MMA Preview – Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier at UFC 226

AT A GLANCE

When is UFC 226? Sunday 8th July, 2018 – 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 226? T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada

What channel is UFC 226 on? BT Sport 2

Where can I stream UFC 226? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT website

Are tickets still available for UFC 226? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

The biggest ‘super fight’ in UFC history and the only legitimate one since Georges St Pierre vs BJ Penn back at UFC 94. Two champions go head-to-head in a colossal fight that tops an incredibly stacked card.

Daniel Cormier moves back up to heavyweight to challenge Stipe Miocic for his title as well as the tag of the ‘baddest man on the planet’. If Miocic wins, he stretches his UFC record of heavyweight title defences to four but if Cormier wins, he will become the second fighter after Conor McGregor to hold two belts simultaneously.

Both men are at the top of the food chain right now and a win at UFC 226 will cement their legacy as one of the very best fighters of all time. So much is at stake but the fight itself is just as fascinating.

Cormier is unbeaten as a heavyweight (13-0) and one of the best grapplers in MMA so although he will be giving up size and reach to Miocic, he arguably provides the biggest threat to his title so far. Miocic is thoroughly peaking and starched five top contenders before dismantling the terrifying threat of Francis Ngannou in his last fight.

THE PREDICTION

Miocic is in his prime but Cormier will arrive to the octagon in tremendous condition without the stress of a large weight cut. He has great cardio and is always a threat for five rounds but his power, energy and recoverability will be at an even higher level at heavyweight.

Cormier is expected to rely on his grappling and Olympic level wrestling. He will look for the clinch and takedown to smother the heavyweight champ, churn out ground and pound and beat him into submission.

However, Miocic is arguably the strongest opponent Cormier has faced and he is also a terrific wrestler so the grappling exchanges will be intriguing. Miocic is also severely threatening at close range; he has a powerful clinch and requires minimal space to inflict a knockout blow.

Even though Cormier has eaten bombs from Anthony Johnson, he cannot rely on the strength of his chin and has to avoid the powerful hands of Miocic. So, Miocic will want to keep the fight on the feet and leverage his power to diffuse Cormier’s wrestling and set up head strikes whereas the more energized light heavyweight champ will look to overwhelm, suffocate and grind his way to becoming the two-division champion.

This is such a tough fight to call but if Cormier avoids the hands of Miocic, his cardio and grappling can take the fight into dark waters and squeak out a decision but the sheer power of Miocic at close range will be too much of a threat over five rounds.

Winner: Miocic via KO/TKO

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric