UFC 226 is Shaping Up to Be the Greatest UFC Card of All Time

Stipe Miocic - the most successful heavyweight champion the UFC has ever seen.
Stipe Miocic - the most successful heavyweight champion the UFC has ever seen. Photo By: Myumyun Myumyun Zare/Fars News Agency (Flickr) [CC License]
  • UFC 226 takes place on July 7th at the T-Mobile Arena
  • Heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic defends his title against light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier
  • Max Holloway looks to extend the “Blessed Era” as he takes on top contender Brian Ortega

Cross your fingers and pray that nothing goes wrong. 2018 has been a lethargic year for the UFC and their upcoming pay-per-view event, UFC 226: Miocic vs Cormier, is finally something to get excited about.

The promotion has big plans for International Fight Week, booking two championship fights for their July 7th event. Light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier moves up to 265 lbs to take on heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic, for what should be a thrilling double-champion showdown. And top contender Brian Ortega will attempt to end the “Blessed Era” when he takes on featherweight champ Max Holloway.

Fighter Bovada Moneyline
Stipe Miocic -280
Daniel Cormier +220
Fighter Bovada Moneyline
Max Holloway -165
Brian Ortega +135

If you’re a fight fan, this is not an event to miss. How does it compare to the greatest UFC events of the past? Let’s see!

The promotion has big plans for International Fight Week, booking two championship fights for their July 7th event.

5. UFC 200: Tate vs Nunes

It could have been the greatest event in UFC history. Dana White had booked two of the biggest fights imaginable: Diaz vs McGregor 2 and Cormier vs Jones 2. But it was too good to be true. McGregor was pulled from the card and Jones tested positive for a banned substance. To salvage the crumbling event, Brock Lesnar and Anderson Silva were called in to keep fans interested.

It wasn’t the rousing success the UFC was hoping for, but they still managed to haul in almost $11 million at the gate. That’s the most the UFC has ever generated at the T-Mobile arena.

  • Odds UFC 226 breaks the UFC T-Mobile gate record: 4/1
  • Over/Under on UFC 226 main card fights to be scrapped: 0.5

4. UFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey

The event that marked the end for Ronda Rousey. After a year-long layoff, the queen of MMA returned to the octagon with the backing of her loyal fans, only to be stopped within a minute of the opening bell. It proved that Rousey was no longer fit for the UFC but it also confirmed her status as one of the biggest draws in combat sports.

UFC 207 pulled in 18,533 people into T-Mobile Arena, a UFC record for the Vegas venue. It also raked in over a million PPV buys, making it one of the most successful events in UFC history.

  • Odds UFC 226 breaks the T-Mobile attendance record for a UFC event: 3/1
  • Odds either Miocic and Cormier announce their retirement after the event: 2/1

3. UFC 202:  Diaz vs McGregor 2

1.65 million buys. This was the first UFC event after the WME-IMG buyout, and the new ownership was eager to start getting their money’s worth. McGregor vs Diaz 1 was a huge success, so the UFC followed the Hollywood model and booked a sequel.

The fight was more than just a financial success. The five-rounder between Diaz and McGregor proved to be one of the most entertaining fights of all time, with constant shifts in momentum and several moments when both fighters had their chances to finish the fight.

  • Odds UFC 226 breaks UFC 202’s pay-per-view record: 35/1
  • Odds either title fight in UFC 226 results in an immediate rematch: 4/1

2. UFC 100: Lesnar vs Mir

The stars aligned perfectly for UFC 100. Brock Lesnar was the heavyweight champ and Frank Mir had earlier clinched the interim title. The two first met at UFC 88, where Lesnar lost his UFC debut to Mir. The stage was set for an amazing rematch between the two heavyweight giants.

Lesnar avenged his loss, stopping Mir in the second round and flipping the double bird to his haters. On the preliminary card, a young Jon Jones made easy work of Jake O’Brien. Two years later, Jones would begin his reign as light heavyweight champ.

  • Odds the winner of Miocic vs Cormier fights Brock Lesnar next: 3/1
  • Odds a prelim fighter becomes champion within the next two years: 4/1

1. UFC 217: Bisping vs St-Pierre

UFC 217 was the fourth card to feature three title fights, and the first to create three new champions in a single night. Joanna Jędrzejczyk lost her first professional fight to the underrated Rose Namajunas; T.J. Dillashaw stopped Cody Garbarandt after almost getting knockout himself; and Georges St-Pierre staged a triumphant UFC comeback by defeating middleweight champ Michael Bisping.

It had a little bit of everything. The return of a UFC legend, the introduction of a new female star, and the start of a bitter rivalry. What more could you ask for?

  • Odds on number of titles to change hands after UFC 226
Number of New Champions Odds
0 29/21
1 27/23
2 22/3

 

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