Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., July 7, 2018) for UFC 226 from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, which was headlined by a Heavyweight title fight between division champion Stipe Miocic and Light Heavyweight king Daniel Cormier that saw “DC” end Stipe’s run atop the 265-pound mountain with a vicious first-round knockout win (recap). In the co-main event, Derrick Lewis defeated Francis Ngannou in a three-round lackluster showdown which produced more boos than strikes.
Biggest Winner: Daniel Cormier
Without a doubt, Cormier has to be one of the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters of all time (if he wasn’t already) after he joined a very elite club alongside Conor McGregor as the only two fighters to ever hold two-separate UFC division titles simultaneously. Winning is one thing, but knocking out Miocic the way he did was the cherry on top, as Cormier made it look easy against the most dominant big man UFC has ever employed.
What’s even more impressive is the fact that Cormier called his shot prior to the bout, telling the UFC on FOX crew he would knock Stipe out as soon as they separated from the clinch. Mystic
Mac Dan. And if that weren't enough, Cormier likely set himself up his much-desired big-money fight against Brock Lesnar thanks to their confrontation after the fight. With the win, Cormier can hopefully now avoid the Jon Jones questions, as “DC” has done soemthing “Bones” has never done.
Runner Up: Khalil Rountree
Most weren’t giving Khalil much of a chance against Gokhan Saki if he chose to play the dangerous striking game against the former kickboxing champion. But Rountree did just that, standing his ground and in the pocket against one of the best strikers in the world. And three minutes into the fight, Rountree connected with a huge strike that dropped the former GLORY champion, and proceeded to follow it up with some ground-and-pound to put an end to the fight.
It’s a satisfying win for Rountree indeed, as he silenced “The Rebel” after he claimed prior to the fight that Khalil had nothing to offer, especially in the striking department.
Biggest Loser: Michael Chiesa
Chiesa got off to a bad start prior to fight night, as he came in over weight and rejected the extra time allotted to him to drop the weight. As a result, he was forced to cough up a percentage of his purse to “Showtime.” To make it worse, “Maverick” didn’t seem apologetic to Pettis during their stare down, instead opting to continue has verbal assault on the former Lightweight champion. Come fight night, Chiesa looked okay for the first round, but he was then caught accusing Pettis of being greased in between rounds. At the start of round two, Chiesa ate a big kick to the body, to which he replied to by waving his finger at Pettis, only to get rocked by a straight right hand. After he got dropped, he was then submitted by “Showtime,” handing him his second straight submission loss.
For complete UFC 226: “Miocic vs Cormier” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.