UFC 241 Preview: Stipe-DC Run It Back
13 months ago, Daniel Cormier solidified his legacy as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time when he dropped Stipe Miocic in the first round of their heavyweight title fight at UFC 220.
Now, on August 16th, Cormier has to prove himself one final time against Miocic, who has not stepped into the Octagon since being stopped by Cormier.
For Miocic, his pride and stubborn need for a rematch superseded his desire to fight anyone else, pegging Cormier on social media whenever another opponent, whether it be Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, or Cormier’s 2018 title defense against Derrick Lewis.
Cormier has considered Miocic’s jabs as childish, as the 40-year-old made it clear he was looking at the end of his career and had Miocic on his shortlist of opponents, alongside Jones and Lesnar.
The Louisana native’s desire to rematch Jones lessened, mainly due to wanting to fight Jones at light heavyweight, where they had their first two fights, while Jones has expressed a wavering disinterest in running it back with Cormier.
When it came to Lesnar, the former heavyweight champion decided to pull out of a UFC return this year following the Endeavor owned brand decided to air all of their pay-per-view events on the ESPN+ app, cutting down the potential audience that could see him, which would affect performance bonuses based on the event’s buy rate.
Now, Cormier and Miocic square off one more time, as Cormier eyes retirement and leaving an undeniable hall of fame career, while the Cleveland native looks to reassert himself as the most dominant heavyweight in UFC history after having his record of heavyweight title defenses halted at three.
In the co-main event, Nate Diaz returns to the UFC for the first time in three years, as he and former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis square off at welterweight.
Diaz, who walked away from fighting following a close decision loss to Conor McGregor in 2016, brings his usual swagger and penchant for doing what he wants into a fight against one of the most celebrated fighters in the sport’s history.
Diaz believes his body of work should put him at the top of the industry, spoken with the same reverence as Pettis, who was the first mixed martial artist to grace the cover of a Wheaties box, or Conor McGregor, who has ascended to superstar status off the back of their epic series of fights.
For the full card of UFC 241 look below
Main card (ESPN+ PPV at 10 p.m. ET)
Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic
Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz
Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa
Gabriel Benitez vs. Sodiq Yusuff
Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch
Undercard (ESPN at 8 p.m. ET)
Devonte Smith vs. Khama Worthy
Raphael Assuncao vs. Cory Sandhagen
Christos Giagos vs. Drakkar Klose
Manny Bermudez vs. Casey Kenney
Undercard (UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET)
Hannah Cifers vs. Jodie Esquibel
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Brandon Davis
Sabina Mazo vs. Shana Dobson