It looks like Stipe Miocic has his next title defense lined up against former champ Cain Velasquez at UFC 216.
A UFC heavyweight championship fight that fans have been clamoring for appears to be a reality.
Following an initial report from Chris Taylor of BJPenn.com, James Lynch of MMA Oddsbreaker reports citing sources that Stipe Miocic will defend his heavyweight title against former champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 216. The event will take place during at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on October 7, 2017.
The UFC has yet to officially announce the bout. Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting is reporting no fight has been booked. Miocic’s management won’t sign for a new fight until Miocic has a new contract, pointing to the fact that Miocic has made less than his last two opponents in both his title defenses.
Miocic has been on one of the most impressive streaks in UFC heavyweight history, winning and finishing his last five fights, with four of them ending in the first round. After finishing Andrei Arlovski in less than a minute at UFC 195 in January 2016, Miocic went on to knock out Fabricio Werdum to capture the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 198 four months later.
After back-to-back first-round knockout title defenses, most recently over Junior dos Santos at UFC 211, Miocic is now in the conversation as one of the greatest heavyweights in UFC history. A win over Velasquez would certainly move him closer to the top.
Velasquez, who lost the heavyweight title to Werdum at UFC 188 in June 2015, has had his career hampered by injuries over the last few years. A rematch was set for February 2016, but a back injury forced Velasquez out of his chance to regain the title. He was able to return at UFC 200 with an impressive first-round TKO victory over Travis Browne. Velasquez was once again scheduled to meet Werdum back in December at UFC 207, but was forced to withdraw from the fight and went on to have successful back surgery in January.