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Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier booked for July's UFC 226

UFC 226

Image courtesy of MMA Fighting

Less than a week ago, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier downplayed the notion of returning to heavyweight to fight UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic as good friend and former champion Cain Velasquez announced preparations to return back to action in the division.

What a difference a few days makes.

On Friday night, the promotion announced that both Cormier and Miocic will fight in the main event of UFC 226 in Las Vegas as part of International Fight Week after a run as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter.

The two men just defended their respective titles at last Saturday's UFC 220 with Miocic downing Francis Ngannou by unanimous decision while Cormier bested Volkan Oezdemir by second round TKO. 

This continues a trend of UFC management wanting to do champion vs. champion fights as opposed to interdivision bouts. Women's featherweight champion Cris Cyborg vs. women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has been bandied about on social media this week while flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson vs. bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has been in discussion since last summer. 

Cormier is the former Strikeforce Grand Prix heavyweight champion and moved down in weight after two UFC fights while Miocic just set the record for consecutive UFC title defense with three.  

There was talk this week that all three fights will be part of the same show, effectively holding up three divisions.