UFC 252 Results and Recap

While to some, the big fights may lack the “big fight feel” with zero crowd inside the UFC Apex. Last night felt like an exception.

The trilogy between UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic and former Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormer clashed in the UFC 252 main event and fans were all in on what would decide who the UFC Heavyweight GOAT truly is.

Before the headliner, the show was filled with some outstanding fights including a card-opening Fight of the Night, a hype train derailed and a title fight for the ages.

UFC Heavyweight Championship: Stipe Miocic (20-3) defeated Daniel Cormier (22-3) by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 49-46 X 2)

After the first two fights ended before the final horn each by TKO, Miocic and Cormier met one final time to end a friendly-rivalry between two of the greatest UFC fighters of all-time.

In the first round, Cormier mixed up his wrestling, top game and striking to gain an early upper hand even rocking the champion in the closing ten seconds of the round. From there, the fight was basically all Miocic.

Stipe Miocic used his rangy boxing and was impressive by out-grappling Cormier in the clinch en route to a unanimous decision and would close the book on his three-year rivalry with “DC.”

Post-fight, Cormier would state that this would be hit for him saying to Joe Rogan post-fight, “I’m only interested in fighting for titles. I don’t forsee I will be fighting for [anymore] titles. That’ll be it for me, I’ve had a great run.”

Bantamweight (135 lbs.): Marlon Vera (16-6-1) defeated Sean O’Malley (12-1) by First Round TKO (elbow) at 4:40

The “Suga Show” caught most the headlines heading into UFC 252, but it was the “Chito Show” that would catch headlines post-fight.

O’Malley landed some hard leg kicks early in the bout, but it was a kick by Vera that would compromise the lower leg/foot of O’Malley causing him to no longer be able to place weight on that leg.

Vera would capitalize once the fight his the canvas and would finish O’Malley with some nasty elbows resulting in a quick stoppage by referee Herb Dean. Some said the stoppage was too quick, but considering it would’ve been extremely difficult for O’Malley to even stand if the fight continued, the stoppage was likely for the best.

“Suga Sean” has some durability issues to address before he can be considered a major threat in the bantamweight division while “Chito” Vera is in a great position to make a leap in the bantamweight division now with six wins in a row at 135 lbs.

Heavyweight (265 lbs.): Jair Rozenstruik (11-1) defeated Junior dos Santos (21-8) by Second Round KO (punch) at 3:47

Less than four months since his knockout loss to Franics Ngannou, “Bigi Boy” jumped right back into the heavyweight shark tank against former champion Junior dos Santos in a great match-up of two talented strikers.

JDS had his moments early landed some good strikes from his traditional boxing stance, but it was the power of Rozenstruik in the second round that would drop dos Santos and some heavy shots as JDS attempted to return to his feet would drop him a second time leading to the stoppage.

Now with heavyweight wins over Arlovski, Overeem and Dos Santos, Rozenstruik will now jump comfortably into the top five of the heavyweight ranks. A potential fight to keep an eye on is a future match-up with Derrick Lewis as a five-round headliner sometime later this year.

Catchweight (149.5 lbs.): Daniel Pineda (27-13, 2 NC) defeated Herbert Burns (11-3) by Second Round TKO (strikes) at 4:37

The Burns brothers have been on the rise in the UFC with Gilbert the top contender at welterweight while Herbert entered UFC 252 on a five-fight winning streak.

Daniel Pineda entered his second stint in the UFC returning to the promotion after six years way and would make an instant impact. Pineda would land some hard ground and pound from the top position in the opening round.

Burns would answer taking Pineda right to the ground to begin round two, but Pineda would survive some early trouble, sweep into a better position and pound out Burns with punches and elbows from the crucifix position.

For Pineda, it’s a huge win to get the ball rolling in his second run in the UFC while Burns will have some new questions to answer including what happen with his weight cut as he missed the 145 mark on Friday by nearly five pounds and didn’t look in very good shape in the loss.

Bantamweight (135 lbs.): Merab Dvalishvili (12-4) defeated John Dodson (22-12) by Unanimous Decision (30-27 X 3)

While John Dodson avoided the takedown for the most part stuffing 18 of the 20 takedown attempts from Merab, it was still the constant pressure and striking advantage that led to the clear-cut victory for Dvalishvili.

“The Machine” has now won five fights in a row all by decision since beginning his UFC run 0-2. Training alongside top bantamweight contender Aljamain Sterling, Merab is a fighter to watch in the division for the remainder of the year.

Lightweight (155 lbs.): Vinc Pichel (13-2) defeated Jim Miller (32-15) by Unanimous Decision (29-28 X 2, 29-27)

Jim Miller continues to make UFC history with his amount of fights and time inside the Octagon, but on Saturday, Vinc Pichel was the one leaving with the biggest win of his UFC career.

Pichel made his UFC debut in 2012, but injuries have led to him missing significant time over the last eight years, but “From Hell” Pichel will now look to keep some momentum following a huge win by out-wrestling and out-grappling one of the toughest guys in the lightweight division in Jim Miller.

Women’s Strawweight (115 LBS.): Virna Jandiroba (16-1) defeated Felice Herrig (14-9) by First Round Submission (armbar) at 1:44

Following a near two-year layoff, Felice Herrig returned to the Octagon looking to snap a two-fight losing streak, but instead would run into one of the most underrated fighters in the division in Virna Jandiroba.

Jandiroba would quickly drag Herrig to the ground, work some strikes and transitions right into a slick armbar submission in just a bit over 90 seconds.

While the loss may lead to the end of the UFC run for Herrig, it puts some much needed attention on Jandiroba who has won three of her last four fights by submission with her lone loss to former champion Carla Esparza.

Catchweight (146.5 lbs.): Daniel Chavez (11-3) defeated T.J. Brown (14-8) by Unanimous Decision (29-28 X 3)

In maybe the most under-the-radar fight on the card, Daniel Chavez made his promotion debut by defeated T.J. Brown in impressive fashion.

Chavez would land some strong strikes clearly hurting Brown early in the fight and then, would end the fight with multiple takedowns to seal the deal on a victory.

Women’s Strawweight (115 lbs.): Livia Renata Souza (14-2) defeated Ashley Yoder (7-6) by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28 X 2)

In a match-up of two talented grapplers, both Livia Souza and Ashley Yoder would fight a bit everywhere in the fifteen minutes.

Yoder held the advantage in both significant strikes and in control time, but it was Souza who would get the nod from the judges making it five wins in her last six bouts for the former Invicta champion.

Heavyweight (265 lbs.): Chris Daukaus (9-3) defeated Parker Porter (10-6) by First Round TKO (punches) at 4:28

Parker Porter had a major size advantage against Daukaus, but it would be Chris who would hold an advantage everywhere else.

Daukaus would use a great mix of power and precision striking to hurt Porter before finishing him with a lethal knee and punches on the ground leading to the stoppage towards the end of the opening round.

Featherweight (145 lbs.): Kai Kamaka III (8-2) defeated Tony Kelley (6-2) by Unanimous Decision (29-28 X 3)

In the UFC 252 Fight of the Night, two men making their UFC debut would put on an impressive fight as Kai Kamaka and Tony Kelley would land a combined 228 significant strikes.

Kamaka would have the advantage on the feet in round one and also land five takedowns in the bout to counter the grit and clinch work of Kelley leading to a unanimous decision. Both men will be fun to watch going forward in some fun future fights at 145 lbs.

Join us this upcoming week for a new episode of the Baseline MMA Podcast with a full round-up of the show and upcoming events and match-ups!

UFC 252 Staff Picks and Predictions

The UFC returns to Pay Per View on Saturday with a massive heavyweight main event. The title is on the line, but in reality, there is much more. For a full preview of the match-up between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, check out this awesome piece from our own Josh Thomas.

As for the entire show, it features “The Suga Show” Sean O’Malley returning against the tough Chito Vera plus a heavyweight showdown between Junior Dos Santos and Jair Rozenstuik!

It’s the first UFC Pay Per View since Fight Island and we’re pumped! Here is the Baseline MMA’s staff picks and predictions for UFC 252.

UFC Heavyweight Championship: Stipe Miocic (Champion, 19-3) vs. Daniel Cormier (22-2, 1 NC)

Gabe Lewis: While some believe Miocic’s first loss to DC was a result of damage from the Ngannou fight, the second fight left no doubt who the better fighter was. For Cormier to win the third, he must control Miocic on the ground with his world-class wrestling. DC is on the wrong side of 40, but still has the skills to wear down the champion. Cormier ends his MMA career on top. Cormier by Split Decision

Josh Thomas: I’m truly torn on this fight. On one hand, I’ve never not pulled for Stipe, but I also would love to see DC go out on a win and ride into the sunset. I feel Cormier will be a lot more reserved and patient on the feet in this bout compared to the previous two. I also see DC utilizing much more grappling in this fight. For the first time, I can’t pick just one. I’ll take Miocic by 2nd Round TKO or Cormier by 3rd Round Submission. Pick ‘Em

Cody Guinn: The winner of this fight will likely be named the UFC’s heavyweight GOAT, but I feel neither man is retiring after this one. I believe this time around it’s back and forth. Rounds 1 and 4, Stipe outboxes Cormier on the feet. Rounds 2, 3 and 5, Cormier gets the fight to the ground leading to a DC decision. Cormier may put on a retirement show post-fight, but there’s too much money on the table with a potential Cormier-Jon Jones heavyweight match-up down the road. Cormier by Unanimous Decision

Sean O’Malley (12-0) vs. Marlon Vera (15-6-1)

Gabe: O’Malley has had some tough luck with drug test debacles and setbacks just getting to a fight. Following his walk-off KO of Eddie Wineland, O’Malley is sipping his own Kool-Aid. I would love Vera to humble O’Malley, but Sean has finished 10 of his last 12 opponents so that would be throwing money away. O’Malley by 2nd Round TKO

Josh: I believe Chito surprises many on Saturday. I’m not a “Suga” Sean hater at all, but think this is a huge step up in competition compared to previous opponents in the UFC. Vera by 3rd Round Submission

Cody: I truly believe O’Malley is a future superstar, but I really hope he isn’t looking past Chito Vera. Vera’s last five finishes have all been spectacular and his fight with Song Yadong was a classic that many though Vera should’ve won. Vera will give O’Malley a run for his money, but I’ll still buy in to the “Suga Show” on Saturday. O’Malley by Split Decision

Junior dos Santos (21-7) vs. Jair Rozenstruik (10-1)

Gabe: I tend to favor the up and coming fighters over veterans past their prime and this one is no exception. I see both men trading shots early and often, but Rozenstruik pulling out the KO against the former champion. Rozenstruik by 1st Round KO

Josh: dos Santos is a long-time top five heavyweight and has some great boxing for the division, but against a man with over 80 professional kickboxing bouts, JDS’ striking may not hold up. While this could be a repeat of dos Santos’ fight against Tuivasa, I believe we see “Bigi Boy” shut the lights off on dos Santos. Rozenstruik by 1st Round TKO

Cody: This fight could go a few different way. Dos Santos could try to grapple where he would have an advantage against the stand-up style of Jair…or Dos Santos could test his boxing against the powerful kickboxer. One of these game plans could get someone knocked unconscious in a scary way. Rozenstruik by 2nd Round KO

Herbert Burns (11-2) vs. Daniel Pineda (26-13, 2 NC)

Gabe: This is a classic grappler match-up with this bout. Both men have slick submission skills and the potential to end the fight early. I have Burns as the favorite with more consistency and a bit sharper executing his game plan. Burns by 2nd Round Submission

Josh: Close fight here on paper with two guys who are on hot streaks. I’ll go with Burns in a close bout. Burns by Unanimous Decision

Cody: Pineda is returning to the UFC following a conversational run in PFL. Pineda has looked outstanding since leaving the UFC in 2014 after a 3-4 run and is undefeated since 2018. Burns is on a five-fight winning streak all by finish. This is my favorite for Fight of the Night and I’ll give a slight advantage to the experience of Pineda. Pineda by Split Decision

John Dodson (22-11) vs. Merab Dvalishvii (11-4)

Gabe: Decision is likely in this one as both men have struggled in recent memory putting opponents away. I’ll side with Merab in this decision. Dvalishvii by Unanimous Decision

Josh: Two big statistics standout when looking at this fight: Dodson’s 80% takedown defense rate against Merab’s 8.67 takedowns per round in the UFC. Something has to give and I’ll take Dvalishvii’s game plan to eventually wear down Dodson. Dvalishvii by Unanimous Decision

Cody: This fight will cover the entire Octagon whether it’s from Dodson using his fast feet to keep distance from Merab or if it’s Dvalishvii shooting repeatedly to drag Dodson into deep water. While Dodson doesn’t have the same speed he had in his top ten days, he’s still never been finished in his MMA career. Dodson will likely need to be the one to get a finish in this one to pull out a win. Dvalishvii by Split Decision

Cody’s Quick Prelim Picks
Jim Miller over Vinc Pichel
Virna Jandiroba over Felice Herrig
TJ Brown over Danny Chavez
Livia Souza over Ashley Yoder
Chris Daukaus over Parker Porter
Kai Kamaka III over Tony Kelley

Join us next week on the Baseline MMA Podcast to recap UFC 252 and see how we did with our picks!

More than a World Title: What’s on The Line in Miocic-Cormier III

When you think of all-time great heavyweight mixed martial artists, two names are cemented at the top of the Heavyweight Mount Rushmore: Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.

While most people would notably remember Daniel “DC” Cormier for his championship runs at light heavyweight, it was heavyweight where he would start his career.

He debuted as a professional martial artist as a heavyweight for Strikeforce, winning two fights back to back with strikes. He’d go on to claim a pair of world titles, A King Of The Cage heavyweight title and a XMMA title before returning to Strikeforce.

In his second run with Strikeforce, Cormier would be named an alternate for the Heavyweight Grand Prix, which featured heavyweight legends and superstars such as Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett.

Cormier would win his reserve bout over Jeff Monson by decision and then would replace Overeem in the Grand Prix semi-finals against Big Foot Silva who was coming off a second round TKO of Fedor.

Cormier would batter Silva winning by first round TKO and would march to the finals where he would rag-doll Josh Barnett for five rounds to become the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion.

After the UFC-Strikeforce merger in 2013, Cormier would jump over to the UFC and would fight two more times at heavyweight, this time under the UFC banner before making the cut to light heavyweight and embarking on a title run.

He’d fall short to pound-for-pound star and Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones via Unanimous Decision. As fate would have it, DC’s next battle would again be for the light heavyweight title, now vacated, where he would capture it in the 3rd round over power-puncher Anthony Johnson. This win would take solidify his legacy as champion.

After going 4-0, 1 NC while holding on to the Light Heavyweight title, Cormier would attempt to further solidify his GOAT status by competing for another belt: the UFC Heavyweight Championship; held around the waist of none other than the baddest man on the planet: Stipe Miocic.

Stipe’s run in the UFC has been nothing short of spectacular. A proud, Ohio born and bred fighter with a D-1 wrestling background on one hand and a golden gloves championship in the other. Stipe would enter the promotion a perfect 6-0 before winning his first three in the UFC before falling victim to 7-foot heavyweight prospect Stefan Struve by a lethal Superman punch in second round.

Stipe would recover and win his next three before dropping a decision loss to heavyweight staple Junior Dos Santos in a Fight of the Night performance.

The performance against JDS would launch Miocic to another level. After this fight he’d go on to win his next two by dominant finishes against big names Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski earning him an opportunity to fight then champion Fabricio Werdrum. Stipe would travel to Werdrum’s home of Curitiba, Brazil to dethrone the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wizard in just two and a half minutes.

The now World Champion would go on to defend the crown by picking up a first round KO over legend Alistair Overeem followed by earning revenge over Junior Dos Santos; this time, earning the win by first round TKO.

Miocic would then be faced with a new challenge: the most feared man in the heavyweight division and the hardest hitter in the UFC: Francis Ngannou. Stipe would go on to dominantly defeat Ngannou establishing himself as possibly the best Heavyweight Champion in UFC’s storied heavyweight history.

Miocic’s championship run was nothing short of incredible and he truly looked unstoppable. Therefore, the fight was set for July 7th, 2018…Champion vs Champion; Great vs Great. Two Hall of Famers clashing with a potential GOAT status on the line.

Stipe Miocic would defend his Heavyweight title against then Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier.

It headlined a stacked card and was set to determine “The Greatest” heavyweight of all-time. As fate would have it, it only took DC one round to cement himself in double champ history.

Daniel Cormier’s deadly clinch strikes would catch Stipe with a thundering right hook that would set the Ohio native down. Daniel said earlier in the week, “I’ll win and never be forgotten,” when talking about the fight and his double champ status. That night, he proved to be right.

A common theme among dominant champions is how quickly they tend to get rematches. Anderson Silva got his rematch against Weidman, Jose Aldo got his rematch against Holloway, and now Stipe would get his against Daniel Cormier. The rematch between the two was set for just a little over a year from their previous match-up on August 17th, 2019.

Cormier had went on to defend his newly captured Heavyweight gold and had vacated his Light Heavyweight belt in the meantime. Stipe was coming back after more than a year on the sidelines.

A father, husband and volunteer firefighter, Miocic took the time, healed his body and prepared it for another war against DC.

The rematch started the way the first affair had ended. DC was leading the dance with his strikes and was taking and holding Miocic down with ease. Stipe lost the first two rounds undoubtedly, the third being a bit of a toss up.

Miocic was gaining momentum though, and gaining it quick.

In the fourth round he would make an adjustment with a minute left that would win him the fight: body strikes.

Miocic would repeatedly pepper hooks to the liver, getting Daniel to cover his body and open his head, where Stipe was landing strikes consistently. It was this adjustment that he would use to drop and finish Cormier on the ground, recapturing his title in the process.

A heartbroken Cormier would quickly speak about wanting a rematch: a trilogy to determine who the All-Time Greatest Heavyweight is. Stipe would, of course, accept.

This Saturday, August 15th, will be two days shy of a year since their last encounter.

If Cormier can bounce back and avenge his most recent loss, he can end his MMA career as the greatest heavyweight of all-time. One can make the argument maybe the greatest fighter of all-time.

Notable wins over Josh Barnett, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, Derrick Lewis and what would be a second win over Miocic can certainly cement him on the Heavyweight MMA Mount Rushmore not to mention he simultaneously held both the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight title; the only fighter to ever accomplish this .

On the other hand, if Miocic can get past DC a second time and hold onto his title, his resume will include the likes of Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, Francis Ngannou and second win over Cormier. The same statement can be made for him.

Two of the baddest men on the planet will conclude a trilogy that not only has a world championship at stake, but the ultimate bragging rights as well.

Both men wanting to attain heavyweight GOAT status while also ending their respective careers as a champion.

It’s been no secret Daniel Cormier has plans to retire after Saturday. It’s been speculated that Stipe might have the same intentions.

Either way this fight goes, the fight itself should be an absolute banger. Both men come into the cage with multiple Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night bonuses. Four of both Stipe and Cormier’s last five fights have ended before the final bell.

Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier will be held at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday August 15th. More than a World Title, the winner of Miocic-Cormier III will determine who is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

UFC 252 Main Card (Begins 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+):
Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier
Sean O’Malley vs Marlon “Chito” Vera
Junior Dos Santos vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik
John Dodson vs Merab Dvalishvili
Magomed Ankalaev vs Ion Cutelaba

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