UFC 252 recap: Stipe Miocic wins decision against Daniel Cormier in a trilogy fight.
In the main event of UFC 252, Stipe Miocic defeated Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision to defend his heavyweight title.
The heavyweight trilogy concluded at UFC 252, with the score between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier finally settled. It was close, but in the end, the winner, and now cemented as the greatest UFC heavyweight ever is Miocic.
Watch video from the main event below, along with a snippet from our play-by-play of the contest.
Stipe Miocic defeated Daniel Cormier via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
Daniel Cormier’s NCAA wrestling career ended with a loss to the legendary Cael Sanderson. Cormier’s Olympic wrestling run ended with him not being able to compete because of kidney issues related to weight cutting. On Saturday, Cormier’s MMA run seemingly came to a close with a decision loss to Stipe Miocic in a heavyweight title fight.
Cormier gave it his all in his third battle against Miocic, but the adjustments Miocic and his team made seemed to be more effective and meaningful. That and the coaching Miocic received during the fight seemed to make the difference in the trilogy bout, which headlined UFC 252.
Below are the winners and losers from Saturday’s pay-per-view card.
Stipe Miocic: Miocic had not fought since he knocked out Cormier at UFC 241. In that contest, Miocic started out slow and was likely behind on the scorecards when he decided that he should try to score some points with body shots. He did that in the fourth round. Not only did he score with those blows, Miocic used them to set up the finish and regain the UFC heavyweight title.
Miocic made some good adjustments for his third fight against Cormier. The defending champ had a faster start in this fight and he went to the body early. His corner was also incredibly vocal and made sure he followed the game plan throughout the five-round battle.
The thing that stood out the most for me was that sense of team from Miocic’s corner. I believe the work they put into their fighter and Miocic’s willingness to listen and trust that team was the difference-maker in this contest. Miocic’s team might not be the biggest or best known, but they work well with their fighter.
UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier - Winners and Losers
What was the high point of the fight?
In the opening round both men had their moments in the exchanges, with Miocic landing some good jabs whilst Cormier almost dropped the champ with two heavy right hands. The second round was much the same but Miocic was just edging the exchanges, landing two hard left hands that dropped ‘DC’ at the end of the round.
After an eye poke at the end of round three, Cormier’s eye began to cause some real problems in round four and affected his output. Cormier still did well in the fourth round but in the fifth and final round Miocic’s high output of strikes was enough to win him the round and pick up a unanimous decision win in the trilogy fight.
UFC 252: ‘MIOCIC vs. CORMIER III’ RESULTS & UPDATED FIGHT RECORDS:
MAIN CARD | SAT. AUG 15
UFC Heavyweight Championship - Stipe Miocic (20-3) DEF. Daniel Cormier (22-3) - DEC, Unanimous
135lbs - Marlon Vera (18-6) DEF. Sean O’Malley (12-1) - KO/TKO, Elbows from Guard at 4:40 of Rd 1
265lbs - Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1) DEF. Junior dos Santos (21-8) - KO/TKO, Right Hook to G&P at 3:47 of Rd 2, Total 8:47
145lbs - Daniel Pineda (27-13) DEF. Herbert Burns (11-3) - KO/TKO, Elbows from Crucifix at 4:37 of Rd 2, Total 9:37
135lbs - Merab Dvalishvili (12-4) DEF. John Dodson (21-12) - DEC, Unanimous
FIGHT OF THE NIGHT: ($50K ea.) Kamaka vs. Kelley PERFORMANCES OF THE NIGHT: ($50K ea.) 1. Daniel Pineda 2. Virna Jandiroba
155lbs - Vinc Pichel (13-2) DEF. Jim Miller (32-15) - DEC, Unanimous
115lbs - Virna Jandiroba (16-1) DEF. Felice Herrig (14-9) - SUB, Armbar at 1:44 of Rd 1
145lbs - Danny Chavez (11-3) DEF. TJ Brown (14-8) - DEC, Unanimous
115lbs - Livinha Souza (14-2) DEF. Ashley Yoder (7-6) - DEC, Unanimous
ESPN+ EARLY PRELIMS
265lbs - Christopher Daukaus (9-3) DEF. Parker Porter (10-6) - KO/TKO, Punches & Knee at 4:26 of Rd 1
145lbs - Kai Kamaka III (8-2) DEF. Tony Kelley (6-2) - DEC, Unanimous
Daniel Cormier confirms retirement after UFC 252: ‘I’ve had a long run, it’s been great’
Daniel Cormier first spoke about retirement in January 2018, six months before he became the UFC heavyweight champion and the second “double-champ” in history. 39 years old at the time, “DC” wanted to walk away from the sport by his 40th birthday on March 20, 2019.
Those plans took a backseat when he lost to Stipe Miocic in their rematch in August 2019. After losing via fourth-round TKO, Cormier made it his goal to “right the wrong” in that fight.
The two men met for the third time at UFC 252 on Saturday, two days shy of the anniversary of their second fight. After failing to meet his goal, Cormier is now decided to hang up his gloves for good.
“I’m not interested in fighting for anything but titles, and I don’t imagine there’s gonna be a title in the future,” he told fellow analyst Joe Rogan during the post-fight interview.
“So, that’ll be it for me. I’ve had a long run, it’s been great. I just fought my last fight for the heavyweight championship, and it was a pretty good fight.”
The 41-year-old Cormier holds a professional record of 22-3 (with 1 NC and 15 wins by stoppage). He’d gone through and defeated some of the sport’s biggest names, including former champions Frank Mir, Josh Barnett, and Anderson Silva, as well as top contenders like Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson, to name a few.
Jon Jones on UFC 252: I’ll be heavyweight champion ‘very soon’
Over the past few years, Jon Jones managed to make himself relevant enough among UFC heavyweights. His name was thrown into the mix against that of Cain Velasquez, Stipe Miocic, and most recently, Francis Ngannou.
Currently shelved after a publicized rift with the UFC and company president Dana White, “Bones” kept a close eye on UFC 252’s main event fight on Saturday between Stipe Miocic and old foe Daniel Cormier. The reigning light heavyweight champion even did a short live-tweeting session as the bout took place.
And after seeing what the division’s two elite fighters can bring to the table, Jones is liking his chances. He is even confident enough to get to the top of the heavyweight mountain “real soon.”
Cormier’s coach Javier Mendez expects UFC 252’s winner to be granted a “big money fight” against Jones. But as far as Dana White is concerned, someone else is more deserving of the next title shot.
“Francis is definitely next,” White told the media during the post-fight presser. “You can’t jump over Francis. Francis has been out there destroying everybody. And if you look at how long ago it was that he got that title shot, he’s worked his way back.
“It belongs to Francis Ngannou. But yeah, Jon Jones going to heavyweight is very interesting.”
After his two losses in 2018, Ngannou bounced back big time with a four-fight win streak. All of those victories ended by first-round knockout, the most recent one against Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249 in May.
As for Jones, he is coming off a controversial unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 last February.