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Here’s everything that happened at UFC 252 last night

UFC 252: Miocic v Cormier 3 Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC continued its stay in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the UFC APEX last night (Sat., Aug. 15, 2020) for UFC 252. Despite some COVID-19 cancelations, last night’s pay-per-view (PPV) remained a very solid card. Headlined by one of the best Heavyweight clashes in title history, it was a historic and exciting night of combat.

Let’s take a closer look at the slickest techniques and best performances:

Miocic Retains

Stipe Miocic’s greatest attribute is his ability to fight smart.

Against different Heavyweight legends, Miocic has performed differently. Note, for example, how he knocked out Fabricio Werdum on the counter, whereas he charged Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem like a bull in chase of the knockout. Few fighters can adjust so well at the mid-level, let alone the highest echelon of competition.

Opposite “DC,” Miocic countered many of Cormier’s favorite habits. The premier example was Cormier’s left arm club to right overhand, which did land a bunch of times. However, Miocic did adjust, using that positioning to jam Cormier into the fence. The fight spent several minutes in that position, and arguably, that control won the fight.

Otherwise, Miocic did a nice job of simply moving more. He was too easily hit in the second fight, and while he was no Muhammad Ali last night, circling on the outside prevented Cormier from completely timing his jab and low kick. As a result, Cormier missed more often, which allowed Miocic to fire back with heavy counter shots.

It was not always pretty, but Miocic closes this trilogy with a victory.

The Chito Show

Marlon Vera did not give a sh*t about Sean O’Malley.

O’Malley started fast and showed why he’s such a hyped up prospect. His offensive prowess was clear, as O’Malley flashed quick feints and exploded into heavy kicks. Similar to the trash talk, Vera let it all roll off his shoulder. He was simply unaffected.

That said, Vera’s offense wasn’t exactly flowing. He was scoring with some kicks, but otherwise, he was having difficulty closing distance. Admittedly, O’Malley wasn’t landing many punches either, just the heavier kicks.

At some point, O’Malley injured his ankle. Without his stability and springiness, Vera surged. He went on the offensive, started chopping the other leg and firing punches around the guard. When O’Malley fell to the mat, Vera gained top position and promptly elbowed his face through the mat.

Right it off as injury if you’d like, but Vera scores another finish.

‘Bigi Boy’ Power

Jairzinho Rozenstruik is not afraid to lose a decision.

The kickboxing veteran is very selective with his strikes. He is unwilling to throw strikes that do not have a very high percentage of landing. In general, he does a majority of his work on the counter, because he knows precisely where his opponent is. If Junior dos Santos is throwing a right hand to the mid-section, his lead leg is definitely in range to be kicked.

That’s probably an exchange the judges will score against him, but Rozenstruik doesn’t miss, so he’s happy. He’ll do the same with his infamous check hook, which carries real fight-ending power.

As a result of his concise nature, Rozenstruik can lose rounds. He lost rounds to both dos Santos and Alistair Overeem — hell, even Junior Albini!. However, he also showed an ability to turn it up when necessary, knocking both veterans out brilliantly.

Against dos Santos, he decided to press the Brazilian into the fence. Then — continuing with that minimalist approach — Rozenstruik did not throw a five-punch combination. He feinted a cross, switched Southpaw, and convinced dos Santos to move into his right hook. “JDS” stumbled, and finally, Rozenstruik swarmed.

Few fighters have the power and experience to execute such a style, but “Bigi Boy” is one of them.

Return of ‘The Pit’

Daniel Pineda is a man who makes whatever promotion he signs with better.

I don’t expect the 35-year-old veteran to make a splash in the title mix at 145 lbs., nor do I particularly care. Pineda has 27 professional wins to his name, and he’s finished every single one. That’s INCREDIBLE!

Against a vaunted jiu-jitsu player in Herbert Burns, Pineda demonstrated why he’s finished so many opponents: a complete lack of fear. From the first bell, Pineda was swinging heavy with his right hand and trying to slam his kick through the leg. There was no feeling out process; Pineda was going for the kill immediately.

More impressively, Pineda handled his opponent on the mat. A couple times, Burns managed to take his foe’s back, but “The Pit” patiently fought hands and spun into guard. Once in top position, the veteran shredded his opponent with elbows and punches, eventually overwhelming Burns from the crucifix position.

Welcome back sir!

Additional Thoughts

  • Virna Jandiroba defeats Felica Herrig via first-round armbar (HIGHLIGHTS): Jandiroba really made it look easy. She feinted a right hand to score a takedown in the first 30 seconds, and she advanced to mount almost immediately. A couple quick strikes encouraged Herrig to scramble, but Jandiroba immediately locked onto the arm and sat back for the submission. Now riding a two-fight win streak, Jandiroba looks the part of a dark horse contender at 115 lbs. Her jiu-jitsu is no joke!
  • Chris Daukaus defeats Parker Porter via first-round knockout (HIGHLIGHTS): Daukaus might have a future at Light Heavyweight. He weighed in around 240 pounds, which is not small, but he also could afford to lose some weight without sacrificing much muscle. Fortunately, in this fight, Daukaus speed advantage was huge! He kept sneaking in the right hand, and that damage added up. On the whole, his boxing looked quite sharp, and regardless of weight class, he seems ready for many return trips to the Octagon.

For complete UFC 252: “Miocic vs. Cormier 3” results and play-by-play, click HERE!