MMA fans have much to look forward to in the coming months as the UFC’s marquee events take shape. The announcement of the heavyweight title fight between Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos has just made UFC 211 a whole lot more exciting.
First reported by Combate and later confirmed by Ariel Helwani, it will be the Ohio native’s second defence of the heavyweight title he won in May of last year and will see him face one of only two men to have defeated the 34-year-old in his professional career.
The pair last met in 2015, where Dos Santos emerged victorious following an enthralling battle that saw him come out on top on the judges’ scorecards.
With the heavyweight title on the line, both fighters will have added motivation for the May 13th headliner. One wants revenge, the other wants the gold.
As if this wasn’t a big enough fight for fans, rumours have surfaced in recent days that Eddie Alvarez could return to the octagon at the same event and face none other than Nate Diaz, in a lightweight contest where both will look to bounce back from defeats to Conor McGregor in November and August respectively.
MMA Fighting’s respected journalist Ariel Helwani has confirmed as much though he did not go so far as to nail down the intended venue or event.
The one they want is Alvarez, but it's not close to done. https://t.co/3MMl78NFHJ
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 5, 2017
There is nothing official at this time and Diaz’s recent Twitter update suggests he is either not interested in a fight with Alvarez, or he is playing hard ball with UFC president Dana White.
Were an Alvarez v Diaz fight to be confirmed for UFC 211, it would be the biggest event since UFC 205, when the promotion returned to New York for the first time in two decades and saw McGregor become a simultaneous two-weight champion, when he demolished Alvarez in eight minutes.
With Miocic v Dos Santos 2 confirmed and Alvarez v Diaz still mere speculation, fans dare not dream of such an incredible main card. However, there generally is never smoke without fire so they may well hope White has something in the works.
Who wouldn’t want to see this one?
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena