Ahead of his UFC heavyweight title fight against light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 226, Stipe Miocic has brought in former UFC fighter and Bellator champion Ryan Bader to his training camp.
Miocic (18-2) broke the record for the most consecutive UFC heavyweight title defenses (3) when he defeated Francis Ngannou by unanimous decision at UFC 220 in January. Prior to that fight, the 35-year-old had knocked out top heavyweight contenders such as Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem to defend his title.
Bader, 34, took to Instagram last week to post pictures of himself and Miocic training together at the Strong Style Training Center, which is Miocic’s gym located in Independence, Ohio. The Bellator light heavyweight champion progressed to the semi-finals of the Bellator heavyweight Grand Prix last month, when he knocked out Muhammad Lawal in just 15 seconds at Bellator 199.
Interestingly enough, Cormier and Bader were supposed to fight in the main event of UFC Fight Night 68 in June 2015, but Cormier was pulled from the fight to replace Jon Jones at UFC 187, after he was stripped of his light heavyweight title following a hit-and-run incident.
When Cormier went on to defeat Anthony Johnson to win the vacant 205-pound title at UFC 187, Bader gatecrashed Cormier’s post-fight press conference to call out ‘DC’ for a title shot. The two continued to have a war of words following that incident, but a fight between them never did materalize.
UFC 226 takes place on July 7th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. As well as a superfight between Miocic and Cormier, the event will also feature a featherweight title fight, as current champion Max Holloway will attempt to defend his belt against Brian Ortega.