LAS VEGAS — The backdrop for UFC 252’s most important occasion heavyweight title battle couldn’t have been extra intriguing. It was a “good storm” of circumstances, based on UFC president Dana White.
A sequence tied at 1-1, that includes Stipe Miocic, the one man who has ever defended the UFC’s heavyweight championship three consecutive instances, and Daniel Cormier, the one man who has ever crushed Miocic in a championship battle.
Cormier knocked out Miocic to grab the title in 2018. Miocic returned the favor to win it again in 2019.
So, Saturday was for all of the marbles — not solely a UFC belt, however everlasting bragging rights for the winner and the excellence of best UFC heavyweight of all time. And oh, on high of all that, it will additionally function the ultimate battle of Cormier’s profession. Nobody knew how the night time would go, solely that it will not disappoint.
There was no knockout this time, however Miocic gained a fiercely contested battle by unanimous resolution. Listed here are 5 vital points from crucial battle in UFC heavyweight historical past.
Closing the rounds
Stipe Miocic makes use of a mix of fantastic takedown protection and lands some strikes of his personal as he retains the heavyweight title at UFC 252.
The battle consisted of 5 shut, aggressive rounds. In response to UFC Stats, Miocic landed 115 important strikes within the bout. Cormier landed 105.
In rounds that shut, moments can imply all the pieces. Seen injury means all the pieces. And Cormier struck first within the opening spherical, when he staggered Miocic with a proper hand simply moments earlier than the bell.
That shot ruined what had been a reasonably good spherical to that time for Miocic. And two of the three judges scored it for Cormier.
However would not you understand it, the identical factor occurred within the very subsequent spherical, with the roles reversed. Cormier outlanded Miocic within the second spherical, however Miocic dropped him with a large proper cross within the ultimate 10 seconds to steal the spherical on all three judges’ scorecards.
“Did I drop?” Cormier requested his nook in between the second and third rounds. “Did I drop?”
“No,” his coach, Bob Cook dinner, responded. “However I want you to get your head on this sport.”
‘I am unable to see’
Daniel Cormier analyzes his loss to Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title, the place Cormier claims to have suffered difficulties seeing from a watch poke. (edited)
It took a complete yr for the UFC to ebook Saturday’s trilogy battle, and the primary cause for the delay was Miocic’s eyes. He required eye surgical procedure in 2020 after sustaining accidents brought on by eye pokes throughout his 2019 bout towards Cormier. Miocic instructed ESPN previous to the battle he meant to deliver up the topic of eye pokes to the referee.
It did not take lengthy for that narrative to influence the third battle. Cormier poked Miocic within the left eye throughout the first spherical.
“My unhealthy, bro,” Cormier stated instantly after the foul. Miocic finally continued.
Late within the third spherical, Cormier turned away from Miocic in ache, and because the bell rang to complete the spherical, Cormier yelled within the path of referee Marc Goddard that he’d been poked. Cormier was incensed as he returned to his nook, even prompting Goddard to stroll him again and say, “Daniel, you bought punched. Sit down, my pal.”
— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) August 16, 2020
Nevertheless, replays would present Miocic’s left hand was open throughout one of many punches, and his outstretched fingers dug into Cormier’s left eye. After the battle, Cormier refused to complain about Miocic’s intentions inside that second, however was nonetheless blatantly heated concerning the foul.
“I imply f—, have a look at my eye,” Cormier stated after the bout. “I am unable to see out of my left eye. It is black. It is black. It’s what it’s. It would not matter.”
“I felt unhealthy,” Miocic stated. “But it surely wasn’t intentional. I instructed him, ‘Sorry,’ throughout the battle. What are you gonna do? He did it to me a number of instances. No matter, mine wasn’t on goal. Truthfully, I did not know I had poked him within the eye till I seemed up and noticed the replay and stated, ‘Oh, I completely poked him within the eye. My unhealthy.’”
Earlier than the tip of the night time, Cormier would inform ESPN he’d been recognized with a torn cornea, and Goddard would challenge a public apology for lacking the foul.
Chael Sonnen breaks down Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier and explains what the difference-maker was in Miocic’s unanimous resolution victory.
Miocic beat Cormier within the second assembly largely because of a midfight adjustment — a choice to tear Cormier’s physique with left arms. He made one other key midfight adjustment within the third battle — working the clinch.
About 90 seconds into the third spherical, Miocic’s nook instructed him to push Cormier into the fence and maintain him there. That place turned a favourite of Miocic’s the remainder of the best way, as he held Cormier within the clinch for prolonged stretches of time within the third, fourth and fifth rounds.
Within the rapid aftermath of the battle, Cormier admitted that may have been the deciding think about a really shut battle. Judges in the end scored it for Miocic 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47.
“I consider that separated the shut rounds,” Cormier stated.
The place was the wrestling?
Ariel Helwani explains what Daniel Cormier’s UFC legacy shall be following his retirement claims after dropping his heavyweight title battle towards Stipe Miocic.
The smaller cage within the UFC’s Apex facility was imagined to favor Cormier, the stronger wrestler and a former Olympian. And after abandoning wrestling in his second battle towards Miocic, Cormier vowed to not make the identical mistake Saturday.
“I like combating on the Apex,” Cormier stated earlier this summer season on ESPN’s DC & Helwani Present. “That outdated leg is gonna be proper in entrance of me to seize. If you wish to see a 25-minute stand-up battle, that is not what you are getting. I hope Stipe has his wrestling sneakers, as a result of with the small cage, single-leg [takedown], single-leg, single-leg, single-leg — wrestling.”
And Cormier did get a takedown within the first spherical, however that was it. He tried only one extra, and that was unsuccessful.
Cormier had stated it is not as simple it sounds to take down an athlete like Miocic, who stated he had been engaged on his wrestling extra this coaching camp.
However because it turned out, Miocic did not want these wrestling sneakers.
Joe Rogan and Dominick Cruz talk about the historic implications of Stipe Miocic’s victory over Daniel Cormier within the heavyweight title battle at UFC 252.
Though many undoubtedly need to hear extra from Cormier about his future, as of proper now, the 41-year-old legend says he’s finished. Previous to leaving the UFC’s Apex facility, he instructed commentator Joe Rogan he doesn’t count on to battle once more.
“I am not considering combating for something however titles, and I do not think about there’s going to be a title sooner or later,” Cormier stated. “That is it for me. I’ve had a long term. It has been nice. I simply fought my final battle for a heavyweight championship and it was a reasonably good battle.”
On the postfight information convention, White stated he nonetheless would not assume Cormier will retire, a prediction he made previous to the battle as effectively.
Miocic, then again, stated he’ll completely proceed to battle, and even joked on the information convention about any rumors that he was additionally contemplating retiring.
Heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou, who misplaced to Cormier in 2018 however has since gained 4 fights through first-round knockout, watched the battle from his dwelling in Cameroon and instructed ESPN over the telephone he would like to face Miocic in December. White confirmed on the information convention that Ngannou will get the following title shot.
If there may be any wrench in these plans, it is going to be gentle heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who additionally threw his identify within the ring to face the heavyweight GOAT.
“Keep away from Stipe’s proper hand, I am too quick, I will be too robust when the time is correct and have approach an excessive amount of power,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “Quickly and really quickly I will be thought of the baddest man on this planet.”