UFC champ Stipe Miocic and Bellator titleholder Ryan Bader have joined forces as they each head into the biggest moments of their careers.
Miocic (18-2) become the winningest heavyweight champion in UFC history when he defeated Francis Ngannou earlier this year. That victory put him at three consecutive title defenses, which isn’t easy in the heavyweight division, where one punch finishes the fight much more frequently than most other divisions.
The UFC heavyweight champion returns to Octagon to headline UFC 226 in July, where he will face the promotion’s light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier in a champion vs. champion superfight. Only Miocic’s belt will be on the line, but it remains the biggest fight of his career; so he’s called in Bader, who was an All-American wrestler, to help prepare for Cormier, whose forte is wrestling.
Bader (25-5) holds the Bellator light heavyweight championship, but similar to Cormier, he is currently in pursuit of the promotion’s heavyweight title. He recently defeated Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in the quarterfinal round of the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix. He’ll next face Matt Mitrione in the semifinal round with the victor moving on to face the winner between Chael Sonnen and Fedor Emelianenko for the title.
Considering they are in such similar circumstances, it was a natural fit for Miocic and Bader to come together to prepare and that’s exactly what they have done.