UFC

Stipe Miocic v Daniel Cormier: The story so far ahead of Vegas trilogy at UFC 252

By Sports Desk August 14, 2020

Daniel Cormier remains adamant this weekend will be his final fight and there is no finer way to sign off a legendary career than with a trilogy bout against UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.

After taking Miocic's title away from him in July 2018, the belt went back to his opponent – after one successful defence against Derrick Lewis – 13 months later to leave this rivalry locked tantalisingly at one victory apiece.

Cormier has enjoyed a storied UFC career, holding belts in two divisions, and only Jon Jones and Miocic have claimed wins over the all-time great.

Now, he is going out with a decisive rubber against Miocic at UFC's APEX facility in Las Vegas on Saturday and with that in mind we have profiled the story so far.


WHAT'S THEIR STORY SO FAR?

Cormier further enhanced his status as one of the greatest fighters of all time when he defeated Miocic with a first-round knockout at UFC 226 in July 2018, meaning he had won belts in two divisions.

A crunching right hand sent Miocic to the canvas and a flurry of unanswered blows brought an end to the contest, after which Cormier called out Brock Lesnar.

But a fight with Lesnar did not come to fruition and a little over a year later Miocic regained the strap with a stunning fourth-round win at UFC 241.

In a title thriller, Miocic was behind on the cards but hurt the champion with a shot to the liver before a series of power punches floored Cormier and saw the belt return to his opponent.


WHY DO WE WANT TO SEE THEM GO AGAIN?

First and foremost because this is a great rivalry that deserves a conclusion.

And also because Cormier has again insisted this will be his last fight, so what better way than for a legend of the MMA game to go out with such a huge bout with the heavyweight title on the line?

Many fans clamoured for Cormier to have one last dance with Jones, but unless 'Bones' stepped up a division that never truly looked a realistic prospect.

Cormier and Miocic have a great history of their own and one last fight between the two is a fitting sign-off if this is truly the end.


HAVE THEY FOUGHT SINCE?

No, neither man has been in action since their last showdown, with the focus purely on securing a trilogy bout.

Miocic suffered a nasty eye injury in their second fight that he needed to fully recover from before getting back to work, while Cormier was quite clear the next fight is his last.


WHY IS IT HAPPENING?

The smart money was always on these two dancing for the third time.

Cormier and Miocic both spoke about the desire for a rubber match, which was slightly held up by the torn retina sustained by the latter in his victory last August and partly by the coronavirus pandemic.

With one win apiece, there is unfinished business and the only way to settle it is by mixing it for one last time inside the Octagon.


WHO WILL WIN?

If ever there was a 50-50 question in the MMA game then this is it. There are those with the school of thought that say Miocic was able to stop Cormier last time around and nothing has really changed to say he cannot do the same again.

Cormier, though, is one of the best to ever get in the Octagon and has an incredible fighting IQ, which may just give him the slightest of edges.

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