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In 2013, Daniel Cormier announced that he would be dropping from heavyweight to light heavyweight division, to avoid the possibility of fighting his longtime teammate and friend Cain Velasquez, then heavyweight champion.
A lot has changed since then. Cormier fought Jon Jones twice, and lost once, a second loss being overturned to a no-contest after Jones’ most recent drug test failure for the steroid Turinabol. In between lengthy Jon Jones suspensions, Cormier also won and defended the light heavyweight belt, most recently last weekend against Volkan Oezdemir. Cain, meanwhile, has only fought twice since 2013, losing his heavyweight belt to Fabricio Werdum in 2015, and defeating Travis Browne handily in 2016. In his absence, dark horse champion Stipe Miocic has broken the record for heavyweight title defenses, overcoming man-mountain Francis Ngannou last weekend in a tension-packed first round, then four more in which he wrestled, clinched, and battered the exhausted Cameroonian.
A Cain Velasquez return remains the only challenge for Stipe, or so we thought. Today, though, the UFC announced a bonafide superfight, with Cormier stepping up to heavyweight to face Miocic this summer. Cormier had expressed reluctance to do so, partly because of that friendship with Cain, but it seems the AKA teammates talked about it and came to an agreement.
The agreement seems to be, go for it... but if you win, we might end up fighting. Velasquez more or less said as much in a post today on social media. He re-affirmed their friendship, saying he would be in the gym helping his brother prepare. But apparently the possibility they will fight has been assessed, and accepted.
Like always, I'm gonna be in the gym everyday to help my brother @dc_mma become the next heavyweight champ at #UFC226. Once he wins, things could get interesting. #AndNew #WeAreAKA #GonnaGetMyBeltBack— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) January 27, 2018
Cormier is on record saying he has sparred with Cain, and can’t beat him- in fact, he says Cain has knocked him out in sparring multiple times, while he has never knocked out Velasquez. Their gym wars are the stuff of legend, with head coach Javier Mendez relating their competitive spirit comes through in the intense sessions AKA is known for.
It looks as though, if Cormier manages the tall order that is Stipe Miocic, and Velasquez the equally tall order of returning to full health, we might get to witness that in the Octagon.
Totally normal training camp for Tony Ferguson
A Daniel Cormier-style slam.
Lmao nigga got the choke slam from hell omg. pic.twitter.com/q6C31UHrGl— Superbowl Bound baby! (@_ChefDon_) January 26, 2018
Stipe will be getting a much-deserved raise for his upcoming superfight against Daniel Cormier.
In other contract news, I'm told UFC has already engaged Stipe Miocic on restructuring his deal. Nothing done yet, but conversations taking place. Most dominant UFC heavyweight of all time is looking at a raise.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 26, 2018
Khabib Nurmagomedov, the striking coach.
Eddie Alvarez is frustrated because Nate Diaz wants to fight the guy who can guarantee him the payday he wants.
If You only want Connor there's nuttin wrong wit that but Keep it wit everyone @NateDiaz209 , don't call out the entire division when You don't want No work from anyone of Us . It's as phony as your whole character You fucking Dork . You changed man #Fakenews— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) January 26, 2018
Demetrious Johnson, the UFC’s only flyweight champion.
Slips, Rips, KO Clips
Roy Nelson congratulates Lorenz Larkin on his first Bellator win!
Back when Bob Sapp came to fight
Antonio Nogueira looks young as hell here compared to how we seen him in the UFC. He defends his title against Bob Sapp! - MMA content updated daily! - @Regranned from @mma_mix - Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Bob Sapp Pride Shockwave Dynamite! (2002) Сейчас тяжело представить, что Сапп, мог быть участником какого нибудь легендарного боя. Но откиньте все эти насмешки над старым Саппом, который умно в конце карьеры, без травм хотел заработать деньги . @theprofight - #bobsapp #bignog
This was the KO that went viral today from ONE FC. It’s not hard to see why.
Andrew Miller TKOs Erawan Sor.Chitlada in The MX Main Event pic.twitter.com/XS8YJyeF4G— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) January 26, 2018
A young Khabib in the making
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Jacare’s submissions, by the Andrews. Follow MMA Mania on Youtube!
UFC on Fox 27 Preview
A wild dingo eating a shark. Welcome to Australia. pic.twitter.com/q9iZ75d01D— Nature is Scary (@NatureisScary) January 27, 2018