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UFC 241: Stipe Miocic reclaims heavyweight title, Daniel Cormier contemplates retirement

UFC 241: Stipe Miocic reclaims heavyweight title, Daniel Cormier contemplates retirement

Stipe Miocic celebrates with the UFC Heavyweight Championship after UFC 241

After a year of waiting for the rematch he so desperately yearned for, Stipe Miocic cashed in on the opportunity.

In a comeback effort, Miocic defeated heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier by TKO at 4:09 in the fourth round of UFC 241’s main event, earning his revenge over the man who took his belt last July.

“‘DC’ is a tough motherf**ker, I’ve got to give it to the man,” Miocic told Joe Rogan in his celebratory post-fight interview. “I just saw some weaknesses in the third round, and that fourth round when I caught him with a right hand — thank God because that motherf**ker’s tough. He kept coming. But you know what? it’s a fight, though. Anything can happen.”

The fight began with a quick touch of the gloves. Both fighters selected leg kicks as their strike of choice as the feeling out began.

After finding success with winging shots, Cormier opted to utilize his wrestling. As he has done to both light heavyweights and heavyweights alike, he lifted Miocic, held him hopelessly upside down in mid-air and proceeded to slam him on his back.

Miocic defended any advances on the ground, but he ate plenty of strikes in the process. The round came to a close with Cormier flinging hammerfists on the side of Miocic’s head, looking at Herb Dean for a possible stoppage.

Unlike the first fight, this one made it to a second round.

Cormier had success on the feet through manipulation of Miocic’s wrists. He held Miocic’s extended hands and threw quick strikes before Miocic could bring them back to defend.

Miocic also suffered from an eye poke in the round that went unnoticed by referee Herb Dean, despite Miocic’s protests.

The round didn’t end without success from Miocic though. Cormier’s attack, while effective, also left his head vulnerable. Even so, it was Miocic who was wearing the damage on his face and breathing heavily after the second round.

Stipe shot his first takedown of the fight in the third round but was unsuccessful. He was, however, able to back Cormier up with a combination, allowing him to initiate the clinch against the cage.

After Cormier missed on a hefty elbow, Miocic landed the takedown he was looking for. He was unable to mount any offense, and Cormier rose to his feet.

The two proceeded to slug it out for the remainder of the round, ending a better round for Miocic, but likely still not enough to give him a chance to win on the scorecards.

Ultimately, those scorecards would not matter.

Miocic put his boxing on display in round four. He found immense success with a left hand to Cormier’s body. Even as Cormier attempted to circle out, the left was still there for Miocic, and he took it every time it was offered.

The punches clearly took a toll on Cormier, who began to fade.

“I knew I was hurting him,” Miocic said after the fight. “His hands were dropping more. I’ve just got to keep working, keep working and he’s gonna leave something open.”

The plan worked.

Miocic capitalized, pushing Cormier against the cage with combinations before crumpling him. Dean gave Cormier plenty of chances to defend himself and get back in the fight, but he was forced to step in and wave it off after Cormier failed to answer back.

Miocic’s victory preserved his record of most consecutive heavyweight title defenses. He is currently tied with Randy Couture and Tim Sylvia for the total number of defenses with three, so he now has the chance to etch his name in history once again in his next outing.

For Cormier, this fight could quite possibly be his last.

The former double champion stood off to the side, gloves off, as Miocic celebrated his win with his team and family. Once his chance to speak came, Cormier congratulated his foe before Rogan asked the question everyone had on their minds: is this it for Daniel Cormier?

Cormier has been vocal about the possibility of retiring after this fight, but he didn’t make a firm decision in the post-fight interview.

“You don’t make decisions based on emotions, but it’s a tough pill to swallow,” Cormier said.

Two possible trilogy fights could be on the table for Cormier. He has long hoped for a third shot at light heavyweight king Jon Jones after failing to dethrone him twice. And with the series with Miocic now tied at one apiece, a rubber match is unlikely to be out of the question.

Despite money-making opportunities inside the Octagon, life outside of fighting will play a large role in his thoughts about retirement. Cormier not only already has a job as a UFC commentator and host of the MMA film-breakdown show Detail, but he also coaches high school wrestling at Gilroy High School in California.

“At 40 years old, with so many other opportunities, I need to speak to my wife, and we need to make an educated decision as to what we’re gonna do.”


UFC 241 full results

Main Card

  • Stipe Miocic def. Daniel Cormier via TKO (punches) – R4, 4:09 🏆 (video) (play-by-play)
  • Nate Diaz def. Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) (video) (play-by-play)
  • Paulo Costa def. Yoel Romero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) (video) (play-by-play)
  • Sodiq Yusuff def. Gabriel Benitez via TKO (punches) – R1, 4:14
  • Derek Brunson def. Ian Heinisch by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Prelims

  • Khama Worthy def. Devonte Smith via TKO (punches) – R1, 4:15
  • Cory Sandhagen def. Raphael Assuncao (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Drakkar Klose def. Christos Giagos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Casey Kenney def. Manny Bermudez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Early Prelims

  • Hannah Cifers def. Jodie Esquibel via unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Kyung Ho Kang def. Brandon Davis via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
  • Sabina Mazo def. Shana Dobson via unanimous decision (30-24, 30-25, 30-25)
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