Maryna Moroz has her hands wrapped before a UFC bout

On Saturday, August 17, Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic will collide in the main event of UFC 241 in Anaheim, California.

As it stands right now, Cormier vs. Miocic is one of the three most significant fights currently scheduled to air exclusively on ESPN+ for fans in the United States. Anthony Pettis will square off with Nate Diaz in a welterweight fight in the co-main event. Before then, Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa will finally stand toe-to-toe.

It’s somewhat of a small miracle that each of these three fights remains intact almost over two weeks away from fight night.

Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic

Once Brock Lesnar stormed the cage following Cormier’s first-round knockout victory in July last year, it looked as if we were on the way to a bizarre title fight between “DC” and Lesnar. That whole ordeal seemed unfair, especially since Miocic — the longest-reigning champion in UFC heavyweight history — was sitting on the sidelines asking for a rematch.

Cormier promised that he would fight the former champion if the Lesnar bout wouldn’t eventuate and he’s now set to fulfill that promise at UFC 241.

Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz

After it became clear that a trilogy bout between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor wasn’t on the cards, many viewed Diaz’s chances of returning to the cage as relatively unlikely. As we approach UFC 241, it’s now been almost three years since Diaz has stepped inside the UFC’s Octagon.

Just one week after Diaz lost that majority decision to McGregor, Anthony Pettis defeated Charles Oliveira in a featherweight bout at UFC on FOX 21. Pettis’ journey since then includes a failed interim title challenge against Max Holloway, wars with Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier at lightweight, and now a recent knockout victory against Stephen Thompson at welterweight.

As for the matchup at UFC 241, Pettis recently explained that Diaz is “one of the guys I can’t wait to hurt,” and shared that the two have a “long history.” Diaz, on the other hand, hasn’t had much to say.

Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa

This isn’t the first time that the UFC has tried to put Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa together.

The promotion officially announced Romero vs. Costa for UFC 230 late last year, but Romero was unable to compete on the card after doctors informed him that he should refrain from fighting for another “four or five months” following his bout with Robert Whittaker.

The UFC later lined up the two middleweight fighters for UFC Fight Night 150 in Sunrise, Florida, on April 27. This time around, Costa was forced to withdraw from the bout because he was dealing with what turned out to be a six-month suspension from USADA for intravenous infusions in June and November 2017.

If all goes to plan, Romero and Costa will finally battle at UFC 241.

Recent changes

Although those three key fights have remained in place, the preliminary section of the fight card has taken a couple of hits.

Maryna Moroz suffered an injury during training at American Top Team. She has since withdrawn from her bout with Poliano Botelho.

John Makdessi has also withdrawn from his upcoming bout at UFC 241 against Devonte Smith.

At the time of writing, it remains unknown whether the UFC will look to replace Makdessi and Moroz on the card.

UFC 241 Fight Card

Scheduled Fights – August 17 – Watch on ESPN+

  • Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic ?
  • Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz
  • Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa
  • Gabriel Benitez vs. Sodiq Yusuff
  • Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch
  • Drakkar Klose vs. Christos Giagos
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Cory Sandhagen
  • Manny Bermudez vs. Casey Kenney
  • Kyung Ho Kang vs. Brandon Davis
  • Hannah Cifers vs. Jodie Esquibel
  • Sabina Mazo vs. Shana Dobson

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