Daniel Cormier took his place among the immortals.
The American Kickboxing Academy captain knocked out Stipe Miocic to claim the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight title in the first round of their UFC 226 headliner on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cormier (21-1, 10-1 UFC) brought it to a close 4:33 into Round 1, becoming the second fighter in UFC history -- Conor McGregor is the other -- to hold titles in two divisions simultaneously.
Miocic (18-3, 12-3 UFC) threw power punches in combination but moseyed too willingly into the clinch against the two-time Olympic wrestler and reigning light heavyweight champion. After a brief pause in the action due to a blatant eye poke from Cormier, the Strong Style Fight Team cornerstone again engaged “DC” at close range. Cormier fired a right hook on the break that folded the Ohio native where he stood. A burst of hammerfists followed, knocking Miocic unconscious before a stunned crowd.
Afterward, Cormier invited former UFC champion and current World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Brock Lesnar into the cage. A shoving match ensued, apparently laying the groundwork for a future showdown between the two.
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Lewis Decisions Frozen Ngannou
Former Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder Derrick Lewis won for the eighth time in nine appearances, as he was awarded a unanimous decision over a woefully inactive Francis Ngannou in the heavyweight co-main event. Lewis (20-5, 11-3) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 marks from the judges.
While Lewis was far from inspiring, he easily outworked his counterpart. Ngannou (11-3, 6-2 UFC) refused to exchange, as the scene turned more bizarre and the fans grew more restless by the second. Referee Herb Dean warned both men for timidity in the second round, to no avail. Lewis did just enough with his kicks and offered a few punching flurries in all three rounds, the crowd booing lustily as the utterly forgettable fight neared its conclusion.
Perry Outpoints Replacement Felder
Jackson-Wink MMA rep Mike Perry threw the brakes on a two-fight losing streak with a split decision over onetime Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder Paul Felder in a three-round feature at 170 pounds. All three judges scored it 29-28: Michael Bell and Chris Lee for Perry, Dave Hagen for Felder.
It was a gory battle. An inadvertent clash of heads opened a cut on Felder’s scalp early in the first round, and the Roufusport standout later appeared to suffer a broken arm while throwing a spinning backfist. Perry (12-3, 5-3 UFC) marched forward with power and purpose, hunting opportunities to let his heavy hands fly. A left hook in the second round sliced Felder near the right eye and raised a grotesque golf ball-sized hematoma on his forehead. Despite his compromised condition, “The Irish Dragon” never once looked for a way out, choosing instead to keep on firing. Perry did damage in close quarters and at range, mixed in a few takedowns and maximized his size and strength advantage.
The loss marked the end of a three-fight winning streak for Felder (15-4, 7-4 UFC), who replaced the injured Yancy Medeiros on short notice.
Pettis Triangle Armbar Submits Chiesa
Former UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting champion Anthony Pettis submitted Michael Chiesa with a triangle armbar in the second round of their lightweight showcase. Pettis (21-7, 8-6 UFC) drew the curtain 52 seconds into Round 2, as he won for the third time in five outings.
Chiesa (14-4, 7-4 UFC) executed a pair of takedowns and briefly threatened with an arm-triangle choke in the first round but failed to corral the longtime Duke Roufus understudy. Pettis cracked him with a straight right early in the second round and clamped down on a guillotine, only to see “The Ultimate Fighter 15” winner escape and assume top position. Chiesa then wandered into a triangle, saw his left arm extended and tapped.
Rountree Stuns Favored Saki
“The Ultimate Fighter 23” finalist Khalil Rountree took out former Glory Kickboxing champion Gokhan Saki with punches in the first round of their featured light heavyweight affair. Saki (1-2, 1-1 UFC) bit the dust 96 seconds into Round 1.
Rountree (7-2, 3-2 UFC) engaged the Dutchman in the center of the cage and did so with fearless precision. He countered a leg kick, floored Saki with a surgical straight left and followed him to the canvas, where he finished the job with a volley of kneeling hammerfists.
It was the fifth first-round stoppage of Rountree’s career.
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