Harry Terjanian, Stephanie Sottile and I (Matt Ryan) are coming to you from our summer studio in Point Unpleasant, N.J., for the mixed martial arts (MMA) version of a “Prairie Home Companion” … just with more yelling.
There’s not really a lot you need said about UFC 252, which takes place TONIGHT (Sat., Aug. 15, 2020) from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada (full results here), because it is, in theory, a one-fight card. Indeed, Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier will punch each other in the face (and belly) repeatedly for a third and final time, with the winner not only getting that gold belt, but the title of greatest Heavyweight of all time.
While Javier Mendez claims the winner of this fight will face Jon Jones next (details), we all know that’s not going to happen. Cormier will put the gloves down tonight and walk away from a sport he helped push into the 2020’s. He went from a maligned villain to a beloved hero, while Miocic went from everyman fighter with a solid punch and a B-movie backstory and ... honestly he’s still that.
It is hard not to root for Cormier tonight, just knowing his story, watching him develop, seeing what he’s endured in this sport, you have to root for someone like that. He’s what you want in an MMA star: talented, likable and confident. Stipe is two of those things.
I’m not looking to bash Stipe here, I value all of my teeth and blood remaining inside my body. But, coming out of the first two fights, the rugged fireman from outside Cleveland, Ohio, was less the All American hero, but more like Harvey Pekar: angry, complaining and willing to tell anyone and everyone about it.
Sure he out-pointed Francis Ngannou, but that was a “Predator” adrift in too much hype and not enough focus. If those two fought again anytime soon, I’d expect a much different ending.
Regardless, none of you care about my opinion (well, some of you do), especially after a few glasses of Tennessee courage. However, tonight my opinion gives way to a card that is full of “star making fights” in a time when UFC is losing all of its stars. Either way, tonight is likely the end of Cormier as a fighter. We thank you, we appreciate you, and we will always remember you for dancing shirtless holding a variety of snacks.
Godspeed, “D.C.” … Godspeed.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 252 fight card this weekend right here, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 252: “Miocic vs. Cormier 3” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
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