Croat Stipe Miocic Becomes Best Heavyweight MMA Fighter Of All Time

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Youtube screenshot
Youtube screenshot

Youtube screenshot

August 16, 2020 – In their third and final meeting, American legend Daniel Cormier beaten by Croat Stipe Miocic at UFC 252

It was billed as the super fight to end them all. And for good reason. When the two greatest heavyweights to have ever competed in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) met earlier today, they knew it would be for the final time. One would leave the ring as the undisputed champion in the category. That was Croat Stipe Miocic. His opponent, Cormier, stepped out to retirement.

“They’re the two best ever,” said UFC president Dana White before the fight. “You’ll find out who’s the best heavyweight of all time. It doesn’t get any better than this.” The bombastic claim was not without merit. The two fighters both had a considerable track record and a score to settle. Each had won in one of their previous two meetings. This was the decider.

37-year-old Croat Stipe Miocic began the match as a two-time and existing heavyweight champion, having started his second reign when he defeated Cormier in August 2019 at UFC 241. In his first reign, he held the title for 26 months, defending the belt a record number of three times before the American legend Cormier beat him in July 2018. In his decade-long career in UFC, he has scored 13 wins over 3 losses, although he subsequently went on to beat two of the three opponents who had succeeded against him.

Having also competed in the light heavyweight category, 41-year-old Cormier is the first athlete to have successfully defended titles in two different UFC weight classes and is regarded as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in UFC history. Prior to his iconic 10-year stint in UFC, Cormier was a two-time US Olympian and captain of the 2008 Olympic wrestling team. He had stated before the match that this was to be his final fight. In reply, Miocic, who also works for the Valley View Fire Department in Ohio said simply, “We have unfinished business.”

The meeting was the eagerly-anticipated main event of UFC 252 and took place at the UFC APEX complex in Las Vegas. Usually, the fighters would have been awash with the roars and cheers of thousands of fans. But, due to social distancing regulations, on this occasion the audience was absent. That didn’t stop millions from tuning in at home.

The age difference between the fighters was a negligible factor; in their last meeting, it took Croat Stipe Miocic until the fourth round to knock out Cormier. In the 2018 match, Cormier had knocked down Miocic to win in only the first round. But ultimately, the best of three was to be a night of success for the Croat Stipe Miocic, whose father is from Rtina in Dalmatia, his mother from Cetingrad in Karlovac county.

Youtube screenshot of Croat Stipe Miocic landing a punch

The fighters ended the first round evenly, Cormier landing the round’s most powerful blow and also trapping the Croat in a headlock. But, Miocic’s extra reach helped him land more punches.

In round two, Cormier’s jabs frustrated Miocic for the first few minutes, but Miocic managed to land two killer right hooks to the American’s head and he fell to the ground. With seconds left to go, the American got off lightly.

In comparison, the third round was more subdued, but when Cormier finished with a debilitating eye injury, both fighters entered the fourth round with a renewed determination. At the end, both appeared so strong that it looked like the fight would go the full five rounds. And it did.

The fifth round showed why MMA is in a class of its own, the fighters employing a mixture of fearsome boxing and grappling wrestling. Showing some of the steely determination that had previously helped him triumph over UFC champions Junior Dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum and Andrei Arlovski, Miocic managed to sustain his excellent strike rate and the Croat’s extra reach ultimately proved too effective. When the judges’ scores were returned, it was Miocic who had prevailed and retained his title belt. Though they were ringing to draw the faithful to church, there seemed to be a celebratory tone to the bells of Zagreb as they sounded out just moments later.


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