In their trilogy bout, UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier fought in the main event of UFC 252 on Saturday. Here’s how their championship bout went.
Bout 11: Stipe Miocic (19-3) vs. Daniel Cormier (22-2) (UFC Heavyweight Championship)
Miocic was doing most of the work in the slow first round, connecting with a leg kick and a jab. Miocic landed a hook to the body in the second minute. Cormier got a takedown in the second minute, with Miocic getting up shortly after. Cormier held the head of Miocic with his left arm while keeping him against the cage. They separated with three minutes to go in the round. Cormier countered a series of punches in the fourth minute with a two-punch combination that connected to the head of Miocic. A pause came in the fourth minute after Miocic got a finger in his left eye. A doctor was sent into the cage to check out the eye of Miocic. The fight continued after a minute or so of a break. Miocic connected with numerous strikes in the final minute of the round, switching from targeting the head and body back and forth. Cormier landed his own series of punches later in the minute, connecting with hard punches to the head. A right hook hurt Miocic in the final 15 seconds of the round, causing him to wobble against the fencing. Miocic was able to recover and endure the closing seconds of the round.
A ground strike in the first minute of the second round to Cormier caused a pause in the fight. An uppercut hurt Cormier, with a follow-up punch connecting in the first minute of the second round. Cormier scored with a three-punch combination in the clinch in the second minute. Miocic scored with a clean left hook to the head in the third minute. They clinched twice in the fourth minute, although nothing happened either time. A right hook stuff Cormier late in the round. Cormier shot for a takedown, although he landed seated with his back against the cage with Miocic pressed against him. Miocic landed a few punches to the trapped Cormier until the round ran out of time.
Miocic was clearly stunned coming into the third round, walking around more sluggishly. Miocic landed a two-punch combination late in the first minute of the third round that hurt Cormier. They clinched up, with Miocic walking Cormier over to the fence in the clinch. They separated with three minutes left in the round. Miocic clinched again with Cormier after throwing a punch combination to get into a close distance. Miocic exited the clinch with a two-punch combination that landed clean. A right cross from Miocic hurt Cormier in the second round, causing him to back up run away from Miocic. Cormier was poked in the eye late in the round, although the referee did not see it, so the fight did not pause.
Heading into the fourth round, Cormier said he can’t see. His left eye was clearly shut due to the eye poke. Miocic out-punches Cormier throughout the round. There was numerous long clinches in the round. There was an explosive exchange late in the round where both fighters landed two shots each.
The fighters hugged to start the fifth and final round. Miocic kept Cormier in the clinch for a minute in the first half of the round. They separated with under three minutes to go in the fight. Cormier landed a series of punches after exiting a short clinch. They went back to striking with 90 seconds left in the fight following another long clinch. Cormier put Miocic against the cage for a moment, exiting the clinch with a right hook. Miocic kept Cormier against the cage in a clinch, separating a few seconds before the fight ran out of time. Needing judges to find the fate of the UFC Heavyweight belt, Miocic retained his belt (49-46, 49-46 & 48-47).
RESULT: Stipe Miocic def. Daniel Cormier via Decision, Unanimous
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