DANIEL Cormier was defeated in the rematch with Stipe Miocic in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 241 in a fight that was his to lose.
Not to take anything away from Miocic, who is now rightfully considered to be one of the best MMA heavyweights ever, but Cormier was winning the early rounds and only made several tactical mistakes down the stretch that caused him the fight.
THE FIGHT. Both fighters came out swinging in the first round, but Cormier clearly had the upperhand. At one point in the first round, after a double leg take down, Cormier picked up Miocic on his shoulder and was able to slam him down on the mat. Not much damage done but you got the sense he was going to dominate.
However, Cormier started to tire and Miocic started connecting with significant shots by the end of the second round. Afterward, Cormier’s corner implored him to keep his hands up.
This was Cormier’s first tactical mistake. Perhaps his knockout victory over Miocic in their first fight was still quite fresh on his mind and he showed no respect for Miocic’s power. Unfortunately, this mistake would cost him badly in the next few minutes.
In the third round, both men continue to trade, but it becomes apparent that Cormier’s shots are losing their torque on account of fatigue.
In the fourth, a simple adjustment made by Miocic proved to be crucial. He started targeting Cormier’s body and landed several left hooks to the liver.
True enough, Miocic’s left hooks to the gut slowed down Cormier and he started dropping his hands to protect his body from the onslaught.
After Miocic landed another particularly brutal body shot, Cormier stumbled forward and Miocic immediately pounced. He landed several flush head shots which took Cormier down near the cage. The pummeling continued for a few seconds before the referee stepped in to call for the denouement of the fight.
MISTAKES. Another tactical error Cormier committed was in refusing to change his approach and continuing to exchange Miocic in a stand-up fight when he was already fading.
We all know his strength is wrestling and he could very well have opted trying to take down Miocic to give himself a bit of a breather and gather his senses on the ground.
VERBATIM. “I felt like that hook to the body was hurting him, his hands were dropping so I came over the top more. – Stipe Miocic post-fight interview at UFC 241.
LAST ROUND. It’s on one of my best buddies, Dr. Gerry Ypil who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers bro!