It appears that Stipe Miocic has enlisted the help of a light heavyweight champion with a particular set of skills to prepare for his UFC 226 title defense against Daniel Cormier.
Ryan Bader recently posted photos on his Instagram account of a visit to Ohio’s Strong Style Fight Team camp to train with the UFC heavyweight king. Bader, the Bellator MMA 205-pound titlist, is currently competing in the California-based promotion’s heavyweight grand prix. The Arizona native will face Matt Mitrione in the seminfinals of the tournament later this year.
“Thanks for having me out [Stipe Miocic] and for the work from the great coaches and people [at Strong Style Fight Team],” Bader wrote.
Miocic will square off against Cormier in a champion vs. champion superfight on July 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cormier, the UFC’s light heavyweight champion, was a two-time junior college national champion and an NCAA All-American as a collegiate wrestler. He was also an Olympian in freestyle wrestling. Bader, meanwhile, was a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Arizona State University.
Bader and Cormier never squared off during Bader’s UFC tenure, although the two did have an altercation following “DC’s” title-clinching victory over Anthony Johnson at UFC 187. Cormier and Bader were briefly scheduled to clash at UFC Night 68 that same year in New Orleans before Cormier was tabbed to face Johnson for the vacant light heavyweight title.