves. "The last time I fought somebody I was bigger than was in 2010, and I felt like Muhammad Ali out there".

Cormier only moved down to light heavyweight when he joined the UFC because he didn't want to fight former UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, his good friend and training partner in San Jose, California. One difference, of course, is his fights have generally not lasted as long.

He's dealt with this before, in other words, and given that Cormier's professional record is officially 20-1-0, he's done enough that people probably shouldn't be writing him off just because his arms are shorter than his opponent.

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Cormier fought extensively at heavyweight earlier in his career.

"I didn't see the speaker and don't know why it was there", Cormier said. Whether it's gonna be a knockout, decision, submission, I don't really care, I'm going to get my hand raised and that's all I'm looking for'. I think DC's going to go into this fight with full energy. I'm not going to reinvent the wheel nine years into my career. "I'm a grinder, and that's what I'm going to do to Stipe".

The former UFC heavyweight now competes for Bellator, but he spent three rounds apiece with both Cormier and Miocic at UFC 161 and UFC 166, respectively.

Ngannou's loss to Miocic as a -180 favourite marked his first defeat in 10 fights, and also put the brakes on a string of four straight first-round knockout victories.

That's consistent with how most experts are breaking it down. But it will also have a significant rippling effect on both men's legacies - more than you may have expected for two established, proven champions. The Olympic wrestler most recently stopped Volkan Oezdemir in January to set up the heavyweight superfight. For only the third time in the UFC's 25-year history, a reigning champion will fight a reigning champion from another weight class at UFC 226.

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