UFC president Dana White will get his wish after all.
It was announced on Friday that heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will defend his belt in a superfight against light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 226 in Las Vegas on July 7, as the headline bout for International Fight Week 2018.
In addition to the champion versus champion fight, Miocic and Cormier will also square off as coaches on the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Season 27, which will feature undefeated fighters from the lightweight and featherweight divisions.
The shocking news comes just hours after White had teased he had something big in the works for Miocic, while hinting that Cormier might be his next opponent.
Prior to this announcement, Cormier had scoffed at the idea of returning to heavyweight, not only because he didn’t want to return to the larger weight class, but also to avoid a clash with his teammate and friend former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
“I am a dream chaser. I had a long talk with Cain Velasquez. He told me this is okay,” Cormier said via UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on the UFC on FOX 27 weigh-in broadcast on FS1. “He gave me the blessing for the fight. I am gonna return to my original weight.
“I am gonna go out there and I am gonna take out the baddest man on the planet. Not only that, I’m going to be a coach on ‘The Ultimate Fighter.'”
Filming on the reality show is expected to begin next week with the debut on FS1 happening on April 18. The TUF 27 Finale, which includes the finals for the series, is likely to take place the same week as the fight between Miocic and Cormier at UFC 226.
Miocic is fresh off his five-round drubbing of top contender Francis Ngannou, while Cormier defeated Volkan Oezdemir by TKO on the same card at UFC 220 in Boston.
Now the two champions will clash as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter before meeting in an epic superfight later this year at UFC 226 in Las Vegas from the T-Mobile Arena.