On August 15th, Daniel Cormier will challenge Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
This will be the third such meeting between the two legends of the sport. With each fighter holding one win over the other, this rubber match could potentially determine the greatest Heavyweight fighter in UFC history. Here is what to expect at UFC 252.
In the first fight between Cormier and Miocic, Stipe was riding a six-fight win streak, including his title victory over Fabricio Werdum and three title defenses.
Cormier, on the other hand, was the current Light Heavyweight Champion and was pursuing a “double-champ” status by claiming the Heavyweight title. The first fight was expected to see Stipe utilize his size and reach the advantage to strike with Cormier who is primarily a wrestler. If the fight were to end up on the ground, Stipe has very good wrestling as well, which he showcased in his most recent fight at the time against Francis N’Gannou.
Although Stipe had the reach advantage, he was very adept at striking in tight windows or inside the clinch. This was expected to be a sure-fire win for Stipe. However, Cormier was able to get inside the range of Stipe and knock him out clean with the very inside punches Stipe had used himself. With the “double-champ” status achieved, Cormier chose to relinquish his Light Heavyweight title, and remain at the weight class he had made his name in.
The second fight between these two came just over a year after their first encounter.
With Cormier firmly established at the top of the Heavyweight division, a highly anticipated rematch awaited the two incredible fighters. Stipe hadn’t fought since their first bout, so the fans and media alike were uncertain as to how Stipe would fair in a rematch. These uncertainties were proven fair in the first three rounds of the fight as well. Cormier controlled the entire fight with Stipe completely battered entering the fourth round. However, the former champion was able to exploit an opening in Cormier’s stand-up game.
Cormier was leaving the right side of his body exposed when he raised his hands, opening him up to a shot to the liver. Direct trauma to the liver can cause the body to go through tremendous shock and this is exactly what happened to Cormier. Stipe landed 11 jabs to Cormier’s liver which inevitably backed Cormier up to the cage with his hands down. Stipe laid a barrage of strikes on Cormier to score the TKO victory and regain his Heavyweight Championship.
The Champion Miocic will certainly be looking to strike with Cormier and exploit his body again. It will be interesting to see if Cormier has adjusted to better defend his body from those brutal jabs. Stipe will also have had to work on his stand-up game. Despite winning the fight, he had lost the first three rounds of the rematch badly. Cormier was taking it to Stipe on the feet and it was not close.
Both will be eager to strike with one another, but whoever will get the better of the other would be anyone’s guess. Cardio will be an interesting factor as well. With limited gym time for both fighters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cardio levels will be tested early for both fighters. This very well could come down to a battle of attrition.
With so much at stake for both fighters, expect nothing but the best from each fighter.
There is absolutely no way this fight disappoints fans.
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