Solidifying a Legacy

MMA: UFC 226-Miocic vs CormierAlthough UFC 226 didn’t really go as planned with fighters missing weight and the co-main event being scrapped.

When Max Holloway was pulled from the card after doctors noticed that he was suffering from what seemed to be post-concussion issues the card was cut down.

His fight with Brian Ortega was going to be on of the biggest fights that the division had ever seen and could have been the start of something big.

Both fighters were young and talented and UFC 226 seemed like it was going to be the start of a long rivalry.

The fight wasn’t to be though as another strange injury sidelined another big fight hurting the card.

It didn’t destroy the card though as the biggest fight was still intact and for the first time ever the UFC had a true super fight leading a card.

They had attempted to put them together before but none were at the same level as the one the UFC had scheduled to cap off International Fight Week.

The fight was one of those fights that people always talk about in terms of who is better and who would win but rarely get to see.

Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier were set to face off in the latest in a long line of great heavyweight fights.

Both of these fighters entered their main event near the top of their games and looking for a new challenge.

Daniel Cormier had beat just about everyone in the light heavyweight division, as long as they are not named Jon Jones, while Miocic had just beat the best young contender left in the heavyweight division.

They were looking for that new challenge and whether they wanted it or not they were also looking for that legacy fight.

Although Cormier is clearer about this fact than Miocic this was going to be a fight that would sit in the winner’s legacy.

For Miocic the legacy is a pretty simple one as he is the best heavyweight in the history of the UFC.

Although there have always been great fighters in the division and certainly bigger names none have been able to do what Miocic has done.

It may not seem like much but when Miocic beat Francis N’Gannou in his last fight he earned his third straight title defence.

That had always been that unreachable number as massive names like Bas Rutten, Randy Couture, Tim Sylvia and Frank Mir could never do it.

Whenever a fighter got to their third defence a younger fighter would come to unseat them and the rotation would begin again.

Miocic has solidified his spot with that third straight defence and against Cormier, it was going to be another step.

A win would get him his fourth straight title defence but more than that it would prove that he is truly the baddest man on the planet.

So many fighters dodge fights and contenders in order to grow their own brand, Miocic is clearly just in this to fight and taking on an undefeated heavyweight and former Olympic wrestler proves that.

Cormier has a slightly more complicated legacy as he began his career as a heavyweight and never lost.

When the UFC signed his friend Cain Velasquez he decided to move down in weight to the light heavyweight division.

While there he beat everyone and became one of the best fighters in the world, although not a popular fighter thanks to his grinding style in many of his wins.

Then he ran into Jon Jones, widely considered to be the best fighter ever, and he simply couldn’t get by younger and more well-rounded fighter.mma-sidebar.fw

Still, he remained one of the best continuing to beat everyone but once again he couldn’t get by Jones.

He was going to go down as a great fighter that just couldn’t beat the best but when Jones failed multiple drug tests the legacy got foggier.

Although Cormier has not been able to beat Jones, the losses could be tainted by the fact that Jones was using steroids in at least one of their fights and possibly both.

This fight was a chance for Cormier to build on a legacy by moving up in weight and becoming the second fighter to hold two belts at the same time.

He has made no secret of the fact that he thought that a win in this super fight would solidify his legacy as one of the greatest ever, not just a great fighter.

There was always that concern for DC fans that he might not be big enough to fight someone like Miocic.

From the start of the fight, he proved otherwise as he was hanging in with the champion throughout the first round.

It seemed like Miocic wasn’t as affected by the punches but they were landing and he was taking some good shots from the champion.

Then Cormier went into the clinch in the middle of the octagon and landed a big shot right to the chin of Miocic.

The heavyweight champion went down and DC finished the job with a few follow up punches.

It was all over as the UFC saw a new heavyweight champion take the belt while becoming the second fighter ever to earn two belts at the same time.

In a true super fight, Cormier took full advantage and solidified a legacy as one of the greatest fighters in UFC history.

His next step will be in November when he takes on Brock Lesnar who makes his return to the UFC after over two years away.

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ufc-226

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