UFC 252 goes down this weekend, and brings with it the end of an era. Or at least the end of one of the greatest heavyweight trilogies of all time.
Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier face off in the main event this Saturday night, the rubber match in the pair’s series. Cormier won the first meeting, Miocic took his revenge in the second. There’s more than just the title on the line on Saturday: bragging rights, the title of baddest man on the planet, and one other little thing: potentially the label of greatest heavyweight of all time.
Purists will shout “Fedor!” to that notion almost immediately. But the resumes of Cormier and Miocic speak for themselves. Cormier entered the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix as a little known alternate, and went on to defeat Bigfoot Silva and Josh Barnett. When the UFC scooped their rival up, Cormier became a company man, known for his work in the broadcast booth. He also defeated the likes of Frank Mir and Roy “Big Country” Nelson before dropping to light heavyweight to avoid a fight with friend and then-heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez.
Of course, Cormier would go on to win light heavyweight gold in a run marred only by controversial losses to Jon Jones (thanks to Jones’ repeated doping scandals). It was soon easy to forget how good D.C. was as a heavyweight. But after returning to the division in 2018, still holding light heavyweight gold, he knocked out Miocic to become a simultaneous double-champ. Something even Jones has yet to accomplish.
Cormier went on to defeat Derrick Lewis with ease, but was stopped in his tracks in a rematch with Miocic. Who, it’s worth noting, had silently been building up a resume as the best heavyweight in history during his own record-breaking title reign. Three consecutive title defenses, a feat never before accomplished in the UFC’s heavyweight division, underscored that. So did wins over Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos, Francis Ngannou, Roy Nelson, Mark Hunt, Gabriel Gonzaga, and finally, on the second try, Cormier.
Who ever takes home the win Saturday leaves with all the marbles. But, we’ll still allow that Fedor has a very good case.
Tune in live at 8PM ET on Thursday, August 13 for the UFC 252 pre-fight press conference. The live stream can be found above.