What’s next for Sean O’Malley after UFC 260?

Sean O'Malley

This past Saturday at UFC 260, the Suga Show returned to the octagon. On the PPV main card, Sean O’Malley (13-1) took on Thomas Almeida (22-5) in a big matchup in the bantamweight division.

There is no questioning the fact that Sean O’Malley has star appeal. The young bantamweight contender has amassed a big following on social media and his fighting style/personality makes him a very polarizing figure.

O’Malley suffered his first career loss back at UFC 252 against Chito Vera (16-7-1). In that fight, O’Malley started very well, but ultimately, the calf kicks of Chito Vera cut down the young contender and Vera got the TKO win.

This was a huge fight for O’Malley because a loss would be detrimental to his appeal. Thomas Almeida at one point was looked at as a future UFC champion. He was once 21-1, however, a skid had him 1-3 in his last four leading to UFC 260.

Unfortunately for Almeida, the skid didn’t stop. Outside of landing some decent kicks, Almeida was completely dominated by O’Malley. O’Malley ended up scoring a massive third round KO to show the world that UFC 252 wasn’t the end of the Suga Show after all.

What’s next after UFC 260?

Prior to his loss to Vera, O’Malley had just entered the UFC’s top fifteen at bantamweight. With Vera in that fifteenth spot, I don’t expect to see O’Malley in the rankings when they get updated tomorrow.

However, I believe he needs to fight a ranked opponent in his next fight. There are a couple of options out there for the Suga Show. One fight I like is the winner of the upcoming Cody Stamann – Merab Dvalishvili fight. 

Whoever would win between that winner and O’Malley would shoot into the top ten of the division. However, there’s another intriguing matchup that Chael Sonnen mentioned on Saturday night.

That matchup would be against former UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz (23-3). Cruz just got back on the winning track after a lengthy layoff at UFC 259. A matchup between the two would make a lot of sense for both.

For O’Malley, it would give him the chance to defeat a former UFC champion and arguably the greatest bantamweight of all time. For Dominick Cruz, he could make a statement to O’Malley’s following that he’s still here and he’s not going anywhere. Several compelling options for The Suga Show.

Sean O’Malley knocks Thomas Almeida out at UFC 260

Sean O'Malley

The third fight on the UFC 260 main card was a bantamweight showdown between “Suga” Sean O’Malley (12-1) and Thomas Almeida (22-4). Both of these men were looking to get back on track after a loss in their last outing.

Back at UFC 252, Sean O’Malley saw his perfect record see it’s first blemish in a loss to Chito Vera. After a good start from O’Malley, Vera landed some beautiful calf kicks that deadened the leg of O’Malley.

After that, Vera followed up and got the TKO win. O’Malley has become a star with a huge following, but in order for his star to grow, he needed to get back on track with a win tonight.

Standing in his way was Thomas Almeida. Almeida was once considered the future of the UFC‘s bantamweight division. At one point, he was 21-1 and looked like he was closing in on a title shot.

However, that is where he ran into Cody Garbrandt. Garbrandt knocked him out in the first round and starting with that loss, Almeida is just 1-3 in his last four. UFC 260 was a massive opportunity for him to get back on track.

UFC 260 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 260 bantamweight contest opened with a touch of the gloves. O’Malley moves forward immediately and looks to land a 1-2. Almeida gets his striking going with a calf kick.

O’Malley keeps looking for the left hand throughout the first minute. Another calf kick lands for Almeida, but O’Malley counters with his own big leg kick. A big body kick lands for O’Malley.

A nasty spinning back kick to the body lands for O’Malley. Almeida pushes forward and lands a massive left hook, but O’Malley just ate it. Another big body kick lands for Sean O’Malley.

The kicks were working everywhere for The Suga Show in the first. A massive head kick lands and Almeida goes down. O’Malley walks away, but the fight wasn’t stopped. Almeida gets up and they keep fighting.

Another huge head kick lands for O’Malley, but Almeida took this one clean. Almeida pushes forward and lands a good right hand to close the round. Dominant opening round at UFC 260 for Sean O’Malley.

Round 2

Almeida seemed to have recovered to start the second round at UFC 260. O’Malley opens the striking with a straight left hand. Almeida was struggling with the distance and O’Malley catches him with a clean combination.

A good low kick lands for Almeida and it sits down O’Malley briefly. Another massive low kick lands for Almeida. A side kick to the leg lands for O’Malley and it briefly buckles the leg of Almeida.

A couple of clean left hands land for Sean O’Malley. 1-2 up the middle for O’Malley. Again, it appears that Thomas Almeida was struggling with the distance. Front kick to the body lands for Sean O’Malley.

One minute left in the round and O’Malley starts pushing forward. However, Almeida lands some massive leg kicks that backs him off. O’Malley slips on a flying knee attempt and the round ends. I think it’s 2-0 O’Malley at UFC 260.

Round 3

Heading into the final round at UFC 260 and I think Almeida needs the finish in this one. The two touch gloves and the action begins. A good front kick lands to start for O’Malley.

A huge low kick from O’Malley swings Almeida around. Almeida looks for an entry, but O’Malley lands another front kick to the leg which made him back off. O’Malley was just picking Almeida apart here in the first 90 seconds.

A huge 1-2 lands for Sean O’Malley. Almeida starts pressing forward with urgency, but couldn’t land anything. A couple of clean straight lefts land from O’Malley, but Almeida keeps pushing forward.

O’Malley just keeps popping him with clean shots, but Almeida keeps coming. A massive left hand lands from O’Malley and Almeida falls. O’Malley walks away again, but the referee doesn’t stop it. This time, O’Malley follows with a massive clean shot and Almeida is out cold.

Sean O’Malley def. Thomas Almeida by KO – Round 3

UFC 260 Preview: Sean O’Malley – Thomas Almeida

Sean O'Malley

Tomorrow night on the UFC 260 main card, we will see a highly anticipated bantamweight matchup. One of the young stars in the sport, “Suga” Sean O’Malley (12-1), is making his return against Thomas Almeida (22-4).

The last time we saw The Suga Show as back at UFC 252. O’Malley took on Chito Vera in the co-main event. Early on in the fight, I was encouraged by what I saw out of O’Malley.

His speed and feints were giving Vera issues and it looked like we could be heading towards another O’Malley win. However, Vera started to land some nasty calf kicks and one completely deadened the leg of O’Malley.

O’Malley proceeded to roll his ankle a few times and Chito capitalized to get the TKO win. It was the first loss for O’Malley, but there’s still a lot of UFC hype behind him. Prior to that loss, O’Malley had two TKO wins in 2020 after a two year layoff.

O’Malley is going to be looking to get back on track against Thomas Almeida. A few years ago, many were looking at Thomas Almeida as a future UFC champion. Almeida was 21-1 heading into a matchup with Cody Garbrandt.

Garbrandt ended up starching Almeida on his run to becoming UFC champion. Since then, Almeida has gone just 1-3 inside the octagon. The last time we saw him was back in October where he dropped a decision to Jonathan Martinez.

UFC 260 Prediction

When it comes to the hype around Almeida from a few years ago, I’m not sure it was really warranted. He had an incredible record, but a lot of that was padded. When the competition level really turned up, we saw him falter in the UFC.

However, you could also question the competition level of O’Malley. Now, when it comes to their skillsets, I really like Sean O’Malley. He’s longer, he’s crisper on the feet and he has very good skills on the ground that we really haven’t seen.

For Almeida to be successful at UFC 260, he needs to go right after O’Malley’s legs. Attack the lead calf and take the Chito Vera strategy. If he can’t, I think he’s going to get picked apart.

In addition to losing, we’ve also seen Almeida’s chin look incredibly suspect. If O’Malley lands clean tomorrow night, I think it’s over. In the end, I think O’Malley is going to get back on track with a TKO win at UFC 260.

Prediction: “Suga” Sean O’Malley by TKO – Round 1

UFC books Sean O’Malley – Thomas Almeida

Sean O'Malley

The Suga Show is back. The UFC has finalized a matchup between “Suga” Sean O’Malley (12-1) and Thomas Almeida (22-4). O’Malley announced the news on his YouTube page last night and said that the fight was booked for UFC 260 at the end of March.

While O’Malley has a huge following with a lot of hype, several years ago, Thomas Almeida was a prospect with ton of hype. In 2016, Thomas Almeida was 21-0 and he looked like he was going to be a force in the UFC‘s bantamweight division.

That’s when the promotion booked him against Cody Garbrandt. At the time, Garbrandt and Almeida entered the contest as unbeaten prospects. However, only one of them looked elite on the night that they fought.

Almeida was knocked out by Cody Garbrandt in the first round. Thomas Almeida did bounce back later in the year with a knockout of Albert Morales. However, that’s the last time he’s tasted victory inside the octagon.

We’ve only seen Almeida in the UFC three times since 2017 and he’s lost all three. He just returned back in October for the first time since January of 2018 and dropped a decision to Jonathan Martinez.

UFC’s Suga Show

As we were going through 2020, it appeared that the sky was the limit for the Suga Show. Sean O’Malley had two years off with some USADA issues, but returned with two vicious knockouts in the first half of the year.

Many were saying that he would be challenging for a UFC title at some point in 2021. However, that was all derailed when he took on Chito Vera back at UFC 252 in August. O’Malley looked very good when the fight started.

Vera was biting hard on feints, but halfway through the round, Vera started finding success. He ended up landing a calf kick that deadened the leg of O’Malley. O’Malley ended up rolling his ankle a number of times after.

Seeing the wounded O’Malley in front of him, Chito went in for the kill and got the stoppage. In all honesty, if O’Malley was going to lose, it was the most ideal situation. He didn’t get outclassed or dominated so his brand really didn’t suffer.

Now, we will see his return at UFC 260. This fight is so interesting because Almeida needs to win to keep his spot in the UFC while O’Malley needs to win to regain some steam. It’s honestly a must-win fight for both of these bantamweights in March.

What’s next for Chito Vera after UFC Vegas 17?

This past Saturday in the co-main event of the evening at UFC Vegas 17, Chito Vera (16-7-1) got the biggest fight of his career. Vera got the opportunity to face former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (29-7).

Aldo was coming off of a loss in a title fight against the UFC bantamweight champion, Petr Yan. A win for Vera over Aldo would vault him into title contention. This was a big step up for him in competition.

Chito was coming off of a win over Sean O’Malley that took place at UFC 252. O’Malley was arguably the most hyped prospect in the UFC. However, Chito was able to use effective leg kicks to chop down the Suga Show.

There were a few things that worried me about Chito’s win over O’Malley leading up to UFC Vegas 17. In his win back in August, Chito was really biting on the feints of Sean O’Malley. Every time O’Malley would feint, Vera’s reaction was clear and obvious.

During the first round of their fight, O’Malley was getting the better of it before Vera’s leg kicks debilitated him. Going into a fight against a guy like Aldo, I thought Chito would have a lot of problems if he fought the same.

Unfortunately for Chito, he did in the first round. Aldo dominated the striking in the first round ripping to the body and kicking his legs. Chito did much better in the second round putting pressure on Aldo and stole the round with his pressure.

In the third round, Chito found himself taken down and had Aldo on his back for virtually the entire round. What resulted was a clear victory for the former UFC featherweight champion.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 17?

So the question becomes, what’s next for Chito Vera? I think this was a really good learning experience for Chito at UFC Vegas 17. He learned a lesson in the first and the third round.

In the first round, he was keeping his guard way too high which allowed Aldo to rip to the body and kick his legs. In the third round, his over aggressiveness got himself taken down and he couldn’t get Aldo off of his back.

Those two rounds will get Chito plenty of footage to go back and improve on. So what should the UFC do with Chito? I think a really good fight for Chito could by Cody Stamann (19-3-1).

Stamann is currently 13th in the UFC’s bantamweight division. He’s also coming off of a loss so the fight makes sense from a situation and rankings perspective.

The UFC could always run the fight back with Sean O’Malley. There’s a big portion of the MMA population that wasn’t satisfied with that win for Chito. Perhaps, Chito could put an exclamation point on another fight with the Suga Show.

UFC: Sean O’Malley announces the date of his return

Sean O'Malley

The UFC‘s Suga Show is back. Per his official Instagram, Sean O’Malley (12-1) will be making his highly anticipated return early next year. O’Malley said that he will be returning to the UFC on February 13th.

February 13th is the targeted date for UFC 258 although that has not been confirmed. There are already some great matchups for that card including Kamaru Usman – Gilbert Burns as well as Chris Weidman – Uriah Hall 2. 

O’Malley’s addition will make the UFC‘s return to the US even bigger. The promotion is expected to start off 2021 on Fight Island with a card that will be headlined by Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar. 

Dana White said last week that the UFC is planning on a three show run on Fight Island culminating with UFC 257 headlined by the rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. It’s not confirmed on if the promotion will have additional shows on Fight Island.

What we do know is that O’Malley’s return is tentatively scheduled for Las Vegas. O’Malley didn’t announce who is opponent was, but I’m anticipating we should know that information sooner rather than later.

UFC Return for the Suga Show

After nearly two years off, Sean O’Malley’s UFC return in 2020 couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. In March, he knocked out Jose Alberto Quinonez in the first round of their fight.

O’Malley topped that performance at UFC 250 when he had a clean walkoff knockout against former title challenger Eddie Wineland. The Suga Show was ready to bust into the top ten, however, he ran into Chito Vera back at UFC 252.

O’Malley looked sensational at the start of the fight. He had Vera biting heavy on nearly everything he was throwing and he was getting the better of the striking exchanges. However, near the end of the round, O’Malley started rolling over his ankle.

There’s been a lot of debate on whether this occurred due to ankle wraps or Vera’s calf kicks. Likely the latter of those two. Chito Vera took full advantage of the wounded O’Malley and ended up getting the first round finish.

It was a tough loss for O’Malley, but the future is still bright for him. He’s one of the up and coming stars for the promotion, and I’m very interested to see who the UFC is going to pair him with when he returns.

UFC: Henry Cejudo Says Sean O’Malley Isn’t Built To Last

Sean O'Malley

For many fighters in the UFC, receiving their first loss after an undefeated career start brings them back down to Earth a bit. And Sean O’Malley, one of the most promising fighters in the organization’s ranks, received his first career loss in August when he was defeated by Marlon Vera. Not only that, but O’Malley will have time to think about his current situation as he sits out injured.

It’s a tough time for O’Malley. It’s a crossroads moment where he may either come back better or slide further. But former UFC champion Henry Cejudo doesn’t seem to have much faith in the young star. According to him, O’Malley overrates himself a bit.

Sean O’Malley not built to last?

Sean O’Malley can dish out pain but not take it. At least, that’s what Henry Cejudo implied when he gave his take on the Real Quick with Mike Swick podcast. That’s not to say that Cejudo is a hater. He claimed to have a lot of friends in common with O’Malley, and sent him advice before his fight with Vera.

“I’ll be honest with you, I actually like the kid. In some way I’m hating on him, in some way I like him. I’m weird like that. I wish the kid the best, but I also think that he thinks he’s better than what he really is. Even though he’s got the gifts, he’s got great distance, great demeanor, great fakes. Watching those like very subtle. I look at all these minor little details but he hasn’t been built to freaking last,” Cejudo said.

He continued by saying that O’Malley hasn’t been through a war yet, at this point in his career.

“You can give the pain but can you take the pain? That’s the difference between somebody like Sean O’Malley and me. Does he have better striking than me? Probably because of his length and his range, makes him a little dangerous. But you’ve just got to be the full package.”

Being a former champion in two divisions, Cejudo knows a bit about what it takes to win a belt. But his advice isn’t just some quick tips that O’Malley can apply. Rather, he blamed a lot of the problem on inexperience. The only way to solve that is for O’Malley to fight more.

That won’t be for a bit, thanks to the new injury for O’Malley. How he responds when he comes back, though, may just alter the path of his career.

Sean O’Malley on UFC 252 loss: “I lost to someone who’s not that good”

Sean O'Malley

Last Saturday night at UFC 252, Sugar Sean O’Malley (12-1) lost his first career fight to Chito Vera (16-6, 1 NC). O’Malley looked really good early on, but a leg injury compromised him in the first round.

Vera was able to take advantage and get the TKO victory. There has been some debate on whether the ankle injury was caused by a calf kick from Vera or if O’Malley just rolled his ankle. Either way, Vera took advantage and got the win at UFC 252.

After taking a few days to digest everything, O’Malley popped up today on his podcast, “The Timbo Sugar Show,” with his trainer and best friend Tim Welch. O’Malley broke down his thoughts following UFC 252.

The UFC’s Suga Show Rolls On

“Whoever wins, wins. Doesn’t matter how. He (Vera) won, but it sucks for me because I lost to someone who I don’t view as very good. It’s frustrating losing to someone I’m better than… In five years, I’m going to be the world champ while he’s going to be a journeyman,” O’Malley said.

“When I beat Eddie (Wineland), it was like peace, that was easy. He (Vera) gets lucky, beats me, and he gets up acting like he just won the f–king lottery. That showed me what kind of b–tch he was.”

It’s very clear that there is still some serious animosity between O’Malley and Vera. O’Malley mentioned in the show that his foot felt like it was asleep due to his tight ankle wraps. That combined with the kick could have led to his ankle rolling multiple times.

Either way, Chito got the win, and as O’Malley said, that’s what matters. If he was going to lose in the UFC, this is honestly the best way O’Malley could have lost. While you have to give Chito credit, the victory is far from being clean.

It’s not like both men were 100% and Vera caught O’Malley clean and won. Maybe the kick was the sole cause for the injury, but we will never truly know. Either way, there will be a lot of people who will always put an asterisks by the victory.

Personally, I would love to see the UFC run the fight back if O’Malley is relatively healthy. He said he had an MRI done yesterday and should have the results soon. If Vera beats O’Malley in the second match, it validates the first win as well. If O’Malley wins, he can prove that the loss was just due to the freak injury.

Three fights to make after UFC 252

UFC, Dana White

Last night we saw the end to perhaps the greatest trilogy in the history of MMA. Stipe Miocic (20-3) cemented himself as the GOAT at UFC 252 with his win over Daniel Cormier (22-3, 1 NC).

We also saw Suga Sean O’Malley (12-1) suffer his first career loss at the hands of Marlon “Chito” Vera (16-6, 1 NC). However, that fight has a massive asterisks by it due to the way that the fight was finished.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1) was also able to right the ship against Junior Dos Santos (21-8) last night. With all the action and storylines, lets take a look at the three matchups the UFC should make after UFC 252.

Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight crown

Immediately after Miocic won last night, people were trying to figure out what would be next for the UFC heavyweight champion. Jon Jones sent out some tweets indicating he wanted a shot at Miocic. However, Dana White made it very clear what’s next.

The next UFC title shot is going to belong to Francis Ngannou (15-3). The Predator has been patiently waiting for his next shot at the gold. Ngannou did lose in his first attempt against Miocic, but that fight was almost three years ago.

Ngannou had rough back-to-back fights against Miocic and Derrick Lewis. However, since the Lewis loss, there has not been a more terrifying human in the UFC than Francis Ngannou. Ngannou has knocked out Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a combined two minutes and forty two seconds.

It was very refreshing to hear White be very clear about Ngannou getting the next shot at the UFC title. I believe that Jones needs to fight at light heavyweight one or two more times before his inevitable move up to heavyweight.

The rematch between Miocic and Ngannou is so fascinating. Miocic is the UFC‘s heavyweight GOAT, but Ngannou is so much better than he was a few years ago. It’s a massively dangerous fight for the heavyweight champion. Expect this fight by the end of the year or perhaps the first fight of 2021.

Chito Vera vs Sean O’Malley

Chito Vera and Suga Sean O’Malley were on their way to having a very fun fight last night until O’Malley hurt his ankle in the first round. A clearly compromised O’Malley crumbled to the mat and was finished off by Vera.

If you judge Chito’s post-fight interview, you would have think he completely outclassed and dominated the fight which was far from the case. In fact, Vera was getting touched up early and often.

O’Malley had Chito biting on nearly every feint that he was throwing. Also, Vera was hurt by multiple hard kicks early on. It looked like a technical display was coming from the Suga Show prior to the injury.

To me, it only makes sense to run this fight back. I think there needs to be a legitimate winner and I’m sorry to Chito, but you can’t claim that fight as a legit victory. He TKO’d a guy who couldn’t stand. Running this fight makes the most sense for the UFC and both fighters.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs Winner of Alistair Overeem/Augusto Sakai

Rozenstruik was able to get some confidence back last night after he knocked out the former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos. Bigi Boy was looking to bounce back after getting knocked out in 20 seconds by Francis Ngannou.

Thinking about what the UFC could do with Rozenstruik, I’m thinking a matchup between the winner of the Alistair Overeem – Augusto Sakai fight makes a lot of sense.

If Sakai is able to win, he will inch closer to the top five in the heavyweight division. He would have also won seven consecutive fights including five in the UFC. A fight between Sakai and Rozenstruik could put both men a fight away from the title.

Then of course there is Alistair Overeem. Overeem and Rozenstruik have history together. They headlined a Fight Night back in December. Overeem was clearly winning the fight and was just seconds away from securing a decision victory.

However, a massive left hook knocked Overeem out in the final seconds of the fifth round. Rozenstruik showed that he’s dangerous until the final bell. Given the nature of that contest, I would love to see a rematch. Those potential matchups makes sense considering everyone else in the top four will likely be paired up.

UFC 252 Recap: Stipe Miocic cements himself as the UFC’s heavyweight GOAT

MMA, Stipe Miocic

UFC 252 was filled with solid action from start to finish. Fight fans got to witness the conclusion to perhaps the greatest trilogy in MMA history as Stipe Miocic (20-3) and Daniel Cormier (22-3, 1 NC) went to war for third time to once and for all settle the debate on who is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

Stipe Miocic becomes the UFC’s heavyweight GOAT

In the main event of the evening, two of the greatest of all time battled it out to see who was the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. Cormier was looking to prove the first fight wasn’t a fluke while Miocic was looking to prove that DC’s only win in the rivalry was just that.

As the trilogy kicked off, both men touched gloves. Miocic opened with a leg kick. Both men appeared to be showing a lot of feints. Stipe landed a nice jab a minute in. Another strong low kick for Miocic.

Cormier shot for his first takedown just after the one minute mark. He briefly got Stipe down, but Miocic worked his way back up. DC started leaning on Stipe against the cage. Miocic was able to break the clinch.

DC was not throwing a lot of shots early on. Stipe was looking very fluid with his striking. Both men exchanged massive shots with about two minutes left in the round. The action came to a stop after DC landed a big eye poke.

As the action resumed, both men exchanged low kicks. Miocic landed a couple of big body shots which he followed with a solid right. DC landed a couple of big right hands late in the round. Both men exchanged big shots again and DC briefly floored Stipe to end the round. Because of that final exchange, I lean DC in round one.

As the second round started, Miocic looked to push forward. 30 seconds in, Stipe pushed forward with a couple of big shots that landed. The two men came close in a clinch and DC landed some massive shots off the break.

Stipe continued to look for good body shots throughout the first half of the round. Three minutes into the round, Stipe landed a big left hook. Cormier responded with a couple of clean jabs. The action really started to pick up late.

Miocic tried to trip Cormier in a clinch but it wasn’t successful. Cormier landed a couple of big combinations with about a minute left. Stipe rocks and floors Cormier late in the round. Miocic goes right to the mount. Close to a stoppage, but the round ends. The champion takes round two.

The third round started and Miocic looked to pressure DC. Cormier still didn’t look recovered. DC started throwing big counters, but he wasn’t on steady legs. Stipe was just stalking Cormier landing good shots.

Stipe kept trying to come over the top with big one-twos. DC clinched Miocic a minute into the round. Stipe was just leaning on DC against the cage. The two men broke with three minutes left.

DC looked to be a little more on steady legs and throwing jabs and low kicks. Miocic pushed forward again and landed some good shots that briefly hurt Cormier again. Those shots led to another clinch against the cage.

The two men broke with a minute left in the round. Stipe continued to push forward. Cormier started pushing forward late in the round, and was looking a lot more sturdy. Stipe briefly rocked Cormier again, but DC countered with a big right of his own. Another round for the champion.

The fourth round started and Cormier’s eye was almost swollen shut due to a late eye poke in the third round. DC was keeping his hands up high early on. Cormier landed a nice jab which he followed with a nice one-two.

Right after, Stipe walked Cormier to the cage in the clinch. The two men broke and Cormier landed a nice jab which Stipe followed with a solid right. DC was having a lot of issues seeing the rights from Stipe. Miocic was finding a home for those.

Three minutes in and both men landed massive right hands. Stipe continued to walk down DC. Stipe pushed Cormier again to the cage with about 90 seconds left in the round. Both men exchanged knees in the clinch.

DC used a trip attempt to create space. Cormier followed with a couple of good shots before Miocic again pushed him against the fence. The round came to an end, and I lean slightly towards Cormier who landed more shots. I have it 2-2 entering the final round.

The final round of the trilogy began with a touch of the gloves. 30 seconds in and Stipe looked a little fresher. DC landed a jab but Stipe pushed forward with a solid one-two. Another big combination from Stipe.

Cormier pushed Stipe against the fence, but Miocic reversed the position. The two men finally break halfway through the round. Both men exchanged massive shots that briefly hurt each other. They clinched again, and DC landed a massive right hook.

Miocic again pushed Cormier against the fence with two minutes left in the round. Stipe landed a big combination against the fence. DC pushed forward, but Stipe landed some shots. Stipe shot for a takedown, but DC defended.

A couple of big shots from Cormier landed, but Miocic pushed DC right back against the fence. The final 30 seconds of the trilogy ended with Miocic laying against DC on the fence. A grueling fight.

In the end, I give the final round to Stipe which would give him the fight 48-47 on my scorecard. The judges unanimously agreed giving the fight to Stipe Miocic (49-46, 49-46, 48-47). After that fight, it’s clear that Stipe Miocic is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

Injury leads the Suga Show’s first loss

In the co-main event of the evening, Suga Sean O’Malley (12-0) took on Chito Vera (15-6-1) in a battle of UFC bantamweights. O’Malley was looking for a victory on the biggest stage he had fought on so far.

As the fight got underway, O’Malley landed a massive leg kick that buckled Vera. O’Malley’s kicks were really strong early on. Chito was buckled twice early by leg kicks. O’Malley had his hands down early on.

Chito was getting hit hard every time O’Malley threw kicks. Vera started trying to press O’Malley up against the cage, but Suga seemed very composed. O’Malley buckled bad on his right foot and looked hurt.

Chito started really stalking O’Malley. Suga started landing some clean shots trying to hide the injury. O’Malley crumbles on clearly a comprimised leg. Chito lands a couple of elbows and Herb Dean calls a stop to the action. Very quick stoppage, but the injury had a lot to do with it.

Rozenstruik KO’s JDS in the Second

The third fight of the main card featured former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos (21-8), taking on top contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1). Both men were looking to bounce back after getting knocked out in their previous fights.

As the first round began, JDS opened with a leg kick. Both men appeared to be feeling the other out early on. Rozenstruik opened his striking with a massive leg kick. About 90 seconds in Dos Santos looked for a big head kick.

JDS extended for a shot, and Rozenstruik landed a big counter check hook two minutes in. Dos Santos threw his big looping right and left hook combo which landed nicely after that. JDS followed that up with a clean jab.

Rozenstruik throughout the first round did a really good job of landing inside leg kicks. Rozenstruik caught a JDS kick and blitzed trying to land some big shots. The two men briefly clinched before breaking. Dos Santos landed a big right off the break. Entertaining first round that I give to Dos Santos.

To begin the second round, Rozenstruik opened immediately with a leg kick. He tried to push forward, but nothing landed. Both men landed big leg kicks on each other in the first minute.

Dos Santos landed a nice clean right 90 seconds in. He followed that up with a couple of stiff jabs. JDS also landed a really nice lead left hook that snuck past the guard. Halfway through the round JDS landed a big straight right hand. Dos Santos was looking good.

Rozenstruik landed a big overhand right with about 90 seconds left in the round. He really started to press forward after that. JDS was floored by a big right hand. Dos Santos worked his way back up, but a couple of big shots put him down for good. A massive bounce back UFC win for Rozenstruik.

Daniel Pineda keeps 100% finish rate

The second fight on the main card was a UFC featherweight contest between Herbert Burns (11-3) and Daniel Pineda (27-13, 2 NC). Burns missed weight in this contest which forced him to give up 20% of his fight purse to Pineda.

Both fighters touched gloves to start the fight. Pineda landed a massive right hand to open things up. Pineda shot in for a takedown after landing a few more big shots. Burns was able to cut Pineda just before getting taken down.

Pineda was able to land some big shots from the top. Burns kept trying to throw up submissions, but nothing was sticking. Pineda continued to land big punches and elbows from the top as the round went on.

Burns was able to land a decent upkick when Pineda stood up briefly. Pineda got right back to top position after that. He then start landing solid shots from the top. Dominant first round for Daniel Pineda.

As the second round started, Burns was able to land some solid shots before transitioning to a takedown. Burns was able to get Pineda down to the ground with ease.

Pineda did a good job of working his way back to his feet, but Burns dragged him right back down. Burns had top control for a couple of minutes. Pineda was able to reverse the position with about two minutes left in the round.

Pineda was able to secure a crucifix position with about a minute left in the round. A few big unanswered shots caused the referee to call a stop to the action. Pineda keeps his 100% finish rate in his UFC return.

Dvalishvili stifles John Dodson over three rounds

Kicking off the PPV main card was a battle between two UFC top fifteen bantamweights as John Dodson (21-12) took on Merab Dvalishvili (12-4).

As the first round got underway, Dodson immediately took the center of the cage. Both fighters didn’t do much in the first minute just feeling the other out. Dodson would explode a couple of times early, but nothing significant landed.

Dvalishvili finally shot in for a takedown halfway through the round. He was able to get Dodson down a couple of times briefly, but Dodson exploded right back up. Due to no top control, Dvalishvili didn’t get credit for those attempts. Dvalishvili landed very solid knees in the clinch while he tried to get Dodson down.

Dodson did a very good job defending takedowns, but Dvalishvili landed extremely hard knees to the thighs in the clinch. With a minute left, Dodson finally broke the clinch. Nothing followed the break which means a clear round for Dvalishvili.

Both men touched gloves as the second round began. Dodson seemed to be waiting on Dvalishvili to come in so he could counter strike. Dvalishvili shot for a takedown in the first minute but couldn’t land it which brought him to 0-8 on takedown attempts.

Dvalishvili picked up Dodson and slammed him to the ground, but before Dvalishvili could get on top, Dodson popped up. Dodson was clipped by a spinning backfist and right hook which led to another Dvalishvili takedown attempt.

Two minutes left in the round and again Dvalishvili slammed Dodson down, but before he could get on top, Dodson popped right back up. Dodson attempt to landed some shots near the end of the round but nothing landed. Two rounds in the books for Dvalishvili.

Both fighters hugged and screamed at each other to start the final round. Dvalishvili landed a decent leg kick to start the striking. Dodson looked to still be looking for the perfect counter.

Dvalishvili landed a solid right hand two minutes into the round and transitioned to a takedown attempt. He slammed Dodson, but again, Dodson got right back up. Halfway through the round, Dodson finally landed a really good counter left hook.

Dvalishvili smiled at the shot before pushing forward. Dodson appeared to be tiring late in the final round. Dvalishvili landed a big right hand with about 90 seconds left in the round.

Not a ton of action in the final minute of the fight. Clear third round for Dvalishvili as well giving him the fight 30-27 on my scorecard. The judges agreed unanimously (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). The fifth straight UFC win for Dvalishvili.

UFC 252 Final Thoughts

UFC 252 saw Stipe Miocic cement his legacy as the greatest heavyweight in the promotions history following his second victory over Daniel Cormier.

Tonight we also saw a bump in the road for the Suga Show who suffered his first career loss after injury his leg. It was an exciting night of fights that has produced so many interesting storylines.