It's not over until it’s over in Mixed Martial Arts bouts.
A battered, bruised and bleeding Stipe Miocic demonstrated that truth once again as he dug deep into every ounce of strength and resolve within himself to knock out Daniel Cormier in the fourth round of UFC 241 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, Saturday night (Sunday afternoon Philippine time) to regain the UFC World Heavyweight crown.
Trailing in every round but the last, Miocic – who last year lost the heavy weight crown to the same Cormier – continually hit his foe with left hooks to the torso aiming for the liver.
Late in the fourth round, a right hand by Cormier stopped Miocic on his tracks. Miocic wasn’t daunted and continued to stalk Cormier as he countered with right straights, but mostly left hooks to Cormier’s body.
A stoic Cormier didn’t change his expression, then planted his feet and shot out another right which had Miocic on his heels again.
Miocic countered with another pair of left hooks to the right side of Cormier’s body. The second caught Cormier right in the liver and as he lowered his hands and staggered backward Miocic moved in for the kill.
Miocic unloaded on Cormier’s face and head finishing off his opponent as Cormier simply crumpled backward into the cage and to the floor completely beaten.
Miocic turned and walked away from Cormier with his hands raised in victory. Miocic had regained his championship belt and with the crowd screaming in his ears he walked to the center of the cage, put his hands on his hips and danced a jig.
In an earlier fight Nate Diaz, who hadn’t fought in three years, won by decision over Anthony Pettis.
Miocic (19-3) thus regained his crown from Cormier (22-2) who added the heavyweight belt to his light heavyweight title by knocking out Miocic in the first round in July 2018.
Miocic, a firefighter from Cleveland, kept moving forward despite being beaten to the punch repeatedly by the faster hands of Cormier. Miocic’s body blows eventually took their toll on Cormier forcing referee Herb Dean to stop the fight with 51 seconds left in the fourth round.
Both fighters have extensive wrestling backgrounds but stayed mostly on their feet trading shots at the center of the ring. The biggest takedown was in the first round when Cormier lifted Miocic over his head and slammed the latter into the mat.
Miocic also secured a performance-of-the-night bonus from his electrifying come-from-behind victory.
He said he knew he was hurting Cormier with his body blows. And when Cormier finally dropped his hands late in the fourth Miocic came over the top to knock out his foe.
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