FSM Essential Recap: UFC 252 – Miocic vs Cormier – 8/16/2020



In the world of professional wrestling, when a match is so good between two individuals, the crowd will often yell, “this is awesome” and “fight forever.” Well those chants can be used to describe what we saw Saturday night between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.


In the trilogy between the two all-time greats, after seeing both warriors end the other in their previous bouts, this one went the distance—five rounds of two of the best beating on one another. Miocic (19-3 15 KOs) came out victorious via unanimous decision and won the series against Cormier (22-2-1) 2-1.


Photo Credit: MMA Fighting

Evenly matched as both throw heavy hands, have the cardio to go five full rounds despite both having wrestling backgrounds, they choose to stand and trade as oppose to grappling. Each round was hard-fought and close to call. DC was able to gain a takedown in the first, but that was the only takedown we would see for the night.

Miocic got a knockdown to end the second, which looked like it could’ve been the end for DC, who held on to escape the round. Unfortunately, in all three bouts between the two, eye-poking became a significant factor in affecting both fighters. Both would suffer eye pokes, and DC caught one so bad that he couldn’t see out of his left eye the second half of the fight. It’s a problem the UFC has still not fixed, but no excuses.


Two warriors walked in the octagon looking to walk out with gold wrapped around their waist.


UFC 252
Photo Credit Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Coming in weighing a low 233lbs, Miocic would show that with the lower weight, he would have the endurance to withstand the heavy hands of DC and that he did. Time and time again, DC would find a home for his right hand, a right hand that ended the first bout. This time though, Stipe would walk through them.

Pushing DC against the cage and maintaining control in the clinch, Miocic was able to give himself a chance to control his opponent’s movement and not allow DC to fire off his signature quick hooks when in close. Hooks to the body and over the top rights for the champ helped him back up his challenger time and again, while head movement and hook shots allowed DC to remain close.

In the end, it was Stipe’s hand raised for the second straight time. A trilogy for the ages and two of the sports best to ever step in the cage showed us why they are future Hall of Famers. Despite the loss, everyone won as this three year run of these two facing off was one to remember and will be hard to top for any other trilogy out there.


Photo Credit: Forbes

Now moving forward, Miocic will mostly find himself facing a familiar opponent for his next title defense as Francis Ngannou waits for another shot at the title. These two met back in 2018 at UFC 220, where Stipe handed the Cameroon knockout artist his first defeat. Ngannou has worked his way back into title contention going 4-1 with all four wins coming by first-round KO/TKO, and two of those wins over former champions Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos.

Miocic – Ngannou 2 will be a fun one to watch. As for DC, he said this was his last bout and with nothing left to prove he could ride off into the sunset as one of the sports best. But being the competitor that he is, surely he wouldn’t want to end his career, outside the winner’s circle.

There’s only a select number of fights that make sense, but as this trilogy came to a close, will we see the trilogy between Cormier and Jon Jones? This time at Heavyweight? Very possible. Time will tell what DC plans to do, but either way, he’s had one of the best careers you could ask for and left the sport better than when he entered. That’s a legacy, folks.


In the co-main event, the Suga show got put to a temporary halt as Sean O’Malley suffered his first defeat via first-round two at the hands of Marlon Vera (16-6 6 KOs).


Coming in as the underdog taking on the hype machine that is O’Malley, many were looking forward to another highlight finish for the young up and comer. But what appeared to be a foot injury cause Suga to fall back and Vera, doing as he should, jumped on top, and rained down elbows for the finish. O’Malley was stepping forward when he rolled his foot, which was devastating, but it is unknown if he had previously hurt his foot in training camp before the fight.


Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Credit to Vera, who landed some massive strikes before the injury and looked to pull off the upset before things took a turn. This was his sixth win in a row at Bantamweight, and with a co-main event win, a step up in competition should be next for the Ecuadorian fighter.

For O’Malley, the extent of his injury needs to be known before plans can be made. But given this is his first loss and it came via an injury, his stock shouldn’t take such a hit soon, as he still has a bright future ahead of him. The Suga show will continue, but at UFC 252, Chito Vera was in the spotlight.

Also on the card, Heavyweight Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1 10 KOs) earned a second-round TKO over former champion Junior Dos Santos (21-8). The Suriname fighter is sort of in limbo in the top-heavy Heavyweight division. With this win, he surely will move up to being top 5 within the ranks. But with Francis Ngannou, who already has a first-round victory of Rozenstruik but is in line for the next shot at the title, Curtis Blaydes and Derek Lewis seem to be next up. These two will determine the new number one contender, and with a victory over Alistair Overeem, Rozenstruik looks to sit and wait for his next bout.

As for JDS, the former champion has fought the who’s who within the heavyweight division for years. This was his first none five-round bout since 2015. It was also his third loss in a row, and by TKO nonetheless. There are still good fights to make for the Brazilian, but for now, at least, his run against the top of the division should be on hold until he can string together some victories.

Maybe run it back against Overeem?


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