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Miocic goes the distance with DC to retain Heavyweight title

Stipe Miocic takes the rubber match, edging out Daniel Cormier 2-1 in their Trilogy via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)

Photo Credit UFC

Stipe Miocic (19-3) meets Daniel Cormier (22-2) for the rubber match. Clarity is finally returning to the Heavyweight Division. The log jam at the top of the division is coming loose and the next generation of Champions are baying in the wings. Francis Ngannou has continued to cement is place as leading contender. Curtis Blaydes continues to dominate opponents, but with two losses

After a short period of exploratory strikes, Stipe returns to the well from their previous bout and went for the body shot early. The trauma from the body shot provokes Cormier to immediately shoot for the take down. After flirting with a guillotine, Cormier is backed up to the fence and it’s back to boxing. The closing moments of the first round are interrupted from a severe eye poke from Cormier.

After the action resumes Miocic returns landing heavy combinations wandering from the head to the body. Cormier absorbs the powerful shots from Miocic but answers back with his own measured and accurate slogs. Just before the 10 second warning clacks Cormier lands a cunning right hook on the ear that staggers Miocic.

Photo Credit UFC

The action continues but it interrupted once again. After a brief stoppage for groin strike on Cormier, Miocic breaks out of the gate landing power strikes.

Cormier once again responds with his own flurry of half a dozen heavy shots to the head. Miocic returned to the body but it doesn’t deter Cormier as he is falling into his rhythm.

While the body shot is always there for Miocic, the head shot is slightly more elusive and baits him into Cormier’s counter. Cormier strikes in long sequences efforting lengthy combos from Miocic’s single mistake.

It was a lucid second round for Cormier with all of his combinations finding their mark but all of that dominant momentum was nearly for nothing when Miocic landed a haymaker on the chin and dropped Cormier. Miocic sunk in for the finish but Cormier was saved by the bell.

The momentum returned to Miocic in the beginning of the third. Miocic returned to working up and down the body to the head. Cormier is still rattled from the finish of the previous round but working his counters inside. The once again sunk into dirty boxing as they clinched. Miocic walked them into the fence and breaks the clinch with a spinning back elbow to the body.

Photo Credit UFC

Miocic walked Cormier down into the clinch and they stalled on the cage wall. Miocic controlled the right wrist of Cormier and dug in with shoulder strikes to the head and knees to the body. Fatigue is visibly setting in on both fighters, but they both finished the round strong trading power shots. In the final ten seconds of the round Cormier sustained a serious poke to the left eye.

Cormier could be heard saying that he can’t see as he stood for the fourth round. As the round begins his left was swelling shut. The boxing exchanges again lead them to the fence where Miocic reengages the clinch and shoulder strikes. Cormier compensated well for his injury but a relentless Miocic kept the pressure on even as the pace slowed slightly, however steady.

The final round no shot was unanswered until returning to the clinch. Any moment the clinch was broken they both were swinging for the finish. As Bruce Buffer announced the score cards Cormier could tell the bout wasn’t going his way. The disappointmnet in the circumstances with the eye injury became palpalble, and even more poignent during his post fight interview.

The future of Cormier’s career is still potentially up in the air. He was diagnosed with a torn cornea but did not require surgery. However his condition will have to be closely monitored over a period of months. With Cormier’s future uncertain, Stipe Miocic however maintains he is here to stay and is ready to fight anyone.

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