The UFC is back to its home base in Las Vegas for its cornerstone event of the year. UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier features a superfight that anchors the MMA juggernaut’s International Fight Week.
Record-setting heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic puts his belt on the line for the fourth time against light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier in the night’s main event.
The fight is official after Cormier weighed in heavier than the heavyweight champ. He stepped on the scale at 246 pounds, while Miocic weighed in at 242.5 pounds.
Miocic (18-2) won the belt by defeating Fabricio Werdum in 2016. He has gone on to defend it three times – beating Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, and Francis Ngannou – something no other UFC heavyweight champion has ever done. He’ll look to extend his record, as Cormier returns to the heavyweight division for the first time since defeating Roy Nelson in 2013.
No other UFC heavyweight champion has ever defended the belt four times, Miocic intends to become the first.
If victorious, Cormier (20-1, 1NC) would become only the second fighter in UFC history to hold two title in two different weight classes at the same time. The only other fighter to do that is Conor McGregor, though the Irishman never defended either belt before eventually being stripped of both titles.
The UFC 226 fight card is stacked, but none of the remaining bouts compared to the co-main event, which was set to feature featherweight champion Max Holloway putting his undisputed belt on the line for the second time, as he was to square off with top contender Brian Ortega.
Unfortunately, Holloway was displaying continued symptoms of a concussion during fight week and was removed from the UFC 226 fight card on Wednesday. Ortega opted to wait for Holloway to recover and fight him on another event instead of accepting a new opponent.
With the bout’s removal, a pivotal heavyweight showdown between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis was elevated to co-main event status and a welterweight bout between Paul Felder and Mike Perry was shifted to the main card on pay-per-view.
Neither of the heavyweights nor Felder or Perry had any issues with the scale, although Lewis pushed the 265-pound upper-limit of the heavyweight division, stepping on the scale at 264.5 pounds.
Longtime lightweight contender Michael Chiesa was the only fighter to miss the mark. He came in at 157.5 pounds for his lightweight bout with Anthony Pettis, and then proclaimed that he was done with the lightweight division moving forward.
Pettis took nearly the full allotted two-hour time period to make his way to the scale, stepping behind a UFC towel to make the mark at 156 pounds on the nose.
UFC officials had not confirmed that Pettis had accepted the fight as of the time of publication, but after cutting down to the 156-pound limit, it is likely that the fight will move forward. Generally, when one fighter misses weight so narrowly, his opponent receives 20-percent of the fight purse of the fighter missing weight.
[UPDATE] After much discussion, UFC officials confirmed that Chiesa agreed to give Pettis 30-percent of his fight purse in order to keep the fight intact.
Heavyweight Alexander Volkov weighed in at 236 pounds, stepping on the scale as a back-up to any potential issues with either main event fighter.
Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier Official Weigh-in
Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis Official Weigh-in
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UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier Weigh-in Results
Main Card (10 p.m. ET on Pay-Per-View)
- Stipe Miocic (c)(242.5) vs. Daniel Cormier (246)
- Francis Ngannou (253) vs. Derrick Lewis (264.5)
- Paul Felder (170) vs. Mike Perry (170.5)
- Michael Chiesa (157.5) vs. Anthony Pettis (156)*
- Gokhan Saki (206) vs. Khalil Rountree Jr. (205)
Prelims (8 p.m. ET on FS1)
- Uriah Hall (185.5) vs. Paulo Costa (185.5)
- Raphael Assuncao (136) vs. Rob Font (135.5)
- Lando Vannata (156) vs. Drakkar Klose (156)
- Curtis Millender (170.5) vs. Max Griffin (170.5)
Early Prelims (7 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass)
- Dan Hooker (155.5) vs. Gilbert Burns (155.5)
- Jamie Moyle (116) vs. Emily Whitmire (116)
Main Event Back-up
- Alexander Volkov (236)**
*Chiesa missed weight, will not re-weigh-in
**Volkov weighed in as a back-up for the main event
Tune in to MMAWeekly.com on Friday, July 6, for the full TUF 27 Finale live results, and again Saturday, July 7, for full UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier live results. The first UFC 226 bout is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. The main event features UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic putting his belt on the line against light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier.