Fabricio Werdum is picking Stipe Miocic to retain his heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier at UFC 226.
UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will move up in weight to challenge reigning heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic at UFC 226, and it’s got everyone talking.
Top-three heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum, who lost the title to Miocic in 2016, was originally lobbying for a rematch with Miocic but is now intrigued by the matchup with Cormier.
“I want to see this fight, too. Of course I want to go first, but for the business UFC, for fans this is much better. I understand this part, too,” Werdum said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour, per MMA Mania’s Adam Guillen Jr.
“For sure I was sad before, but after talking to Dana White, I understand for the company, business is much better. I hope I’m the next one after my fight.”
Cormier, who trains out of the world renowned American Kicboxing Academy in San Jose, California, has been competing at light heavyweight for almost four years but ‘DC’ is no stranger to the heavyweight division.
The wrestling powerhouse spent most of his career at heavyweight and emerged as a breakout talent in 2012, thrashing MMA veteran Josh Barnett to win the Strikeforce HW Grand Prix in his hometown of San Jose.
Cormier, who turns 39 next month, made the switch to UFC the following year and beat Frank Mir and Roy Nelson before dropping to 205-pounds due to complications with teammate Cain Velasquez, who was, at the time, hyped as the next heavyweight kingpin.
Werdum, who considers Cormier a ‘good friend’, has witnessed the evolution of Cormier’s skillset over the years but believes he will fall short against Miocic in the highly anticipated super-fight on July 7.
“I love Cormier, he’s my good friend for a long time,” Werdum said. “One day, he is just a wrestling guy. I talk about the time I take him down three times, training with him, and he say that all the time, too. He was just a wrestling guy, but now he is more complete. He’s a good boxer, wrestling and jiu-jitsu. But, I think Stipe Miocic beat him by points.”
Miocic established himself as ‘the baddest man’ on the planet in his most recent title defense against the feared Francis Ngannou, beating the Cameroonian via unanimous decision at last month’s UFC 220 pay-per-view. The Ohio-born talent also holds stoppage wins over Werdum, Alistair Overeem, and Junior dos Santos and broke into the top-four pound-for-pound rankings with his win over ‘The Predator’.
UFC 226, which sees Miocic and Cormier square off in the main event, takes place during international fight week, July 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.