Trilogy Settled: Stipe Miocic Beats Daniel Cormier At UFC 252, Retains UFC Heavyweight Title

In one of the most hyped-up main events in recent memory within the heavyweight division, Stipe Miocic was able to prove he is one of the greatest champions in company history. As far as Daniel Cormier is concerned, his career ended on a loss, but he put in a great effort.

At UFC 252 inside the UFC’s APEX Center, Miocic (20-3) beat Cormier (22-3, 1 NC) via unanimous decision, 49-46, 49-46, 48-47. He ends up 2-1 in the trilogy fight with Cormier, who retired right after. 

“I’m not interested in fighting for anything but titles and I don’t imagine there’s gonna be a title in the future, so that’ll be it for me,” Cormier ended up saying.

With both fighters knowing one another so well, they tried to repeat what made their wins in the last two fights work. Miocic tried to land gut shots which affected Cormier in the second fight, while Cormier tried for hard shots like the first bout. Starting with leg kicks, Miocic would finish off the opening with a jab. He would hit a low kick to counter Cormier’s jabs. Cormier would land a takedown and then put in a front headlock, but Miocic would escape. He would hit a jab to the gut, but Cormier would land a small eye poke to Miocic.

An eye poke would end up an essential factor in the fight.

By the end of round one, Miocic had over 25 total strikes compared to Cormier’s eight.

Round two started with a big left to the face of Cormier. Miocic would try to wrestle the wrestler to open the door for possibilities. The champion would then hit a shot to the gut that moved Cormier back, but Cormier would respond with combination shots. Miocic would respond with a left hook, while Cormier did the same with a jab. After faking a takedown, Cormier landed an overhand right. The fight was almost in jeopardy as Miocic landed a right that put Cormier down to the floor. He was able to survive, however, thanks to the final bell.

Cormier still looked dazed as round three began, but still landed a right and a jab. Miocic would hit a high kick and would walk Cormier over to the fence. He would also land a spinning back elbow. While backed up against the cage, Cormier tried to play it inside. Miocic would be controlling all significant strike attempts. A main factor in the fight would be an eye poke by Miocic, which was missed by the referee. Cormier also landed another one at the same time.

It was not looking good for Cormier in round four, who after the fight stated he was blind in his eye. Miocic would land combinations and uppercuts, some that Cormier couldn’t see. Cormier, however, would hit an inside leg kick and an overhand shot. He would land a big right while also looking to choke Miocic out along the cage. Miocic, however, would have over three minutes of clinch control time.

It appeared as if Cormier was not going to use his wrestling to the best of his ability. After all, Miocic was 6-for-6 when it came to takedown defense. Miocic would land combination shots and another right soon after. Inside shots by Cormier made the fight interesting but Miocic would continue to suffocate Cormier. The two would end up by the cage after the fight.

Cormier would state that the eye poke was unfortunate, but wouldn’t protest the contest. He stated he would be only willing to come back for a title shot.

“He’s a hell of a fighter,” Miocic said about Cormier. “I wish him nothing but the best, God bless him. Amazing champion, amazing ambassador, I have no ill will towards him”

Miocic has now won two in a row and has successfully defended the UFC Heavyweight Title a combined four times. That is a record in the UFC’s history books.

Cormier is now 2-2 in his last four fights. He ends his career with a 3-2 record in six fights with one no-contest.

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