The mixed martial arts world was handed one of the biggest fights of the year yesterday when the UFC announced record-setting heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic would be taking on light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at July 7’s UFC 226 from Las Vegas after the two squared off as opposing coaches on TUF 27.
The champion vs. champion superfight had been hinted at, especially by UFC president Dana White, following Miocic and Cormier’s dominant wins at last weekend’s (Sat., January 20, 2018) UFC 220 from Boston, yet the talk was seemingly shut down by “DC,” who said that he would rather his good friend and teammate Cain Velasquez get the next shot at Miocic, even going as far as to admit he ‘can’t beat’ Velasquez.
Something changed very quickly, however, and in a sense, the outcome is much better than giving Velasquez an immediate title shot after back-to-back two-years periods of inactivity. There’s no doubt whatsoever that he’s one of the best heavyweights in MMA when healthy – the problem is he’s rarely healthy and the UFC may not have wanted to risk another title fight on his name only to see it fall apart.
He’s been rumored to be training like a madman and nearing his return, something Cormier himself has discussed of late. The former champ addressed the scene himself on social media, confirming he would be in the gym every day to help Cormier, but that’s when the comradery seemed to take a turn.
Check out what Velasquez said might unfold:
Like always, I'm gonna be in the gym everyday to help my brother @dc_mma become the next heavyweight champ at #UFC226. Once he wins, things could get interesting. #AndNew #WeAreAKA #GonnaGetMyBeltBack
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) January 27, 2018
It’s surprising to hear Velasquez say things could ‘get interesting,’ suggesting Cormier may end up fighting his longtime training partner for the heavyweight title.
But it would have to be in Cormier’s most likely final fight, as the 38-year-old 205-pound champion recently set a date of March 2019 for his retirement from MMA. “”DC” has also repeatedly stated he would not fight his AKA ‘brothers’ Velasquez and Luke Rockhold.
Despite his support for his friend, Velasquez has at least somewhat different of a view on the situation, however. Could they end up squaring off in a massive superfight themselves?