On Saturday the trilogy bout between UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier will headline pay-per-view event UFC 252. Follow this article throughout the night for coverage of all 11 bouts scheduled to go down at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Quick Results – Click a bout to skip to it:
Early Prelims (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EDT / 5:00PM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 7:00PM PDT) (PPV)
Bout 11: Stipe Miocic (19-3) vs. Daniel Cormier (22-2) (UFC Heavyweight Championship)
Retaining his UFC Heavyweight Championship, Stipe Miocic took a unanimous decision win over Daniel Cormier. The fight was the trilogy bout between the heavyweights which was tied at a win each beforehand.
As he declared heading into the fight, Saturday’s bout was the last professional MMA match for Cormier.
“I’m not interested in fighting for anything other than titles and I don’t think there will be a title in the future,” said Cormier in his post-fight interview. “Being on the losing end of two big fights and trilogies is a very sad position to be in,” reflected Cormier.
The fight hardly went to the ground, with the majority of it taking place in striking on the feet or in a clinch.
The biggest moment for Miocic in the fight came near the end of the second round, where he hurt Cormier with punches, causing him to go to the ground and endure striking until the clock ran out.
Both fighters were hit with eye pokes during the fight, with Cormier’s visibly affecting him for the rest of the fight.
“I couldn’t see the rest of the fight [out of my left eye],” said Cormier afterwards, sharing a sentiment he told his corner heading into the fourth round of the fight as well.
The main event bout was the longest in the Miocic versus Cormier trilogy. The first, a win for Cormier, came in the first round. Miocic’s win in 2019 was a fourth-round stoppage.
“I’m tired. I wanna go home,” said Miocic in his post-fight interview.
Bout 10: Sean O’Malley (12-0) vs. Marlon Vera (17-6-1) (Bantamweight)
Injury Ends O’Malley’s Undefeated Record
Capitalizing on an injury, “Chito” Marlon Vera stopped Sean O’Malley in the first round with grounded strikes in the co-main event of the evening. The finish came after O’Malley slipped and fell due to a right foot injury that had caused him to fall numerous times earlier in the fight as well.
The concern after the finish was not the strikes that O’Malley absorbed on the ground but instead his foot. He was stretchered out of the venue following the bout.
“The guy have a lot of fight, good for him, but he don’t have the dog I have inside,” said Vera after the fight.
O’Malley’s 12-fight undefeated streak was broken with his loss on Saturday. The record included four UFC wins, including two in 2020.
The fight saw Vera bounce back from a controversial scorecard loss in May against Song Yadong. Before the loss at featherweight, Vera had five-straight wins in the bantamweight division.
Bout 9: Junior dos Santos (21-7) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruick (10-1) (Heavyweight)
Rozenstruick Bounces Back With Finish Win
Getting back in the win column following his first loss as a pro, Jairzinho Rozenstruick finished Junior dos Santos in the second round with punches.
The finish came after a two-punch combination floored dos Santos. Follow-up punches dropped dos Santos again while he was working his way back to his feet, causing the referee to end the fight.
“I needed this win to get back. I needed to set it straight,” said Rozenstruick after the fight.
Earlier in the fight Rozenstruick played a more conservative role with striking, as dos Santos pushed the pace for the opening round.
Rozenstruick’s previous fight was his first loss as a pro, being finished within seconds by Francis Ngannou with punches back in May.
The loss was the third-straight for dos Santos, as in his previous fights he was finished by Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou.
Bout 8: Herbert Burns (11-2) vs. Daniel Pineda (26-13) (Featherweight)
Pineda Wins UFC Return Over Burns
Kicking off his second run in the UFC, Daniel Pineda stopped Herbert Burns in the second round with elbows to the head on the ground. The fight was Pineda’s return to the UFC after fighting 12 times outside the promotion since being released in 2014.
“Y’all keep counting me out,” said Pineda in his post-fight interview.
Pineda’s win was a damaging one, as he landed dozens of elbows to the head from the crucifix position until the referee saw enough unanswered strikes. Pineda had a strong first round as well, controlling Burns on the ground for a large part of the round.
Burns missed weight for the featherweight bout, coming in three-and-a-half pounds over the non-championship limit. 20 percent of his purse went to Pineda due to this.
Losing the bout, Burns had a five-fight winning streak snapped that included two wins in the UFC.
Bout 7: John Dodson (21-11) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (11-4) (Bantamweight)
Dvalishvili Controls Dodson For Three Rounds
A one-sided performance went to Merab Dvalishvili, who picked up a clean sweep on the scorecards over John Dodson. The fight saw Dvalishvili with grappling, as he was able to control Dodson on the feet.
Dvalishvili landed numerous takedowns in the fight, although Dodson was able to escape within seconds every time.
“I’m not even tired because I’m training with [the] best guys,” said Dvalishvili, crediting his endurance to his training camp at New York-based gym Serra-Longo Fight Team.
The win was the fifth-straight Dvalishvili in the UFC, with all of them being via decision. His most previous fight before was in June, defeating Gustavo Lopez.
After the fight, Dvalishvili said he will be able to drop his construction job and go full-time in MMA.
Bout 6: Jim Miller (32-14) vs. Vinc Pichel (12-2) (Lightweight)
Pichel Wins Close Grapping Contest Against Miller
Finishing off the prelims, Vinc Pichel won a unanimous decision over Jim Miller. The fight had numerous swings in momentum, with Pichel battling back after a strong start from Miller in the opening round.
The first round was Miller’s best, getting the fight to the ground and staying in control for the entire time. Pichel was able to get in control on the ground in the two final rounds, scoring numerous takedowns and landing ground and pound.
“That was a pretty tough fight,” Pichel admitted in his post-fight interview.
The fight was Pichel’s return to the octagon, as his fight before was a win from June of 2019.
Miller was also coming off of a win, as he defeated Roosevelt Roberts on a show last June.
The fight was Miller’s 36th in the UFC, setting a record for most fights from any individual in UFC history.
Bout 5: Felice Herrig (14-8) vs. Virna Jandiroba (15-1) (Strawweight)
Jandiroba Hands Herrig Third Consecutive Loss
Virna Jandiroba picked up a quick win on the prelims, catching Felice Herrig with an armbar in the second minute. The win came after a brief yet dominant performance on the ground by Jandiroba.
Jandiroba took the fight to the ground in the opening moments of the fight, being in control on the mat until the fight concluded.
“Felice Herrig was the 15th ranked fighter in the division, so who knows, maybe now I see myself ranked,” said Jandiroba’s translator during the post-fight interview.
The win was the second for Jandiroba, with her previous being a win over Mallory Martin last December.
Herrig came into the fight after an extended layoff, as her previous bout was in October of 2018. The fight was her third loss-in-a-row, with her 2018 losses coming against Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Michelle Waterson.
Bout 4: TJ Brown (14-7) vs. Danny Chavez (10-3) (Featherweight)
Chavez Wins UFC Debut Over Brown
Danny Chavez had a successful UFC debut, defeating TJ Brown via unanimous decision on the prelims. The strong performance saw Chavez do large amounts of damage to the head and legs of Brown, dropping him numerous times in the fight.
Brown struggled in the first two rounds of the fight as leg kicks from Chavez hurt him. There was numerous instances where Brown either fell or struggled to have balance due to constant leg kicks from Chavez.
Chavez dropped Brown in the second round with punches, although Brown was able to recover and continue.
Chavez’s previous fight was in July, defeating Dylan Cala on a Global Legion FC show.
Brown missed weight for the fight, coming in half-a-pound over the non-championship featherweight limit. Due to missing the weight, 20 percent of his fight purse went to Chavez.
The fight was the second consecutive loss for Brown, as in his UFC debut earlier in the year he was stopped by Jordan Griffin via rear naked choke.
Bout 3: Livinha Souza (13-2) vs. Ashley Yoder (7-5) (Strawweight)
Souza Bounces Back From Loss
Livinha Souza picked up a unanimous decision win on the prelims, defeating Ashley Yoder. The win was a bounce back for Souza, as her previous fight was a loss to Briana Van Buren in June of 2019.
Souza had strong striking in the fight, connecting frequently with right hooks to the head of Yoder. Yoder had her moments as well, getting a round on scorecards from two of the three official judges scoring the fight.
Yoder’s best moments on the feet was when she used her reach advantage, keeping Souza at a distance with kicks and straight punches.
Yoder got her second consecutive loss, with the one before coming against Randa Markos.
Bout 2: Chris Daukaus (8-3) vs. Parker Porter (10-5) (Heavyweight)
Daukaus Has Explosive UFC Debut
Winning his UFC debut, Chris Daukaus stopped Parker Porter in the first round with punches. The finish came in the final minute of the round, as Daukaus dropped Porter for the second time with punches.
Daukaus was coming off of a year-long layoff with his win. He was set to fight on a CFFC card earlier in the week before being offered a UFC fight.
“Come to Martinez BJJ, that’s us, and we’ll show you how to throw hands,” said Daukaus, shouting out his gym in his post-fight interview.
Porter, a fighter who had competed in promotions like Bellator and CES before, was also making his UFC debut.
Bout 1: Kai Kamaka (7-2) vs. Tony Kelley (5-1) (Featherweight)
Kamaka Wins Impressive Debuting Duel With Kelley
Kicking off the show, Kai Kamaka prevailed from an intense striking battle against Tony Kelley via unanimous decision. The fight, which was a debut for both fighters, was an impressive showing as they fought at a fast and damaging pace throughout.
Kamaka had his best round early, as he was clearly hurting Kelley on the feet in the second half of the first round. While Kelley was able to connect with hard strikes on the feet, Kamaka showed also showed his ability with numerous takedowns in the first two rounds.
Kamaka earned his second win within a month, as he also defeated Michael Stack on an LFA card in late July. Kamaka extended his winning streak to six-in-a-row with the victory.