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UFC 241: Stipe Miocic topples Daniel Cormier to regain heavyweight belt

Miocic becomes a two-time UFC heavyweight champion

Stipe Miocic (19-3-0) used an impressive arsenal of strikes to the body to overwhelm Daniel Cormier (22-2-0, 1NC) and regain the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 241 in Anaheim.

Cormier started off fast, slamming Miocic in the first round and getting the takedown. Miocic held his ground though and after trading big shots in the second round, then used his strikes and a takedown to take a lot of starch out of Cormier in the third. A faded Cormier became a body target for Miocic in the fourth round, who pummelled Cormier before going upstairs to the head that forced referee Herb Dean to call the bout at 4:09.

It was an entertaining fight full of options for the new champion and consequences for the ex-champion.

Miocic, who will turn 37 tomorrow, is the only three-time defending champion, regains the belt for the second time. In the post-fight interview, he declined to speculate on his next opponent, preferring to celebrate the win.

Cormier, 40, lost for the first time at heavyweight and snapped a seven fight win streak. He regretted not using his wrestling more in the later rounds. “You don’t make decision based in emotions, but this is a tough pill to swallow,” he said in the post-fight interview. “At 40 years old, you know, with so many other opportunities, I need to speak to my wife, and we need to make an education decision as to what we want to do.”

Miocic, Khama Worthy earned performances of the night, while Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero earned Fight of the Night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.

UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS 

SABINA MAZO VS. SHANA DOBSON 

 

WINNER: SABINA MAZO VIA UD (30-24, 30-25, 30-25)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: SABINA MAZO VIA UD

Andrews: Sabina’s experience and technique was too much for Dobson’s raw power.

KYUNG HO KANG VS. BRANDON DAVIS 

 

WINNER: KYUNG HO KANG VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KYUNG HO KANG VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: I thought Kang would get the tap, but credit Davis for making it close.

HANNAH CIFERS VS. JODIE ESQUIBEL 

 

WINNER: HANNAH CIFERS VIA UD (30-28, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: HANNAH CIFERS VIA UD

Andrews: The book is out on Esquibel and as expected, Cifers used her striking to stifle Jodie for three rounds.

DRAKKAR KLOSE VS. CHRISTOS GIAGOS 

 

WINNER: DRAKKAR KLOSE VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DRAKKAR KLOSE VIA UD

Andrews: Nice slam and great performance by Klose.

UFC ON ESPN+ PRELIMS 

MANNY BERMUDEZ VS. CASEY KENNEY 

 

WINNER: CASEY KENNEY VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MANNY BERMUDEZ VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Good win for Kenney, not letting Bermudez get his ground game working.

CORY SANDHAGEN VS. RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO

 

WINNER: CORY SANDHAGEN VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VIA UD

Andrews: It’s official. Assuncao is now a gatekeeper.

KHAMA WORTHY VS. DEVEONTE SMITH 

 

WINNER: KHAMA WORTHY VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 4:15

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DEVONTE SMITH VIA TKO

Andrews: Worthy comes in on short notice gets the first round finish. Impressive stuff.

MAIN CARD 

#8 DEREK BRUNSON VS. #10 IAN HEINISCH 

 

WINNER: DEREK BRUNSON VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DEREK BRUNSON VIA UD

Andrews: I said Brunson is back on track and he showed it again here, changing it up to come back and grind out the win.

GABRIEL BENITEZ VS. SODIQ YUSUFF

 

WINNER: YUSUFF SODIQ VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 4:14

ANDREWS PREDICTION: YUSUFF SODIQ VIA UD

Andrews: Sodiq was prepared for the beast of Benitez and took advantage of his overconfidence.

#2 YOEL ROMERO VS. #7 PAULO COSTA 

 

WINNER: PAULO COSTA VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: YOEL ROMERO VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow! Costa definitely proved he can take a beating and still come forward to deliver his own. There had to be a winner, but both guys were impressive.

#9 ANTHONY PETTIS VS. NATE DIAZ 

 

WINNER: NATE DIAZ VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ANTHONY PETTIS VIA UD

Andrews: I thought we would get one more vintage “Showtime” performance, but Nate Diaz shut it down from the beginning. Good win.

MAIN EVENT

DANIEL CORMIER VS. #11 STIPE MIOCIC 

 

WINNER: STIPE MIOCIC VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R4 4:09

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DANIEL CORMIER VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow! Cormier traded with Moicic in the second and got worn down. Good win for Stipe. Now, what does Daniel do?

@kenaiandrews

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ExtrafeaturenewsUFC

Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.
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