After UFC 226 in Las Vegas, it looked like Stipe Miocic was going to have to wait for his much-deserved rematch for the heavyweight title. After Cormier’s impressive first-round knockout over Miocic, former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar stormed the cage. He pushed Cormier and made it clear a matchup between him vs the newly crowned heavyweight champion was next. In the months that followed there were a lot of people who were skeptical that this fight would even happen. A lot of fans were displeased with Miocic being the odd man out in the situation. Stipe holds the record for most consecutive title defenses in the heavyweight division with 3 consecutive title defenses.
His first defense came at UFC 203 in his hometown Cleveland Ohio. His opponent was UFC veteran Allistar Overeem, it was a chaotic first round but Miocic eventually knocked Overeem out with vicious punches on the ground. His next title defense came at UFC 211 against another UFC veteran Junior Dos Santos.
Miocic made quick work of Dos Santos knocking him out early in round one. His next defense came against one of the scariest knockout artists in the UFC Francis Ngannou. Ngannou was on an absolute tear in the UFC at the time. Finishing Allistar Overeem in his last fight. Ngannou’s knockout will be remembered as one of the most brutal knockouts in UFC history. Miocic dominated Ngannou after a dangerous round one; this is when fans started to realize how legit Miocic was. Even after losing to Cormier at UFC 226 it was clear Stipe deserved an immediate rematch.
Last night ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that Lesnar informed Dana White that he’d be retiring from MMA. This threw all hope for Cormier vs Lesnar out the window. Luckily this sets up one of the most important rematches in UFC heavyweight history. UFC is finalizing Cormier vs Miocic 2 at UFC 241 in Anaheim California. DC has opened up as a slight betting favorite, which isn’t a surprise because Miocic opened as a slight betting favorite in their first fight
Jon Jones will be taking on Thiago Santos at UFC 239, if Jon Jones gets passed Santos it would be the perfect time for him to move up to heavyweight. The winner of Cormier vs Miocic would be the perfect first fight for Jones at 265 pounds.
-Stephen Caloggero (@Stevie_calo)