Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., Aug. 17, 2019) to stage UFC 241 from inside Honda Center in Anaheim, California. In the main event of the evening, Stipe Miocic got some sweet revenge on Daniel Cormier, knocking him out in the fourth round to reclaim his title (highlights here). In the co-headlining act, Anthony Pettis and Nate Diaz went to war in a thrilling Welterweight match up that saw Diaz do enough to earn a unanimous decision win over “Showtime” after 15 minutes of action (highlights).
Biggest Winner: Stipe Miocic
For a moment there, it seemed as if Miocic was on his way to dropping his second straight fight against “DC,” losing on the judges scorecards prior to knocking out the Heavyweight champion in the fourth round. And it was all thanks to finding his sweet spot, softening up Cormier with repeated liver shots.
Eventually, Miocic clipped Cormier with a right hand that rocked him, leading to the follow up punches that earned Miocic his belt back. Had it not been for his sudden turnaround, the newly-crowned champion could’ve gone down 0-2 to “DC,” sending his championship dreams further away. But now that he’s back on top, Miocic can celebrate after getting revenge on the ex champ-champ with the right to say he’s the only man to ever defeat Cormier at Heavyweight.
Runner(s) Up: Paulo Costa and Nate Diaz
With his win over Yoel Romero, Costa not only got the last laugh in their war of words, but “Borrachinha” now sets himself up nicely for a shot at the title against the winner of the upcoming fight between division champion, Robert Whittaker, taking on interim champion, Israel Adesanya. Costa now improves to 13-0, 5-0 UFC and backs up his words that he is on his way to becoming the face of Brazilian MMA. Costa has all the makings of a star — he’s got the looks, power and skills to make him a legit threat inside (and outside) of the Octagon.
After three years away, Diaz proved that he hadn’t lost a step, smothering Pettis with a relentless attack that at times doesn't seem to be too impactful. But what you think you see from the outside isn’t the same as what actually goes down, as Diaz wears on his opponents with non-stop punches and pressure that eventually takes its toll.
And that’s just what happened to Pettis, as the Stockton slugger put it on “Showtime” while taking some of his best shots en route to a clear win. After calling out Jorge Masvidal following his win, it seems this is the fight to make next. And I don’t think you will find anyone complaining too much about it, either. Sorry, Conor McGregor.
Biggest Loser: Jodie Esquibel
Yes, Cormier, Pettis and Romero all came up short, but those were hard-fought fights and each man will stick around to fight another day. Esquibel, meanwhile, has dropped her first four fights inside the Octagon since making her debut in 2017. Just because she isn’t the biggest name doesn’t mean she didn’t lose big, as this could signal the end of her UFC career after failing to capture the “W” inside the Octagon.
To get full play-by-play- updated and results from UFC 241: “Cormier vs. Miocic 2” click here.