UFC: How will we remember Daniel Cormier’s career?

Daniel Cormier

Last Saturday evening at UFC 252, we saw the end to the career of the great Daniel Cormier (22-3, 1 NC). Cormier fell short in his attempt to regain the heavyweight crown against Stipe Miocic (20-3).

Cormier once said that his goal was to retire at 40 years old. However, what turned out to be a trilogy with Miocic, kept Cormier fighting well into his 41st year. Now, Cormier walks away from the UFC.

DC was emotional in his interview with Joe Rogan after the fight when speaking about retirement. You could tell the emotions were heavy after falling short to Miocic once again.

One of the UFC’s all time greats

Make no mistake about it, Daniel Cormier is one of the best fighters of all time. There is no debate. Cormier was just the second man in UFC history to hold two titles simultaneously with the other being the great Conor McGregor.

DC is also part of the greatest rivalry the sport has ever seen with the GOAT, Jon Jones. The Jones – Cormier rivalry is something that all fans dream about. A personal rivalry between two of the very best in the world.

The two men hated each other and even fought outside the cage at a press conference. DC fought Jones twice and came up short both times. While Cormier was the light heavyweight champion when Jones was serving suspensions, there was always an asterisks by his name.

People recognized him as the champion, but there was always the thought that the only reason he was is because Jones was out. Because of that, Cormier didn’t get the respect a defending champion normally does. Cormier beat all the top contenders at 205, but because of his losses to Jones, he didn’t get the respect he deserved.

All of those comments went away at UFC 226. Cormier moved up to become the first light heavyweight champion to challenge the heavyweight champion. Cormier shocked the world by knocking out the most decorated UFC heavyweight champion in history in the first round.

With one right hand, Cormier got all the validation that he needed. DC went on to defend the heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230. Following that win, Cormier would drop his next two fights, both to Stipe Miocic.

In another point in time, there might not have been a man alive that could have touched Daniel Cormier. Unfortunately for him, he competed at the same time as the greatest fighter of all time, Jones, and the greatest heavyweight of all time, Miocic.

Four (Technically) losses to two men. But those two men are all time greats. At the end of the day, DC is truly one of the best we’ve ever seen. A no doubt hall of famer, and I hope that he’s remembered in that light as opposed to being remembered as someone who came up short to Jones and Miocic.

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’s Jon Jones: “Soon, I’ll be considered the baddest man on the planet”

UFC, Jon Jones

At UFC 252, we saw Stipe Miocic (20-3) cement his legacy as the greatest heavyweight in history with his second victory over Daniel Cormier (22-3, 1 NC). However, moments after the fight ended, perhaps the greatest fighter of all time was calling him out.

UFC Champion vs Champion?

The current UFC light heavyweight champion has long been considered the greatest fighter of all time. Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) has also been teasing a move to heavyweight for a long time. Earlier this year, a contract dispute broke out after he tried to fight Francis Ngannou.

It’s clear that Jones is wanting a big fight that motivates him. There would be no motivation needed if he were to fight the greatest heavyweight in UFC history in Stipe Miocic.

Miocic just came off of a grueling win over Cormier. It was an absolute battle, but Miocic proved how tough and how good he is in the conclusion of their trilogy. Stipe has only lost one fight in five years and that was the first fight to Cormier.

Outside of that, the champion has been dominant. We don’t know what is next for the champ. There were rumors of retirement, but Miocic put those to bed this week. Francis Ngannou (15-3) is waiting and wants his rematch. Ngannou deserves to be next.

However, a fight with Jones and Miocic would be massive for the UFC. The greatest heavyweight of all time going against the greatest fighter of all time sells itself. I’m not sure what the promotion does with either guy next, but it’s clear that Jones is wanting to move up sooner rather than later.

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.

Despite rumors, Stipe Miocic not planning on retiring after UFC 252

MMA, Stipe Miocic

Tomorrow night, Stipe Miocic (19-3) will defending his heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier (22-2, 1 NC). The trilogy fight at UFC 252 will settle the debate on who is the greatest heavyweight in the promotion’s history.

While Cormier has said that tomorrow night will be his last fight, there have been rumors about Miocic. Stipe will turn 38 years old just days after UFC 252. Many have speculated that he could ride off into the sunset with a victory tomorrow night.

If you look at Miocic’s career, there wouldn’t be much left for him to prove if he beats Cormier again. However, Miocic made it clear at the pre-fight press conference that win or lose, he’s not planning on walking away yet.

What would be next in the UFC?

“I think about retirement. But I love what I do. The moment that it starts to feel like a job, I’m out. But right now I’m good and I’m happy,” Miocic told the media.

The next fight in the UFC‘s heavyweight division is very clear. Assuming Miocic sticks to his word that win or lose he’s not retiring, the next title fight should already be setup regardless of tomorrow’s outcome.

The clear number one contender in the heavyweight division is Francis Ngannou (15-3). The Predator has knocked out four straight opponents in a combined time of 2:42. Miocic has already fought and defeated Ngannou once.

A rematch between the two men would be highly anticipated. Ngannou looks to be a completely different fighter than he was before their first fight. Miocic humbled him extremely which has fueled a fire within Ngannou.

Another big fight out there for Miocic would be the showdown with Jon Jones. Jones’ career is in limbo right now while he continues to try to work things out with the UFC. Dana White said he is waiting to hear back, but Jones might be fighting before the end of 2020.

If Miocic wins at UFC 252, the move should be the Ngannou rematch. If he wins that, there should only be one fight left for him. A massive showdown against Jon Jones.

If Miocic can go out by beating Cormier and Ngannou both a second time then going on to defeat Jon Jones, he would have an argument as the GOAT. What we do know is that the heavyweight champion isn’t planning on walking away just yet.

UFC will have a light heavyweight title fight before 2020 is over per Dana White

UFC, Jon Jones

For the last few months, the UFC‘s light heavyweight division has been in a state of limbo. The current champion and pound-for-pound top fighter in the world, Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) has been in a dispute with the UFC.

The dispute had to deal with fighter pay. Jones expressed interesting in moving up in weight to fight Francis Ngannou in a super fight, but he wanted a little more money. The UFC said no, and then the public dispute started.

There was a ton of back and forth where people were being called liars. Jones even called for his UFC release due to the talks. Many were left wondering if the UFC would release Jones or at least strip him of his title.

Earlier this week, Dana White said that the promotion had no plans on stripping Jones anytime soon. Recently he also said the promotion would work things out with Jones. He shed a little more light on that with an interview with ESPN.

The UFC’s GOAT returning in 2020?

“We’re making moves on that (the light heavyweight division)… We’re actually waiting to hear back from Jon Jones right now,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

White was later interviewed by The Schmo where he was asked about Jones’ future at light heavyweight. “If he stays at light heavyweight, he’s got to fight Reyes again. You have to see that fight again,” White told The Schmo.

It’s very clear what the UFC‘s plan is if Jon Jones returns to the division he’s reigned over for so long. It appears that the promotion will try to make the rematch with Dominick Reyes (12-1) happen.

The two men fought at UFC 247 back in February and the fight was razor close. Many people didn’t think Jones won the fight. In fact, 14 of 21 journalists scoring the fight, had the fight for Dominick Reyes.

The big question will be if Jones returns to light heavyweight. Maybe Jones just wants to be done with the division. There are plenty of options for him at heavyweight whether it be a fight with Ngannou or a potential fight with Stipe Miocic.

If Jones were to vacate the light heavyweight title, Reyes would be fighting for the vacant title. Reyes would likely take on Jan Blachowicz (26-8) if there were to be a vacant title fight.

Either way, we should see the light heavyweight title contested in the UFC before the end of the year. My guess is that we will see Jon Jones make his return to light heavyweight. I think it’ll be another year before we see a potential move to heavyweight. There’s always that Israel Adesanya fight that’s potentially just a year away at 205.

UFC 252 Preview: Will Stipe Miocic or Daniel Cormier walk away as the heavyweight GOAT?

Tomorrow night, UFC 252 will see the conclusion of arguably the greatest trilogy in the history of MMA. Stipe Miocic (19-3) and Daniel Cormier (22-2, 1 NC) will go to war for the third time to once and for all settle the debate on who is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

The card is absolutely stacked with fights that should have UFC fans feeling the goosebumps already. Let’s take a dive into the main card for some previews and predictions.

Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight title

The main event of the evening is a fight that is one year in the making as the heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, takes on the former champion, Daniel Cormier, for the third time.

Both of these men have won a fight against the other by knockout. This fight will truly determine the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

For Cormier, there has only been two men in his career who have gotten the best of him. That would be Miocic and Jon Jones. Jones beat him twice although one was overturned due to Jones failing a drug test.

After Jones was stripped of his title following the second fight being overturned, Cormier resumed life as light heavyweight champion. He defended the title once before moving up to challenge Miocic for the heavyweight title.

DC knocked Miocic out in the first round. He had become a two division champion. He’s defeated the best that light heavyweight and heavyweight have had to offer. However, he would go on to lose to Miocic in the rematch.

If Cormier were to lose again, the only two men to have ever beaten him, would have both done it multiple times. That will be tough for DC the competitor to take. The Olympic wrestler is one of the greatest fighters of all time, but he needs this win to cement himself.

Miocic is the only heavyweight in UFC history to defend the title three times successfully. Stipe had to work for everything during his career. After back-to-back knockouts of Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski back in 2015/2016, Miocic demanded he get a shot at the title.

He went to enemy territory and knocked out the champion, Fabricio Werdum. Miocic then went on to defeat Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos, and Francis Ngannou before losing the title to Cormier at UFC 226.

The second fight was a back and forth war that DC was controlling. He was landing more strikes and found some success wrestling. However, Stipe made adjustments just like a champion should.

In the fourth round, Miocic found success going to the body. After going to the body over and over, Miocic was able to transition to a head combination that put DC out.

These are clearly the two best heavyweights in the world. They both have knockout power, they both have good grappling, and they both know how to grind and fight their way through wars.

This is just a tough fight to predict. Despite both men having finished the other, I don’t think this one is going to end early. I think this will be the first of their three fights to see the scorecards.

I believe that this fight is going to be razor close because these two men are so equal in their skill. If it does go to the cards, I’m leaning towards Cormier. Especially rounds 1-3, DC’s hand speed and wrestling will really give him an advantage.

I see Stipe being a lot stronger as the fight goes on, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Stipe ended up winning rounds 3-5. However, I think DC will do enough to take the first three rounds and survive the onslaught from Stipe near the end. DC will walk away as heavyweight champion on Saturday, but nothing would honestly shock me.

Prediction: Daniel Cormier by Split Decision

Sean O’Malley vs Marlon “Chito” Vera

The co-main event of the evening will feature the Suga Show. Arguably the UFC‘s brightest young star, Sean O’Malley (12-0), will be facing off against Chito Vera (15-6-1).

O’Malley was featured on just the second episode ever of Dana White’s Contender Series. That night, you realized there was something special about O’Malley. Since then, the guy has been like a rocket ship in terms of popularity.

2020 has been incredible for O’Malley. After issues with USADA that kept him out for two years, O’Malley has returned looking like a completely different fighter. He looks so much better than he did a couple of years ago.

His performances show that as he’s knocked out Jose Alberto Quinonez and Eddie Wineland both in the first round. Suga’s very long for the division and his striking is incredibly crisp.

We’ve also seen how tough he is when he fought Andre Soukhamthath. O’Malley broke his foot in that fight and couldn’t even stand. However he hopped around for the final round and gritted it out for a decision victory. O’Malley is the real deal.

Chito Vera is a very tough test for O’Malley. Vera is coming off of a loss to Song Yadong in a fight that some believe that he won. That fight snapped a five fight winning streak for Vera.

Chito has really good striking, and he’s got very good skills on the ground. One of the biggest knocks on Vera is his slow starts. Sometimes Vera can be a bit gun shy out of the gate.

That could be a massive problem fighting a guy like O’Malley. He cannot let himself stay on the outside being too patient or he will be picked apart. For Vera to win, he’s got to be aggressive early and he has to make it an ugly fight.

I’ve been on the O’Malley hype train since day one and I’m staying on it. I believe that O’Malley has that Conor McGregor vibe to him. While Vera will definitely be game, I think O’Malley’s precision and power are just going to be too much.

Prediction: Sean O’Malley by TKO – Round 2

Junior Dos Santos vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

The third fight of the main card features two top six UFC heavyweights as former champion, Junior Dos Santos (21-7), takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-1).

This is a massive fight for the former champion, Dos Santos. Dos Santos has lost back-to-back fights by knockout. Those losses coming after Cigano had won three consecutive fights.

After losing the heavyweight title back in 2012, Dos Santos has been on a mission to get back to the UFC title. He’s fought for the title twice since losing it and both of those fights he lost by stoppage.

Since the first war with Cain Velasquez, Cigano has been finished five times. Despite that, Dos Santos still possesses arguably the best pure boxing in the heavyweight division.

For Bigi Boy, he’s looking to rebound after a rough first round loss to Francis Ngannou. Rozenstruik came into that fight undefeated, but was finished in just 20 seconds. Had Rozenstruik won that fight, he would have been next in line for the title.

Rozenstruik has tremendous striking with incredible knockout power. He also has shown tremendous heart as shown in the Alistair Overeem fight. Overeem had clearly been winning the fight, but Bigi Boy put him out in the final ten seconds of the fight.

This fight is so interesting because both men bring tremendous striking to the cage. Cigano has beautiful boxing while Rozenstruik has very good kickboxing.

Most people think that this fight won’t go the distance, but I’m in the minority that thinks it will. I think Rozenstruik will be a little more cautious after getting finished by Ngannou in his last one. I think Cigano’s boxing will allow him to score more points over three rounds.

Prediction: Junior Dos Santos by Unanimous Decision

John Dodson vs Merab Dvalishvili

The second fight of the evening pairs a couple of top 15 UFC bantamweights as former title challenger, John Dodson (21-11), takes on Merab Dvalishvili (11-4).

Dodson was able to prove to everyone in his last fight that he’s still a very powerful fighter at 135 pounds. The Magician got a third round TKO win over Nathaniel Wood. That win came after Dodson had lost three out of four.

Now, I will give Dodson a break considering those three opponents are all in the top seven and one is the current champion, Petr Yan. Dodson is going to come at you with ridiculous speed looking to put your lights out.

Dvalishvili on the other hand is going to look to take you down and smother you. The Machine is known for his dominant wrestling and that was on full display at UFC on ESPN 10.

Dvalishvili took on Gustavo Lopez and set a UFC bantamweight record in takedowns with 13. His main training partner is top contender Aljamain Sterling, so you know that Dvalishvili is going to be ready.

When it comes to the prediction, it’s a matter of where the fight takes place. The speed and accuracy of Dodson will win him the fight if he can keep it on the feet. That’s a giant if.

I think that Dvalishvili is going to be able to get Dodson down particularly in the last two rounds of the fight. I expect Dodson to have moments, but Dvalishvili’s wrestling to be too much in the end.

Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili by Unanimous Decision

Herbert Burns vs Daniel Pineda

Kicking off the main card of UFC 252 is a featherweight fight between Herbert Burns (11-2) and the returning Daniel Pineda (26-13, 2 NC). Pineda is returning to the octagon after six years of fighting in other promotions.

Burns, who is the younger brother of top welterweight contender Gilbert Burns, will be making his third appearance in the octagon. He earned himself a contract after a triangle armbar victory on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Burns has won his first two UFC fights by first round stoppage. One by KO and one by submission. The Blaze is elite on the ground just like his brother. Burns competes in top level Jiu Jitsu tournaments all over the world when he’s not fighting.

Daniel Pineda was having himself quite the 2019. Pineda entered PFL’s featherweight tournament and had two first round finishes. Elevated testosterone levels did change those two victories to non contests.

If you would have counted those, Pineda would have been returning to the octagon on a five fight first round finish streak. All 26 of Pineda’s wins have come via finish.

In looking at this fight, I’m struggling to find Pineda’s advantage. I don’t see him being the better striker, and he’s good on the ground (18 submissions), but he’s not Burns good. Burns is world class on the ground.

I think that Burns is going to have the clear advantage in this fight, and the odds speak to that. I’m going with Burns, but I think he’s going to win by showing off his superior skills on the ground.

Prediction: Herbert Burns by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 2

UFC 252 Outlook

This main event and card gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. We are seeing arguably the two greatest heavyweights of all time fighting for the third time to settle once and for all, who is the baddest man on the planet. UFC 252 is going to be a night to remember for fight fans everywhere.

Francis Ngannou is waiting as UFC 252 draws closer

Francis Ngannou

This Saturday night at UFC 252, perhaps the greatest trilogy in the promotions history comes to a head. Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier will go to battle for the third time. Both men have knocked the other out in the previous battles.

The fight has been characterized by Dana White as the fight to settle who is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. While both men battle for that distinction, the most intimidating heavyweight in UFC history is patiently waiting in the wings.

The UFC’s Predator awaits his chance

In terms of resume, Cormier and Miocic are head and shoulders above the pack when it comes to being the best heavyweight. However, when it comes to intimidation, nobody is more terrifying than Francis Ngannou (15-3).

When Ngannou fights, it’s like watching a prime Mike Tyson. Everyone is on the edge of their seat with their eyes glued open. Don’t blink because he might remove someone from consciousness in that one blink.

Don’t believe me, ask former UFC heavyweight champions Junior Dos Santos, Cain Velasquez and Andrei Arlovski. Or ask top UFC contenders Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Alistair Overeem.

Incredible list of opponents right? Even more impressive when you consider the fact that Ngannou knocked all six of those men out in the first round. Not a single one of those UFC contests went past two minutes.

That is incredibly terrifying to think about. Now, Ngannou is not perfect as we saw in his fights with Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis. He dropped both of those by decision. I’m giving him a break on the Lewis fight because he just looked defeated after the Miocic fight.

Ngannou has never been better

Ngannou is even more dangerous now than ever before because he realizes his vulnerability. He realizes there is danger in fighting and a fighter who understands danger can become even more dangerous.

Ngannou is on a stretch right now where he’s 4-0 with four first round knockouts. Those fights have gone a combined 2:42. The Predator is the clear number one contender in the UFC‘s heavyweight division.

No matter what the result is on Saturday, the next title shot should belong to Francis Ngannou. Whether Ngannou fights Miocic again or he fights Jon Jones or Derrick Lewis for the vacant championship after the winner retires. Regardless of who, The Predator is ready for his next shot at UFC gold.

 

UFC 252: Daniel Cormier Has His Own Training Bubble For Stipe Fight

It’s safe to say that the upcoming rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic is a big deal. It’s the main event at UFC 252 and also marks a trilogy of fights between the two heavyweight stars. It also looks like it’s going to be Cormier’s last fight.

For obvious reasons, Cormier is putting in quite the effort in training for it. However, 2020 is not a normal year. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, training is a little more complicated. For Cormier, there’s the added complication of having two kids and a pregnant wife, which is enough reason for extra caution.

How is Cormier handling the unique problem?

Just like the NBA has decided to move its players and teams to a closed off location to protect them from exposure, Cormier has opted to keep himself away from his family for their own good. He talked with TMZ Sports about preparing for the upcoming fight in his own ‘bubble’ style training environment, which he says that his family understands.

“Yeah, I got a pregnant wife who’s 7.5 months pregnant. Two kids, a 9-year-old, an 8-year-old, and I’m not even living at home because I’m having to prepare for this fight – but that also shows the commitment from the family to understand what I’m trying to do here is so special,” Cormier said.

For Stipe Miocic, this will be his third straight fight against Cormier. For Cormier, it’s his second straight against Miocic and the third in his past four fights overall. It’s an unusual situation, but this is certainly the last fight between them.

Cormier believes he has a chance to go out as one of the greatest with a victory.

“I think that all the things I’ve done at heavyweight and at light heavyweight makes me one of the greatest fighters of all time, period! But, if I become a 2-time heavyweight champion there’s only a few guys that’ve done that before in their careers. I think that by being the most dominant heavyweight of all time twice would make me the greatest heavyweight UFC’s ever seen,” Cormier continued further.

We won’t have to wait long to find out the result to the fight and which one will come away with the heavyweight belt, however. It’s set to be the main event of UFC 252, and that’s practically right around the corner on August 15th.

Derrick Lewis becomes heavyweight knockout king at UFC Vegas 6

There have been so many knockout artist in the history of the UFC’s heavyweight division. You’ve had guys like Junior Dos Santos, Shane Carwin, Francis Ngannou, Cain Velasquez, and many more.

At UFC Vegas 6, The Black Beast, Derrick Lewis (23-7, 1), surpassed all of those men when he knocked out Alexey Oleynik (59-15-1) in the second round of their main event contest.

What’s next for the UFC’s heavyweight knockout king?

Derrick Lewis has truly been one of the better heavyweights in the UFC over the last five years. Most people think about his personality and his exciting fighting style, but the man has been extremely good and consistent.

Since October of 2015, Lewis has gone 12-3 in the UFC‘s heavyweight division. Eight of those wins coming via stoppage. Outside of Francis Ngannou, there might not be a harder puncher in the heavyweight division.

At UFC Vegas 6, the fight started slow for Lewis. Despite having top position at times in the first round, Lewis clearly lost the first round to Oleynik. The grappling was not doing him any favors early on.

Lewis came out like a wild man to start the second round. A flying knee which transitioned to a beautiful right hand floored Oleynik. A few massive shots later and Herb Dean called the fight.

For Lewis, it was his third straight win inside the octagon. Lewis said he wants to drop about 10-15 pounds before he fights again, but he’s hoping to fight in December.

The question becomes, who is next for Lewis? There are a couple of options that could be next. The UFC could have him fight Curtis Blaydes. He could also potentially fight the winner of the Junior Dos Santos – Jairzinho Rozenstruik fight.

Ngannou – Lewis 2?

One interesting possibility I want to throw out is Francis Ngannou. While it’s not interesting in the sense of them fighting, it’s interesting in that it could be a fight for the UFC‘s vacant heavyweight title.

Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic might both retire after UFC 252. Cormier has said it’s for sure his last fight, but there are rumors that Stipe walks away as well. I can’t see the UFC giving Blaydes a third fight with Ngannou, who is the clear number one contender.

Lewis holds a win over Ngannou. If the promotion needs a fight for the vacant heavyweight title, I think Lewis – Ngannou 2 could be a strong possibility.