Stipe Miocic: Record Breaker
Stipe Miocic successfully defended his UFC championship against Francis Ngannou to be the first heavyweight to do so for the third time in a row in the UFC.
Cameroonian-French fighter Ngannou was dangerous as ever in the first round, wildly throwing looping power uppercuts and overreaching hooks. Ngannou looked to have caught Miocic with a couple of said strikes as his opponent tried to clinch against the cage and score the takedown. Ngannou’s takedown defence, initially, was successful.
But Miocic took everything Ngannou had to offer. Miocic persevered and eventually earned the takedown he so sorely wanted towards the end of the first round, resting with all his weight on top of his opponent to try to induce some fatigue in Ngannou’s hulking, muscled frame.
That proved effective. Ngannou quickly tired and Miocic found it a lot easier to get his foe on the floor where he wanted. Miocic’s grappling game looked years ahead of Ngannou’s – no surprise, given Ngannou has only been training for five years and Miocic’s extensive wrestling background.
Barring a flurry which saw Ngannou briefly hurt Miocic before quickly getting taken down in the third round, the last four rounds were dominated by Miocic in a fight displaying his superior fight savvy.
Miocic deservedly took home his belt and broke the UFC record of successive heavyweight championship defences once a Unanimous Decision scored in his favour.
Daniel Cormier Retains Light Heavyweight Championship in Dominant Fashion
Daniel Cormier got a taste of that winning feeling once again as he defeated challenger Volkan Oezdemir to retain his UFC light heavyweight championship.
Swiss striker Oezdemir got off to a good start in the fight, landing numerous power strikes on Cormier in the opening minutes. However, Cormier gradually found his groove and the second half of the first round clearly went in the Louisianan’s favour. Punches, leg kicks and takedowns, Cormier landed what he wanted at will as Oezdemir appeared to have tired. The Swiss fighter was also saved by the horn in the first round as Cormier had secured a rear-naked choke until the round’s close.
Cormier started the second round where he left off. Adrenaline dump or not, Oezdemir’s fatigue got the better of him as Cormier took him down with ease. The champion moved into full-mount quickly, eventually taking the back conceded by an under-pressure Oezdemir. With Oezdemir seemingly unable to get off the ground, Cormier moved into side control before controlling his opponent with a mounted crucifix. From there, punches rained down on Oezdemir’s head and the fight was called to a halt as he was unable to defend himself.
Thank you That was amazing. wanna dedicate that to the 1’s who matter most. I love you Salina, Daniel and Marquita. And to all my family and fans. I love you @zinkinsportsmanagement all my partners and coaches @americankickboxingacademy I thank you all. #weareaka #andnewagain DC pic.twitter.com/w7jt02OXt5
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) January 21, 2018
Daniel Cormier remains UFC light heavyweight champion.
Calvin Kattar Rallies to Knock Out Shane Burgos
A training partner of Rob Font, who was victorious earlier on the UFC 220 fight card as you can read below, Calvin Kattar was another hometown fighter who looked to seize a big opportunity as an underdog against opponent Shane Burgos.
In a close first round, Kattar did well to establish his jab and land volume, whereas the Bronx-born Burgos was more interested in closing the distance and firing tight punches to the body and above.
The second round started off similarly as the first stanza had closed. Burgos marched down Kattar as he fired off a piston-like jab to stave off his foe’s advances. But Burgos’ pressure soon told and he was able to pin Kattar against the cage with more success as the second round wore on, ripping a number of hooks to Kattar’s body and bloodying his nose.
You had a sense the momentum of the fight had shifted in Burgos’ favour as the third round started. However, Kattar took note from teammate Font’s playbook to counter a confident opponent’s said surging momentum. Just seconds into the round, Kattar landed a one-two to wobble Burgos, before landing two big uppercuts to eventually flatten his opponent. Kattar’s follow-up punches then forced the fight’s end.
An impressive victory for yet another hometown fighter as Kattar scores the biggest win of his career thus far.
Third round, no time to spare. Step forward Calvin Kattar 👀
— UFC on TNT Sports (@ufcontnt) January 21, 2018
Gian Villante Bests Francimar Barroso in Split Decision Victory
Second on the main card billing was a light heavyweight scrap between Long Island’s Gian Villante and Brazilian brawler Francimar Barroso.
Villante, fresh from a training camp with UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, established his rhythm early and was leading the fight on the feet from the off. Both Villante and Barroso traded thudding punches throughout the contest, but Villante’s power told as Barroso was constantly retreating backwards and against the cage.
By the end of the second round, both men had visibly tired after high striking output for two light heavyweights. However, Villante continued to land the more telling strikes in the third round to wrap up what looked a comprehensive decision victory.
One judge inexplicably awarded the win to Barroso with a score of 29-28. Though, thankfully, the two other judges scored the fight 30-27 to award Villante a well-deserved decision victory.
Rob Font Scores TKO Win over Thomas Almeida
Hometown hero Rob Font took to the cage inside the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, with a lot of pressure on his shoulders. A win over a dangerous name such as Thomas Almeida’s would do wonders for his position in the UFC bantamweight division, while any mental strain was innately amplified by fighting in the state he grew up.
Font started the first round well, timing the always-rushing Almeida well to help alleviate any pressure on the feet. However, Almeida adjusted quickly and soon worked out the timing on Font. Almeida landed a number of solid strikes to most likely edge the opening stanza.
But the momentum shifted quickly in round two. With a seemingly renewed sense of vigour, Font came out of his corner with guns blazing. Font initially landed a right hand which wobbled Almeida, before deciding to take the Brazilian down to the mat. Almeida looked to have recovered once back on his feet, but Font was relentless.
Font threw a hefty head kick which crumpled Almeida against the cage and the follow-up strikes on the floor forced the referee to intervene. An impressive win for Font as he progresses in one of the most competitive divisions in the UFC.
UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou full results:
UFC Heavyweight Championship bout: Stipe Miocic defeats Francis Ngannou by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout: Daniel Cormier defeats Volkan Oezdemir by TKO (punches) at 2:00 of round 2.
Featherweight bout: Calvin Kattar defeats Shane Burgos by TKO (punches) at 0:32 of round 3.
Light Heavyweight bout: Gian Villante defeats Francimar Barroso by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds. (Judges scores: 30-27, 30-27, 28-29)
Bantamweight bout: Rob Font defeats Thomas Almeida by TKO (head kick and punches) at 2:24 of round 2.
Featherweight bout: Kyle Bochniak defeats Brandon Davis by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Welterweight bout: Abdul Razak Alhassan defeats Sabah Homasi by KO (punch) at 3:47 of round 1.
Flyweight bout: Dustin Ortiz defeats Alexandre Pantoja by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Featherweight bout: Julio Arce defeats Dan Ige by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Featherweight bout: Enrique Barzola defeats Matt Bessette by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Lightweight bout: Islam Makhachev defeats Gleison Tibau by KO (punch) at 0:57 minutes of round 1.