UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic faced the sternest test of his championship credentials when he faced Daniel Cormier, but over the course of three epic meetings, it was the Ohio native who came through victorious.
In their first outing, Cormier stunned Miocic by knocking him out in Round 1 and taking his heavyweight title at UFC 226. But Miocic was able to exact his revenge in the rematch at UFC 241 by stopping Cormier in Round 4 to regain his title.
With the score tied at one win apiece, Miocic faced Daniel Cormier at UFC 252 in August and after both men claimed stoppage victories in the first two meetings, the trilogy fight proved to be a different encounter, with the pair battling all the way to the scorecards.
Miocic used his most effective tool from their rematch, attacking Cormier’s body early. He set the tone with some hard leg kicks and a snapping jab, but Cormier was able land a big right hand at the end of the round which appeared to briefly rock Miocic.
Miocic continued to be the busier striker, with Cormier throwing the heavier shots. At the end of Round 2, it was Miocic who finished strong, dropping Cormier and raining down punches, but the former two-division champion was saved by the bell.
The pace slowed in Round 3 and, after Miocic struck Cormier with an inadvertent eye poke, Cormier’s vision was compromised for the rest of the fight. Miocic was able to cruise through the latter rounds to earn a unanimous decision win and close out the trilogy in his favor.
Miocic (20-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) is expected to rematch Francis Ngannou in March, where he’ll look to replicate his dominant performance from their first outing at UFC 220 in 2018.
But before Miocic returns to action, check out his trilogy-settling performance against Cormier via the video above.