Everyone is counting every passing day down to July 7 for UFC 226’s “The Superfight” featuring light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. There is a pretty good reason why its tagged as such.
MMA bouts of two different division champions rarely happen in history, making the Miocic vs Cormier a much-anticipated combat on the 7th of next month. Despite this, people are giddying in excitement for much more than this main event.
Featherweight champion and Waianae native Max Holloway will defend his title against Brian Ortega on UFC 226’s co-main event. This is a fight Holloway considers to also be a ‘super fight’ in itself.
“When you look at this fight, it’s amazing and it’s huge. It’s (the first) fight in almost 10 years that doesn’t have the name — a title fight at this weight class — that doesn’t have the name Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, even a (Chad) Mendes or even a (Conor) McGregor. So I think this fight is huge for the division, me and Ortega are young cats. He’s got a great team, I’ve got a great team, but the blessed is still blessed. So he’s gonna see me July 7.”
“You guys are about to see a superfight and we’re not only talking about the main event there. The superfight is a co-main event too, so this is a super card, period.”
Despite being an undefeated fighter for five years, gaining 12 straight wins including two victories over Aldo, Holloway isn’t am enormous crowd’s favourite. According to Oddsshark, his way into the Ortega fight only puts him at the -169 favourite.
Ortega, on the other hand, has built himself a reputation as one of the most dangerous fighters in the 145-pound division. He has showcased an elite level of expertise in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a rising talent in sending chills to his opponents, regardless of weight class.
Both of these fighters are confident of matching the other in the octagon, but both camps also highly respect one another.
“Now you truly have two young guys who are at the peak of their prime, at the top of their level and we are going to fight each other. For me this is exciting because I come in here in this game to test myself,” Ortega said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
“And right now I’m competing against the best guys in the featherweight division. Now I’m sitting as the No. 1 contender. There is no other way to put than you are going to have two real hungry guys, one is hungry to keep it, and the other is hungry to take it. There’s nothing else to it man except that the fireworks show isn’t going to be on fourth of July but on the seventh of July.”