At UFC 205 back in November 2016, fight fans were treated to the first matchup between current champions of separate weight classes in promotion history.
At UFC 226 in Las Vegas on July 7, the UFC’s log of champion-vs.-champion superfights could quadruple.
One of three such matchups is already on the card: Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is set to do battle with Daniel Cormier, the lightweight champion.
— UFC (@ufc) January 27, 2018
Cormier, who began his MMA career with 13 straight victories at heavyweight before sliding down to light heavyweight to avoid fighting friend Cain Velasquez, will return to his former weight class. He’ll attempt to become the second fighter to hold two UFC belts at once, joining Conor McGregor, who accomplished the feat at UFC 205, his last fight in the promotion.
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) January 26, 2018
Leading up to their bout, Miocic and Cormier will serve as coaches on Season 27 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
UFC president Dana White started pitching the superfight once both fighters had defended their titles at UFC 220.
“I don’t see why he couldn’t fight at heavyweight,” White said of Cormier. “If he thinks Cain might come back, then if he won the belt he could give it up. But either way, it’s a good fight. With all the defenses he has, Stipe just broke the record for most defenses, so it’s a fun fight.”
And they might not be alone in making champion-vs.-champion history. Bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw has been calling for a fight with flyweight belt holder Demetrious Johnson, and the UFC is apparently giving the matchup a hard look.
Earlier this month, White indicated he’s angling for a fight between Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes, and this week Cyborg proposed holding the bout at UFC 226.
Quadrupling the number of champion-vs.-champion superfights in the promotion’s history on just one card: not a bad way to weather the absence of the sport’s biggest star.