Combat sports have seen several upsets of late, with Andy Ruiz Jr’s surprise victory over Anthony Joshua in boxing a prime example. Well, this weekend it was the turn of the UFC, as UFC 241 saw Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic come together to battle it out for the UFC heavyweight title.
Cormier was the defending champions and the favourite, but it was Miocic who was victorious on the night.
Early Dominance By Cormier
The first three rounds of the bout couldn’t have gone any better for Cormier, with the defending champion comfortably on top in the fight. However, what came in the fourth once again showed the unpredictability on combat sports such as UFC, as 51 seconds from the end of the round Miocic was able to pull off a TKO victory, wrestling the UFC heavyweight title from Cormier’s grasp.
Miocic Reclaims Title
Miocic is now only the fourth fighter in UFC history to reclaim the UFC heavyweight title, with Cormier having beat Miocic last July at UFC 226 with a KO victory. Stipe Miocic, who hadn’t fought since that defeat, remained intent on gaining revenge, and his title back, and he did so in similar fashion to how Cormier managed to beat him just over 12 months ago.
Miocic’s initial approach of head-hunting failed to deliver early in the bout, so instead, he decided to switch to attacking his opponent’s body, and this paid dividends. A powerful shot to the liver was followed up with headshots as Miocic deliver a flurry of power punches to put Cormier down. This then allowed Miocic to get on top and finish the fight.
Both Miocic and Cormier spoke about the tactical switch which opened the door for victory. Miocic felt the switch to bodywork was crucial in his success, “I could tell it was hurting him, I knew it was open.” Dethroned champion Cormier was also in agreement and commented, “I think he made a great adjustment.”
Nate Diaz Comeback
UFC 241 also saw a return to action for fan favourite Nate Diaz, with the Californian ended a three year-break in his home state. Last time out Diaz was on the wrong end of a decision against Conor McGregor at UFC 202, but Diaz made no mistake in his comeback against Anthony Pettis, winning by unanimous decision. Diaz, who is looking to continue his UFC career, suggested he’d be open to facing off against in-form welterweight Jorge Masvidal in his next bout.
Paulo Costa, the Brazilian middleweight contender, also enjoyed a great night at UFC 241 too, producing an impressive victory over Yoel Romero. Romero, a long-time contender and Olympic silver medallist, was the latest opponent to be cast aside by Costa, with the 28-year old’s record now standing at a perfect 13-0. He now wants the winner of the middleweight title unification fight between Robert Whittaker, UFC champion of Australia, and Israel Adesanya, New Zealand’s interim champ. They meet on October 6 in Melbourne at UFC 243.