Weekend Warrior: Cormier-Miocic 2 Buoys UFC 241
Title reigns in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight division always rest on shaky ground—a fact with which Daniel Cormier is familiar. The 40-year-old American Kickboxing Academy captain will defend his championship in a rematch with Stipe Miocic atop UFC 241 on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Cormier knocked out Miocic to capture the heavyweight crown a little more than a year ago and retained it on one occasion since. Only Miocic, Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar, Tim Sylvia, and Cain Velasquez have made at least two successful title defenses since its inception in 1997.
Cormier was forged on the anvil of amateur wrestling. He won two national championships at Colby Community College in Kansas before he moved on to Oklahoma State, where he was an NCAA All-American and national finalist. Cormier later qualified for two Olympic teams, captaining the 2008 squad for the United States. He made his MMA debut in 2009, won his first 15 bouts and went on to become one of four fighters to ever hold UFC titles in two divisions simultaneously. Cormier’s record stands at 22-1, his lone loss coming to archrival Jon Jones by unanimous decision.
Cover Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)
Heavy hitter: Getting to Know UFC Heavyweight Stipe Miocic
Daniel Cormier celebrates his victory over Derrick Lewis. Photo: Steven Ryan (Getty Images)
Miocic has compiled a 12-3 record since he joined the UFC roster as an undefeated prospect a little less than eight years ago. He was a three-sport standout at North High School in Eastlake, Ohio, and went on to play baseball and wrestle collegiately at Cleveland State University, a Division I institution in Cleveland. He later won a Golden Gloves championship as a boxer. The 36-year-old Euclid, Ohio, native has not fought since being dethroned by Cormier at UFC 226 in July 2018.
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Stipe Miocic punches Daniel Cormier. Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)
UFC 241 “Cormier vs. Miocic 2”—which streams live to ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT—also features a welterweight co-main event matching Anthony Pettis with Nate Diaz, a featherweight confrontation pitting Sodiq Yusuff against Gabriel Benitez, and a pair of middleweight tilts, as 2000 Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero meets Paulo Henrique Costa and Derek Brunson faces Ian Heinisch. ESPN (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) and UFC Fight Pass (6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT) are scheduled to share coverage of the seven-fight undercard.