Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier
For the first time in UFC history, the heavyweight and light heavyweight champions will square For the first time in UFC history, the heavyweight and light heavyweight champions will square off in the Octagon when Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier meet at UFC 226 in Las Vegas on the 8th July. Miocic opened as a 1.33 favourite with Cormier coming back at 3.25.
Miocic, who will put his title on the line, is riding a six-fight winning streak with five victories coming by first-round knockout. The Cleveland native has placed himself firmly in the discussion of greatest heavyweight of all time with a suffocating victory over Francis Ngannou at UFC 220. With that win, Miocic set the new record for consecutive heavyweight title defences at three.
Cormier is no stranger to the heavyweight division, as “DC” opened his professional MMA career a perfect 13-0 at the weight class before moving down to light heavyweight. Cormier has quietly put together one of the most impressive resumes in all of mixed martial arts with wins over Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson and Frank Mir.
Cormier will be attempting to become just the second fighter in history to hold two UFC belts simultaneously, joining Conor McGregor, who accomplished the feat in 2016.
The two fighters have been coaching against one another on this season’s TUF Undefeated. Unlike some seasons on TUF the coach have a mutual respect for each other and there hasn’t been any alterations or anything like that so far.
I would have to agree with the betting odds with having Miocic as the favourite to win. But with Cormier’s Olympic wrestling pedigree it does put him in good stead to get the fight to the ground wherehe can do his best work and nullify Miocic’s heavy hands.
Max Holloway vs Brian Ortega
Max “Blessed” Holloway will look to defend his featherweight belt when he is challenged by Brian “T-City” Ortega in the co-main event of UFC 226. Holloway finds himself being pegged as the 1.55 favourite with Ortega coming back at 2.40.
Holloway is on one of the most impressive winning streaks in UFC history, winning each of his past 12 fights – the fifth-longest in UFC history. His impressive resume includes victories over Jose Aldo, Anthony Pettis, Jeremy Stephens and Cub Swanson. There is little doubt that Holloway is one of the best mixed martial artists in the world today – and he proved that with two dominant victories over Aldo in his last two bouts.
Ortega might be the toughest test of Holloway’s career, as T-City is undefeated in his professional career. Ortega is a lethal finisher like few others in the division with each of his past six wins coming via stoppage – three knockouts and three submissions. He is also coming off maybe the most impressive performance of his career, finishing Frankie Edgar in the first round at UFC 222 – the first time in Edgar’s 13-year career he was stopped.
Though this bout may not get the biggest rub from some casual fans, Holloway vs Ortega is one of the most hotly contested and interesting bouts in MMA today. Both guys can compete in every facet of the game but Holloway would prefer to stand while Ortega’s best skill set is on the mat.
I think Holloway will definitely have the striking advantage, and will have to keep Ortega at a distance at the end of his striking range and use his constant foot work to try and avoid the takedown and the world class bjj game of Ortega. But as I mentioned T-city is the only person to knock Frankie Edgar out. So he does have the knock out power to change the course of the fight with one punch. I would like to see Max Holloway win but I think Ortega will get the win but it’ll be a close fight.
Francis Ngannou vs Derek Lewis
Fans should expect fireworks when heavyweight knockout artists Francis “The Predator” Ngannou and Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis face off at UFC 226. Ngannou finds himself as a hefty 1.28 favourite with Lewis coming back at 3.50.
Ngannou is easily one of the hardest-hitting fighters to ever step foot inside the Octagon with some absolutely vicious knockouts against the likes of Alistair Overeem, Andrei Arlovski and Bojan Mihajlovic. Some of the shine has worn off Ngannou after he most recently challenged Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title – a contest that saw “The Predator” get absolutely grinded into a fine dust by the champion. That being said, Ngannou is still one of the most terrifying men to strike within the UFC.
Not to be outdone, Lewis is a vicious knockout artist in his own right with 17 of his 19 career victories coming via KO. “The Black Beast” is 6-1 in his last seven fights with the judges only being needed once in that span. Lewis is likely the only person in the UFC who can hit as hard as Ngannou but each of his last three losses has come by KO.
To use an old cliché, don’t blink during this fight. The odds of one of these two looking up at the lights is extremely high. There may be more well-rounded, tactical fights during International Fight Week – but none offer the pure violence of Ngannou vs Lewis.
Both fighters have heavy hands but you would have to say the power advantage is with Ngannou . Though I would say Lewis would have the advantage on the ground so if he can get it there he has a chance to lay down some heavy ground and pound. Saying this though I do think Nagannou will win by knock out or I hope so as it makes for an exciting fight.
Michael Chiesa vs Antony Pettis
The bout was originally scheduled for UFC 223 in Brooklyn, N.Y. However, the bout was scrapped after Chiesa suffered facial lacerations when Conor McGregor throw a dolly through the window of a van carrying Chiesa and several other fighters from the a media day at Barclays Centre injuring Chiesa.
McGregor was booked on three charges of assault and one of criminal mischief in the attack. The case is ongoing.
Chiesa (14-3) is looking to shake off a controversial submission loss to Kevin Lee last June 25 the fight was stopped as the ref though that Chiesa was choked out and stopped the fight but he wasn’t and didn’t tap out. That defeat snapped a three-fight win streak. Pettis (20-7) is looking to resurrect a career which has seen him hold both the UFC and WEC lightweight belts. “Showtime” returned to lightweight last year after a stint at featherweight, defeating Jim Miller at UFC 213 and earning a Fight of the Night bonus in a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier on Nov. 11.
All though Chiesa is a 1.62 favourite and Pettis been the underdog at 2.25 I think this could go either way as Pettis needs a win if he wants to get back in contention for his old belt. But Chiesa will be hungry for a win after the loss to Lee and also get his title aspersions back on track.
Gökhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree
Originally scheduled to fight at UFC 219, the two light heavyweights have been re-booked for UFC 226 on July 8th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The night’s main card airs live on PPV, with prelims split between FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Saki (1-1) made his UFC debut last September, winning by vicious KO vs. Luis Henrique da Silva. He is best known as a highly accomplished kickboxer, having won the Glory LHW belt in 2014 via injury TKO vs. Tyrone Spong, but inactivity led to him being stripped of the title. The 34-year-old later decided to make the full-time switch to MMA, and the UFC signed him in 2017.
Rountree (6-2, 1 NC) was runner-up on season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter, losing by decision to Andrew Sanchez in the final. A submission loss to Tyson Pedro soon followed, but then the 28-year-old prospect rattled off two straight knockout wins over Daniel Jolly and Paul Craig. When Saki was unable to fight at UFC 219 due to injury, Rountree took on Michal Oleksiejczuk, losing by decision, but it was overturned to a no contest after Oleksiejczuk failed a drug test.
UFC 226 Prelims
Uriah Hall – Paulo Costa
Unbeaten Costa (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC) originally were set to face off at UFC Fight Night 128, though a biceps tear suffered last month forced Costa to withdraw.
Costa stayed perfect last November with a second round TKO of former welterweight champion Johnny Hendricks at UFC 217 in New York. It was his third TKO finish in three UFC fights. He debuted with the promotion 13 months ago in his native Brazil and picked up a $50,000 bonus for a first-round TKO of Garreth McLellan to give him nine first-round stoppages in his first nine pro fights, with eight coming by knockout or TKO.
Costa had to go to the second round for a TKO of Oluwale Bamgbose at UFC 212 before making his first trip for a fight in the U.S.
Hall will return after suffering medical issues that sent him to the hospital ahead of weigh-ins for a scheduled January fight with Vitor Belfort. Those issues Hall said, were a “mini-seizure” and “slight heart attack” during his weight cut for UFC Fight Night 125. Hall was pulled from his fight against Vitor Belfort and criticized by UFC President Dana White.
Hall will try for his second win in a row to follow a second-round knockout of Krzysztof Jotko at UFC Fight Night 116. That snapped a three-fight skid that saw him drop a decision to Robert Whittaker and suffer first-round TKOs against Derek Brunson and Gegard Mousasi in 2016.
Hall is + 300 with Costa at – 400 . This fight is a hard one to pick I think, as we all know the striking skills and knock out power Hall posses, then Costa has won his last three fights I personally would like to see Hall win as I watched him from his time in the TUF house as was a fan after watching his amazing knock out over his opponent with a spinning heel kick to there head.
Uriah Hall +300
Paulo Costa -400
Yancy Medeiros vs Mike Perry
Medeiros (15-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC) and Perry (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) Medeiros is coming off a loss in the most high-profile fight of his career. Following a fight of the year candidate win over Alex Oliveira at UFC 218 in December, Medeiros was awarded a main-event spot against Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 126 in February. The fight didn’t go his way, though, and the 30-year-old Hawaiian slugger succumbed to a TKO lose.
Perry looks to get back on track at the event. Following a fast start to the 26-year-old’s UFC career with four wins in five fights, “Platinum” has now lost two straight bouts, with his most recent coming by decision against Max Griffin at UFC on FOX 28 in February.
Combined, Medeiros and Perry have 19 knockouts in 29 career wins. This should be a great fight . Medeiros is + 200 and Perry is -250. Yet again I think this will be a hard one to pick a winner . But I have to like Mike Perry for this one due to his one punch knock out power and never take a step back fighting style .
Yancy Medeiros +200
Mike Perry -250
Raphael Assuncao vs Rob Font
Brazilian veteran Raphael Assuncao meets rising contender Rob Font, Assuncao (26-5), who recently signed a new, four-fight contract with the UFC, carries both a three-fight win streak and a 10-1 record in his past 11 fights into the bout. His most recent performance was a knockout of Matthew Lopez last November.
Font (15-3), meanwhile, has won three out of his past four fights. He scored TKO victory over Thomas Almeida last time out, at UFC 220 in his hometown of Boston.
It’s hard to predict who will win this one as the betting odds are very lose with this one Assuncao is ranked #3 in his weight class comes in at -170 . Font who’s ranked #12 is +140. The should make for a interesting fight and if Font wins it’ll shot him right up the rankings and could put him in to title contention.
Raphael Assuncao -170
Rob Font +140
UFC 226 Fight Pass Prelims
Max Griffin vs Curtis Millender
A fight between welterweights Max Griffin(14-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Curtis Millender(15-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) Griffin recently evened up his UFC record and notched a notable win after scoring an upset decision victory over Mike Perry in February. The 32-year-old former regional-show champion suffered a decision loss to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in his previous bout but picked up a $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus with the performance.
He now meets Millender, a former Fight Club OC champion and Bellator fighter who’s streaking. The 30-year-old scored a blistering knockout – and earned a “Performance of the Night” bonus – of former UFC title challenger Thiago Alves in February on fairly short notice. He’s now won seven straight fights dating back to mid-2016, and his past three victories have all come via knockout.
Griffin I would say will be the favourite for this match up after his win over Mike Perry, he comes in +150 in the betting odds and Millender is -175.
Gilbert Burns vs Dan Hooker
This lightweight match up is set to be a good one. Burns is 14-2 and is coming of a vicious knockout of his last opponent Dan Moret. The BJJ ace has won two straight and three of his last four. The 31 year old has a 6-2 record in the UFC and if he can get this next win will prove him to be a contender in the division.
Hooker 16 – 7 has won three fights in a row, most recently a win over Jim Miller with a devastating flying knee. The New Zealand fighter aged 28 has been on a excellent run since moving up a weight class from featherweight to lightweight. Has got four KO victories while in the UFC and two performance of the night bonuses as well.
Burns is the favourite with the betting odds +150 , but Hooker is -175 But with his recent run I think it will be a close fight and could go either way, but will probably end with an exciting KO.
Lando Vannata vs Drakkar Klose
Lando Vannata (9-2-1) is looking to find his groove after winning just one of his first four bouts under the UFC umbrella. The JacksonWink prospect’s 1-2-1 Octagon record is deceiving though. Vannata debuted in the UFC in 2016 with a near-upset of top contender Tony Fergusonon short notice, then scored a highlight-reel first-round knockout over John Makdessi. The 26-year-old, who goes by the nickname “Groovy,” followed that early success up with a hard-fought decision loss to David Teymur and a split draw against Bobby Green.
Vannata won post-fight bonuses for all four of his UFC performances.
Drakkar Klose (8-1-1), meanwhile, is hoping to rebound from the first loss of his professional career, a decision setback to Teymur in December at UFC 218. Prior to that, the 30-year-old MMA Lab product established himself as a formidable derailer of lightweight prospects, notching back-to-back wins over Devin Powell and Marc Diakiese.
Klose comes in at + 162 and Vannata is -188 . This should make for a good fight with Vanntana’s exciting and unorthodox style.
Jamie Moyle vs Emily Whitmire
A strawweight bout between Las Vegas residents Jamie Moyle and Emily Whitmire is the latest addition to July’s UFC 226 lineup.
UFC officials have not formally announced the bout, but both Moyle (4-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Whitmire (2-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
Moyle, 29, is coming off her first UFC loss. Following a successful octagon debut against Kailin Curran in December 2016, Moyle lost a decisive unanimous decision to Viviane Pereira at UFC 212 in June. The fight with Whitmire marks her return to competition from a more than 13-month layoff. Moyle hasn’t fought more than once in a calendar year since 2015.
Whitmire, 26, hopes the fight against her fellow American goes better than her UFC debut. Following a stint on Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Whitmire suffered a first-round submission loss to Gillian Robertson at the TUF 26 Finale in December. “Spitfire” has alternated wins and losses over her four-fight MMA career.
Jamie Moyle comes in with betting odds of -300 and Whitmore is + 240 . I don’t know much about the fighters so it’s a hard one for me to call but Both need a win to keep relevant in this division.