UFC 220: Miocic, Cormier Hold Off Rising Contenders

Stipe Miocic retained the UFC Heavyweight Championship in the main event of UFC 220, held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, becoming the first UFC heavyweight champion with three consecutive successful title defenses in the promotion’s history.

Despite thoughts of Miocic vs. challenger Francis Ngannou ending in a quick knockout, the fight actually went the distance, and Miocic was very dominant throughout the fight. Miocic got a single-leg takedown in early in the fight, and while Ngannou popped up not long after, Miocic made him eat several shots. One of Miocic’s strikes landed hard and square knocking him back, and Miocic got the challenger into side control and in the crucifix position. The two had a heavy exchange, but round one went to the champ without question.

Miocic struggled early in the second, getting a takedown stuffed and nearly got countered on a bad kick. But after Ngannou landed an uppercut, Miocic got the fight back to the ground, where he dominated once again. Over the remaining three rounds, Miocic got Ngannou in a grappling battle or on the ground, where he outworked the Cameroonian with wrestling and ground-and-pound. Ngannou, who had never seen past the second round in his young UFC career, was clearly gassed and exhausted early and had little energy left by the end of the fight.

All three judges scored the bout in Miocic’s favor, 50-44.

Daniel Cormier retained his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the co-main event, defeating Volkan Oezdemir. Cormier looked to try to get the fight to the ground, but Oezdemir threatened with hard shots to the head. After a clinch battle, Cormier started to counter punches from his challenger. Each landed a heavy shot on the button that rocks the other. Cormier got a takedown and nearly got in a rear-naked choke, but time expired in round one.

Cormier, however, finished things in the second, getting Oezdemir into side control, pinning an arm and going to work on ground-and-pound to the head.

UFC 220 Results:

Main Card:
UFC Heavyweight Championship: (c.) Stipe Miocic def. Francis Ngannou via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44)
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship: (c.) Daniel Cormier def. Volkan Oezdemir via TKO (Rd. 2, 2:00)
Featherweight: Calvin Kattar def. Shane Burgos via TKO (Rd. 3, 0:32)
Light Heavyweight: Gian Villante def. Francimar Barroso via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
Bantamweight: Rob Font def. Thomas Almeida via TKO (Rd. 2, 2:24)

Preliminary Card:
Featherweight: Kyle Bochniak def. Brandon Davis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Welterweight: Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Sabah Homasi via KO (Rd. 1, 3:47)
Flyweight: Dustin Ortiz def. Alexandre Pantoja via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Featherweight: Julio Arce def. Dan Ige via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Early Preliminary Card:
Featherweight: Enrique Barzola def. Matt Bessette via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweight: Islam Makhachev def. Gleison Tibau via KO (Rd. 1, 0:57)

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