According to reliable Brazilian MMA publication Combate, UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will next defend his title against an old foe in Junior Dos Santos. Combate’s report says this heavyweight title fight is likely to headline UFC 211, which will occur in Dallas, Texas on May 13.
Miocic and Dos Santos first met back in December of 2013. On that night, Dos Santos weathered an early storm to steal the momentum in the second half of the fight, and ultimately capture a contentious unanimous decision win. This criminally unheralded heavyweight war earned the pair Fight of the Night honors.
Since that 2014 battle, Miocic has not lost a fight. He rebounded from his loss to Dos Santos with a dominant 2015 defeat of the durable Mark Hunt. From there, he collected three first round knockouts in 2016, first thumping former champ Andrei Arlovski, then levelling Fabricio Werdum to win the heavyweight title, and most recently, sleeping Alistair Overeem to defend that title.
Dos Santos, who is a former heavyweight champion, has been hot and cold since his 2014 defeat of Miocic. He followed this fight with a long layoff, only to be knocked out by Alistair Overeem in his anticipated return to the cage. From there, Dos Santos burst back into contention with a lopsided decision defeat of the streaking Ben Rothwell. He has been campaigning for a rematch with Stipe Miocic ever since. Though he was briefly scheduled for a fight with Stefan Struve in Halifax this February, that fight fell through when Struve sustained a shoulder injury.
Do you think a Stipe Miocic vs. Junior Dos Santos heavyweight title fight is the right move by the UFC, or should the next heavyweight title shot have gone to Cain Velasquez or Fabricio Werdum? Sound off in the comments section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/24/2017.