2018 has been an up and down rollercoaster for UFC fans across the globe. Outside UFC 220 headlined by Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou, UFC 223 in Brooklyn, and the recent fight between Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje, there haven’t been many fight cards that stood out thus far.
If you are feeling down, things are looking up. The UFC has put together a real treat for every fight fan with UFC 226 that goes down during International Fight Week on July 7, 2018. UFC 226 will headlined by heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic vs light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight belt. This card goes much deeper than just the headliner like usual however.
What makes for a good card? This is a question with a very simple answer. Storyline between top level MMA fighters, one right after the other, fighting for titles and pushing their way to the top rankings.
In the co main event the current UFC featherweight champion, Max Holloway will be taking on one of the most exciting prospects. Brian Ortega’s most recent fight at UFC 222 in March against Frankie Edgar was the talk of the town after stepping in on short notice due to a Holloway injury, winning in the first round by KO. This proved to everyone that Ortega was not just a “One Trick Pony” and is able to hang with the best in the division. Holloway on the other hand has really come into his own in recent years with two back-to-back wins over Jose Aldo and at only 26 years years of age. Holloway’s last loss stretches all the way back to late August of 2013 against Conor McGregor by way of decision. Since then Holloways gone on a 12-fight win streak inside the octagon.
Moving further down on the main card we have what could be one of the best brawls in UFC heavyweight history as 11-2 Francis Ngannou returns hungrier than ever after a recent loss to the current champion Stipe Miocic. The 31-year old Ngannou will be taking on another hungry 33-year old predator by the name of Derrick Lewis (19-5) who unlike Francis, is coming into this fight fresh off a win from back in February over Marcin Tybura. This division has no mercy as fight fans have grown to understand a win for either guy will not promise a shot at the title but if there is one thing that’s promised here it is the fact that both guys are dangerous and can win the fight with just one punch.
Below that we move into the lightweight divison with Michael “Maverick” Chiesa taking on Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. This fight was supposed to take place at UFC 223 but we all know what happened there. Both of these guys are coming off a recent loss and if there’s one thing we know its that there is nothing scarier than a fighter with his back against the wall. Pettis has been trying to find his place in this divison after moving up from featherweight where he lost against Max Hollow in 2016. Only 31-years old and Pettis has accomplished so much in this sport. He was even the first MMA fighter to be featured on ESPN highlight reel and also the first MMA fighter to make the cover of a “Wheaties” cereal box. His opponent Michael Chiesa (14-3) is also coming off a very controversial loss to Kevin Lee back in July of 2017, but also holds wins over some of the best in the UFC like Jim Miller, Beniel Dariush, Francisco Trinaldo and Al Iaquinta.