UFC 241 Recap: Miocic Regains Title

Stipe Miocic has regained the UFC heavyweight championship and arguably has moved up the ranks of the UFC’s greatest heavyweights of all time. Miocic stopped Daniel Cormier in four rounds to win the title in the main event of UFC 241.

Things did not look like they would go this way in the opening five minutes, however, as Cormier clipped Miocic several times in the opening round before slamming him and continuing his assault on the ground. Cormier continued to come forward with his hands in the second, but not keeping his hands up backfired some. Miocic got back into the fight. Miocic rocked Cormier some and landed several hard shots after putting up with Cormier’s attacks.

Cormier snuck in and tagged the challenger with several jabs in the third round, but Miocic found his range and showed strong boxing, even getting in his own takedown on Cormier and stopping one of his.

Miocic then put Cormier away in the fourth, landing a flurry of unrelenting left hooks to the body before Herb Dean was forced to step in.

The co-main event of the evening saw Nate Diaz make his long-awaited return to the Octagon, and it was a successful one. Diaz scored a unanimous decision win over Anthony Pettis.

Both men were patient to start the fight, though Pettis did manage to land some shots in. Diaz, however, clipped him and brought him to the ground, with each man attempting to score at least one submission. Diaz applied pressure from the get-go in the second, getting the fight back to the ground and being the offensive one there and in the follow-up clinch. He also nearly overwhelmed Pettis with shots before the end of the second.

Another early flurry from Diaz nearly forced a referee stoppage in the third round, but Pettis managed to fight through and ended up on top in Diaz’s guard. But Diaz landed several strong strikes from the ground and a couple of more submission attempts before the fight’s end, as Diaz took a unanimous decision.

Before all that, Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa competed in an absolute war of middleweight contenders. The fight featured plenty of exchanging, with both men dropping one another in the opening round. Costa had more output in the second round, and while Romero troubled him several times in the third, the “Soldier of God” didn’t seem to have the energy to put Costa away. Costa won all three judges’ cards 29-28.

Main card (ESPN+ PPV at 10 p.m. ET)

UFC Heavyweight Title: Stipe Miocic def. (c) Daniel Cormier via TKO (Rd. 4, 4:09)

Nate Diaz def. Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Paulo Costa def. Yoel Romero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Sodiq Yusuff def. Gabriel Benitez via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:14)

Derek Brunson def. Ian Heinisch via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Card (ESPN at 8 p.m. ET)

Khama Worthy def. Devonte Smith via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:15)

Cory Sandhagen def. Raphael Assuncao via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Drakkar Klose def. Christos Giagos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Casey Kenney def. Manny Bermudez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Early Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET)

Hannah Cifers def. Jodie Esquibel via unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Kyung Ho Kang def. Brandon Davis via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Sabina Mazo def. Shana Dobson via unanimous decision (30-24, 30-25, 30-25)

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