Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic have traded wins and the UFC Heavyweight Championship over the last couple of years. At UFC 252 on August 15, they will meet again, and we will find out who is the better man inside the Octagon.
Win, lose or draw, Cormier has said he will retire from MMA following this third bout with Miocic. Whether he will ride off into the sunset as a two-time UFC Heavyweight champ remains to be seen.
DC took less than five minutes to knock Miocic out at UFC 226 in July 2018 and end his two-year reign but had three warnings from the official about eye-gouging. This nasty undercurrent to the fight also reared its ugly head again in the rematch at UFC 241 held in the old Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California.
However, the outcome of that second encounter was quite different. Miocic stopped Cormier late in round four after a flurry of punches. The pair are thus closely matched with their trilogy set to reach a decisive conclusion in Las Vegas where it all began.
From a betting perspective, there is little between them. According to the latest UFC odds at Mansionbet, Cormier is a narrow 5/6 favourite to regain the title. Miocic is 20/23 in the market, and there are less than four-hundredths of a point separating the duo. It really is that finely balanced.
Both men boast very good records in UFC title matches. Miocic has a slight edge here with five wins from six, a ratio of over 83 per cent. Discounting the no-contest with Jon Jones at UFC 214 in 2017 over the Light Heavyweight belt, DC is six from eight in championship bouts meaning he has a winning percentage of 75.
Not that age is much of factor here, but Miocic is the younger man. He turns 38 shortly after the fight, so is no spring chicken. Cormier is 41 and had three more MMA fights than the current UFC Heavyweight champ.
The veteran pair will draw on all their experience of the octagon in order to try and win. This bout is about so much more than just the title and the rivalry between DC and Miocic; their legacies in MMA are on the line too.
As both have fewer fights in front of them than behind them, and in the case of Cormier this is the last time we will likely see him compete, it is about determining who is the best of their generation. Miocic and DC have similar backgrounds in the freestyle amateur wrestling so popular in the collegiate system with its NCAA championships.
They have that in common with another to hold the UFC Heavyweight Championship, WWE superstar Brock Lesnar who competed in MMA between 2007 and 2011 and again in 2016. Expect grappling to be a feature of Miocic vs Cormier 3 as they jockey for position. Whatever the outcome, this is one UFC pay-per-view fans of cage fighting will not want to miss.