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411’s UFC 252 Report: Miocic Wins

August 16, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC 252

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
(c) Stipe Miocic (233 lbs.) vs. #1 Daniel Cormier (236 lbs.) – for heavyweight title
#14 Sean O’Malley (136 lbs.) vs. Marlon Vera (136 lbs.)
#5 Junior Dos Santos (238.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Jairzinho Rozenstruik (254 lbs.)
Herbert Burns (149.5 lbs.)* vs. Daniel Pineda (146 lbs.)
John Dodson (136 lbs.) vs. #15 Merab Dvalishvili (136 lbs.)

Jim Miller (156 lbs.) vs. Vinc Pichel (156 lbs.)
Felice Herrig (116 lbs.) vs. Virna Jandiroba (115.5 lbs.)
TJ Brown (146.5 lbs.)* vs. Danny Chavez (146 lbs.)
Livinha Souza (115.5 lbs.) vs. Ashley Yoder (115.5 lbs.)

Chris Daukaus (241 lbs.) vs. Parker Porter (264.5 lbs.)
Kai Kamaka III (145.5 lbs.) vs. Tony Kelley (145.5 lbs.)

Hello there everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 252. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action to you people just as I see it. Tonight is a big one guys, the third fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. A lot is on the line here, the UFC heavyweight title, where Cormier’s legacy will ultimately land, what the immediate future holds for Stipe Miocic, and what the entire heavyweight landscape will look like going forward. The two men have beaten each other via stoppage and now settle their trilogy.

Elsewhere on the card rising star and bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley takes on battle tested Marlon Vera in a very relevant bantamweight fight, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik try to bounce back from losses, and Merab Dvalishvili goes for the biggest win of his career against veteran John Dodson. The prelims offer a fair bit less, though Jim Miller fights always have my attention and he’s taking on the double tough Vinc Pichel. That’s kind of it though, everything else we’re just hoping for good fights.

UFC 252 comes to the world from the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Dominick Cruz. As for the rules Nevada uses a hybrid set up, they’ve adopted most of the changes but still require only one hand to be on the mat to be downed and they make instant replay available to the officials whenever they want. Also remember the APEX has the smaller 25 foot diameter cage instead of the regular 30 footer.

Kai Kamaka brings a five fight winning streak into his UFC debut, and he’s looking to make a good first impression on the UFC audience. Also making his UFC debut is Tony Kelley who has only lost professionally to Kevin Aguilar, he’s looking for that all important first UFC win. The odds are with Kamaka at -220 to a +185 comeback for Kelley.

Featherweight Bout: Kai Kamaka III (7-2, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Tony Kelley (5-1, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Kelley is two inches taller and has an inch of reach over Kamaka. Both men working the lead hand early, then Kelley lands a leg kick. They trade punches, Kelley is circling nicely so far. Kelley lands a jab. Kamaka with a bit of a counter right. Calf kicks from Kelley now, Kamaka lands a right. Kamaka lands a body to head combination. Both men working well thus far. Kamaka lands a right. The pace these two are keeping is pretty high. Left hook from Kamaka lands flush. Kamaka lands a body kick. Kelley lands a body kick of his own. Kelley has visibly slowed, let’s see if it’s just an adrenaline dump or a real problem going forward. Kamaka with body work, that hurts Kelley and they clinch with Kamaka getting a single leg takedown. Kelley back up quickly and they break. Front kicks to the body from Kamaka, he’s killing the liver of Kelley. Knee from Kamaka and a flurry, Kelley is in trouble. Another takedown from Kamaka to counter a kick and he’s got Kelley down. Kelley has full guard, now rubber guard. Kamaka with some body shots as Kelley gets up in the clinch. A few more body shots in close from Kamaka as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kamaka

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Both men with rights. They trade some leg kicks. Kelley lands a right during a dart. Kamaka lands to the body again, then a stiff jab. Jabs to the body now from Kamaka, but the pace has slowed considerably. More body work from Kamaka, that’s breaking Kelley down. Counter combination from Kamaka in close, Kelley really needs a major shift in momentum. Both men land combinations in close quarters. Body kicks from Kelley and a knee to the body as well. Kamaka clinches up then hits a double leg into half guard. Kelley looks to wall walk, and he’s up. They trade knees in the clinch. Another double leg from Kamaka now, he wall walks and lands elbows in close before they break. Knee from Kelley and elbows, he’s working hard as Kamaka clinches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kamaka but much closer, 20-18 Kamaka overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Leg kick from Kelley and we’re back to clinch fighting. Elbows and knees from Kelley in close, he tries to jump for a guillotine and loses the grip so Kamaka is on top in his guard. Kamaka with some punches and elbows. Shame about that decision from Kelley, the clinch seemed to be his space and he just gave it up. Kelley scoots towards the fence looking to wall walk. Kamaka lands some body shots but Kelley gets up and kicks the body. Both men land punches again in close. They split some jabs, elbows to the head from Kelley and body work from Kamaka as they get close. Kamaka drops for a single leg, Kelley defends against the fence. Elbows from Kelley, Kamaka with body shots but he eats an elbow as they break. Kelley with a body kick, then a knee in close. Knees from a brief Thai clinch from Kelley, but one hits the groin so we’ve got time. Replay confirms the low blow, which is a shame as that was really cooking along as far as exchanges go. Kamaka can continue after a bit and we’re back to fighting. Jabs go back and forth, then Kelley with knees in close and Kamaka lands a right to the body. Stiff jab from Kelley. Kamaka lands a left to the body and they trade in close. One final trade of jabs and the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kelley, 29-28 Kamaka overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kai Kamaka via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Really fun scrap there, no interview for Kamaka though.

Chris Daukaus has gone 6-1 in his last seven fights coming into his UFC debut, now he’s trying to get his run going with a winning performance. Parker Porter brings a two fight winning streak into his UFC debut, and likewise is trying to set a winning precedent for his time in the UFC. The odds are close but lean towards Daukaus at -115 to a -105 comeback on Porter.

Heavyweight Bout: Chris Daukaus (8-3, 241 lbs.) vs. Parker Porter (10-5, 264.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Daukaus is three inches taller but has just one inch of reach over Porter, and of course Porter is a little over 20 pounds heavier. They both trade early, just looking for openings. Daukaus is moving around the outside, looking to exploit his speed advantage. Clash of rights, they clinch up and trade blows. Daukaus unloads with some rights in the clinch and Porter moves things towards the fence. Porter winds up on the cage, but he lands a few knees to the body. Daukaus hits a few body shots then an elbow and a right as they break. Daukaus seems much looser thus far. One two from Daukaus lands. Porter lands a leg kick. Daukaus lands a calf kick. A couple more leg kicks from Daukaus as he’s moving around. The pace has slowed, to the shock of no one considering the size of these two. They get close and Daukaus floors Porter with a right but Porter is able to fight back up to his feet. Porter lands a leg kick. Daukaus again lands punches in close, he’s got a real hand speed advantage. A couple of one twos from Daukaus, then a knee as Porter was falling down drops him and prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Chris Daukaus via TKO, punches and knee, at 4:28 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Daukaus for his work this evening. Daukaus gets some mic time after that one, he talks about how quickly the fight came together as he was training for a fight on the 12th when he got this call. He talks about working his punches in close and being a technical fighter so he can deal with bigger fighters. To close he wishes a good evening to Joe Rogan who’s doing the interviews.

Here’s a look at that. The value of straight punching people, here it especially highlights the hand speed difference. Nice stuff all around from Daukaus in his debut.

That does it for Fight Pass, still on ESPN+ for the rest of the prelims though.

Ashley Yoder has gone 2-4 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid another losing streak that could see her cut from the roster. Livia Renta Souza has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a loss and now tries to avoid her first ever losing streak by getting back on the winning side of things. Souza is your -160 favorite to +140 for Yoder.

Strawweight Bout: Livinha Souza (13-2, 115.5 lbs.) vs. Ashley Yoder (7-5, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Yoder is four inches taller and has six and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Yoder as we get going. Souza lands a body kick. Yoder with an inside leg kick. They clinch up, Yoder spins around and jumps for the back but slips off and Souza is on top. Full guard for Yoder now, which she closes. Elbow from Souza. Hard right from Souza as she passes, Yoder back up though and they separate. Another right from Souza lands. Souza lands a right to the body. Yoder lands a body kick. They trade power hand punches but Souza’s landed better. Souza pushes into a clinch, Yoder with a front headlock but loses the grip and they settle on the cage. Both women land rights as they break. Yoder defends a takedown attempt, spins for the back which is where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Souza

ROUND TWO: Yoder working her left kick again, Souza lands a right to the body. Souza lands an inside leg kick. Right from Souza and they clinch on the fence. They trade some knees to the body while Yoder keeps Souza on the fence. Souza lands some punches now as well. Souza spins free and resets. Inside leg kick from Souza. Yoder pushes into another clinch. Knee from Souza but she’s struggling to get off the fence, on the plus side for her Yoder is struggling to get any offense going. Souza spins free and lands an inside leg kick. Yoder gets a takedown, but slips off looking for the back and Souza gets on top. Yoder wall walks and now Souza is looking for a double leg. The round ends in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Souza, 20-18 Souza overall

ROUND THREE: Souza with an inside leg kick. Bit of a right from Souza, Yoder lands a counter right. More inside leg kicks from Souza. They get a clinch, Souza spins Yoder to the fence. Yoder grabs the fence to avoid being taken down, but she can’t get free. Knees to the leg from Souza as she gets a body lock, but Yoder is able to get free. Yoder lands a body kick. Souza lands another inside leg kick, then Yoder lands a left. Jab from Yoder, finally exploiting that reach advantage. Yoder gets time after taking a kick to the groin, but she restarts quickly. One two from Yoder lands. Souza chops in another inside leg kick. Body kick from Souza. They trade power hand punches, then there’s a body kick from Yoder. Souza lands a body shot. Bit of a combination from Yoder. Souza lands an inside leg kick, gets a headlock take over but Yoder nearly has her back again. Souza turns into her just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Yoder, 29-28 Souza overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Livia Renata Souza via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

Not sure about all three to Souza, and all in all that was a much more competitive fight than I thought it would be. Souza needs to figure some things out, that was a much more winnable fight than that. No interview for our winner.

TJ Brown had a four fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut when he was submitted by Jordan Griffin, now he’s trying to rebound and get that all important first UFC win. Complicating matters for Brown is missing weight, a loss in addition to that particular gaff could send him out of the promotion. Danny Chavez brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut, and he’s hoping to prove himself a worth addition to the UFC roster with a win. The odds like Brown at -135 while a Chavez win pays out at +115.

Featherweight Bout: TJ Brown (14-7, 146.5 lbs.) vs. Danny Chavez (10-3, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Brown is an inch taller but has five inches of reach advantage in addition to missing weight. Very wide stance for Chavez as we get going. Brown lands a leg kick, Chavez returns it. Uppercut from Chavez in close then a leg kick. Brown goes southpaw now. Both men land in close, but Brown landed the power hand blow. Leg kick from Chavez as Brown goes back orthodox. A lot of stance switching from Brown now, he lands a body kick but Chavez lands a short hook to counter. Chavez lands a couple of calf kicks, the last one drops Brown for a second. They trade lefts, and Chavez avoids a clinch attempt. Brown lands an inside leg kick, then Chavez chops his calf again. Both men miss punches, then Chavez lands another calf kick. Chavez lands a calf kick but eats a counter right. Brown is backing Chavez up, then lands a body kick. Chavez kicks the calf again and avoids a takedown attempt. Brown’s left leg is a mess, and he takes another kick but lands a counter right. Bit of a right from Chavez to counter a body kick. Brown blocks a high kick as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chavez

ROUND TWO: Brown still switching his stance as the round begins. Calf kick from Chavez. They trade leg kicks. Brown is getting Chavez towards the fence, and Chavez with a couple of calf kicks. Bit of a right to the body from Chavez. Brown with a knee to the body then clinches up on the fence. Chavez quickly gets free. Body kick from Brown. Both men land punches, then Chavez drops Brown with a punch. Chavez looks to follow up on the ground, Brown ties him up in guard. Half guard for Brown now, and he’s up on his knees then back up and free. High kick from Chavez is blocked, he’s putting a lot of power into everything and it might be wearing him down a bit. Right then a left from Chavez. Bit of a left from Brown. Brown misses a spinning back fist, they clinch and that’s where the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chavez, 20-18 Chavez overall

ROUND THREE: Both men land punches, Brown tries a takedown but Chavez defends and Brown pulls half guard. Chavez stands free and separates. Right to the body from Chavez. Brown punches close and looks for a takedown, but Chavez defends then kicks him in the calf again. They brawl in close, neither man lands clean though and they clinch up. Chavez gets free and resets again. Right from Chavez, Brown responds with a one two. Leg kick from Brown. Brown lands a right. They clinch again, Brown working knees to the body before Chavez gets free. Another clinch, Brown lands an elbow. More elbows from Brown, Chavez gets a double leg though. Brown wall walks, gets hit with a mat return and Chavez moves him away from the fence. Chavez moves to the ride position, Brown tries to roll through but is still stuck under Chavez who lands knees to the body then hits a mat return. Brown back up looking for a switch but wont hit it before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Brown but Chavez might have stolen that at the end, 29-28 Chavez overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Danny Chavez via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Nasty calf kicks from Chavez, but he struggled down the stretch so that’s something for him to work on. Mic time for Chavez, who’s breathing very hard. He says he didn’t have jitters and notes his 14 year career to get here before putting over his coaches and team. He mentions fighting for a title a few weeks ago outside the UFC, then mentions the altitude factored into his conditioning and puts over Brown. To close he dedicates the fight to the family of a friend who passed away recently, then switches to Spanish to address his family.

Felice Herrig has gone 2-2 in her last four but is on a two fight losing streak, and now finds herself in pretty serious need of a win in her first fight since October of 2018. Virna Jandiroba has gone 1-1 in the UFC but she’s coming off of a win and could get her first UFC winning streak up and running at the expense of Herrig. Jandiroba is your heavy -310 favorite against a +255 payout on a Herrig win.

Strawweight Bout: Felice Herrig (14-8, 116 lbs.) vs. Virna Jandiroba (15-1, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Herrig has an inch of height and reach advantage. Both women feinting early. Jandiroba with a quick double leg and gets Herrig down. Jandiroba moves to half guard quickly and is still looking to pass. Knee on belly for Jandiroba now, Herrig tries to get up but only gets guard back. Some punches from Jandiroba as she moves to half guard again. Herrig tries to wall walk but Jandiroba moves to the ride position and lands punches. There’s full mount for Jandiroba and she lands punches while flattening Herrig out. Armbar attack from Jandiroba, one minor adjustment and Herrig has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Virna Jandiroba via Submission, armbar, at 1:44 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mrs. Jandiroba for her work this evening. That’s also the fourth fastest submission in strawweight history. Jandiroba gets an interview after that schooling, she thanks everyone and mentions her jiu-jitsu ability but says she has more to show going forward. Asked about what she’d like next she mentions wanting to be champion eventually, she just wants some ranked opposition next.

I mean this is just textbook, Jandiroba is a top shelf grappler while Herrig just tries to survive despite the massive skill disparity.

Jim Miller has once again reclaimed sole possession of most UFC appearance with this fight (he and Cerrone have been trading that particular record back and forth), he’s coming off of a win over Roosevelt Roberts and is looking for another win to add to his already Hall of Fame worthy career. Vinc Pichel also beat Roosevelt Roberts his last time out, and he could get one of the bigger wins of his career over a longtime UFC veteran in the form of Miller. The odds lean towards Pichel at -125 to a +105 comeback on Miller.

Lightweight Bout: Jim Miller (32-14 1 NC, 156 lbs.) vs. Vinc Pichel (12-2, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pichel is two inches taller and has an inch of reach over Miller. Southpaw for Miller, and they touch gloves to get us going. Pichel lands a bit of a right. Miller with a bit of a rush attack. Bit of a knee from Miller in close. Pichel lands an inside leg kick. Neither man has a real advantage yet. Miller with a couple of inside leg kicks, then an uppercut to a low kick but that kick went a bit into the groin of Pichel. Pichel is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Left from Miller, Pichel lands a knee. Miller left lands, and they clinch up. Some knees from Miller, then an elbow and another knee. Pichel lands a knee and they break. Left from Miller, and a takedown. Pichel to his knees, Miller to the ride position and looks to take the back. Only one hook in for Miller, and Pichel looks to keep it that way. Miller nearly gets a choke, Pichel comes up on a knee looking to sweep and Miller sits for a modified guillotine. The choke isn’t that close but Miller uses it to sweep into top position. Miller rolls under for a calf slicer, they’re all tied up as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Miller

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Bit of a right form Pichel, then he tries a kick but Miller takes him down off of it into full guard. Some body shots from Miller as they scoot towards the fence. Miller lands punches, Pichel back up and clinches quickly. Pichel hits a double leg into half guard. Miller is able to get full guard but he’s still stuck on the fence. Rubber guard for Miller now, Pichel pulls free and moves to side control. Miller gets half guard back, now full guard. Pichel passes but Miller attacks his leg again. Half guard again for Pichel as he gets his leg free. Some short elbows from Pichel. More elbows from Pichel as Miller tries to shrimp on bottom. The round ends in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pichel, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Pichel with a quick double leg this time and lands in half guard. Miller gets his guard high, Pichel passes to north-south. Miller tries to attack the leg but winds up in leg drag and Pichel lands more blows. Pichel gets the ride position, now both hooks in for full back mount. Miller escapes and lands a knee to the body as Pichel is on his knees. A front headlock from Miller looking to set up an attack, he sits for a guillotine but loses it and scrambles to top position. Rights from Miller as he’s in half guard. Pichel is trying to wall walk, he’s taking some damage along the way to his knees and Miller to the ride position. They roll as Miller tries to get the back, but he falls off and Pichel is in the ride spot now. They scramble back to their feet and clinch. Miller lands a knee. Some knees from Pichel as well. They break with a knee from Pichel. Pichel lands a right and they clinch again. Miller defends a takedown but eats a knee. They resume fighting in the clinch, then break and Miller blocks a high kick. Another clinch, Miller jumps for a guillotine choke and he’s got the position. Miller adjusting the choke but Pichel is able to force his head out of the choke. Some elbows from Pichel, and the round closes in that spot with Pichel on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pichel, 29-28 Pichel overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Vinc Pichel via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28 x2)

Not sure about 29-27, I have no idea where Pichel could have gotten a 10-8. Mic time for Pichel, he mentions how hard he worked for this win and puts over Miller. He talks about his grappling and how people tend to over look his abilities there. We’re short on time so that ends his interview.

That’s it for preliminary action, on to PPV for the main card.

John Dodson has gone 2-3 in his last five fights, dropping bouts with Marlon Moraes, Jimmie Rivera, and new champion Petr Yan but he’s coming off of a win over rising prospect Nathaniel Wood and now looks for his first winning streak since 2015. Merab Dvalishvili is on a four fight winning streak that has seen him crack the top fifteen rankings, now he’s looking for his biggest win over a former two time title challenger as well as starting to look ahead in the rankings instead of behind him. Your -225 favorite is Dvalishvili to a +210 payout on Dodson.

Bantamweight Bout: John Dodson (21-11, 136 lbs.) vs. #15 Merab Dvalishvili (11-4, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dvalishvili is three inches taller and has two inches of reach over Dodson. Dodson fighting southpaw, they touch gloves to get us going. Some circling early and then Dvalishvili misses a spinning back fist. Dodson lands a left to the body. Dvalishvili misses a few punches. Another bit of a left from Dodson to the body. Dvalishvili dives for a double leg, gets it but Dodson is back up but clinched. Dvalishvili has the back standing and is landing knees to the thigh and looking for mat returns. More knees from Dvalishvili, Dodson is kind of stuck here at the moment. Dodson gets free and eats a left. Some leg kicks from Dvalishvili, Dodson touches the body. Dvalishvili blocks a high kick and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dvalishvili

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Dvalishvili still circling looking for an angle of attack. Dodson lands a left to the body. Ankle pick from Dvalishvili then he lands a left as Dodson gets free. Dodson lands an inside leg kick. Dvalishvili tries a double leg, elevates Dodson and drops him in the middle of the cage. Dodson back up and then separates. Dvalishvili lands a spinning back fist then a right hook and enters a brief clinch. Dodson is moving, and Dvalishvili shoots to the fence with him. Dvalishvili has Dodson on the fence, he lands a few lefts. Dodson lands a knee but Dvalishvili catches it and gets him down but Dodson slips free and stands almost immediately. Dvalishvili lands an inside leg kick. Dodson lands an inside leg kick of his own. Dvalishvili fakes a double leg and lands a left, then Dodson avoids a single leg attempt. Dodson misses a combination. Dvalishvili has a few punches blocked. They trade punches then separate from the pocket. Double leg from Dvalishvili against the fence just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dvalishvili, 20-18 Dvalishvili overall

ROUND THREE: They scream at each other as the round starts, then start circling. Dodson lands a left to the body. Dvalishvili lands a leg kick. They get close and trade power hand punches. Another exchange of power hand punches. Dvalishvili lands a right and Dodson avoids a takedown attempt. Another right from Dvalishvili lands, he tries a double leg against the fence. Dodson gets picked up, taken down but he gets free immediately and separates. Inside leg kick from Dvalishvili, Dodson returns it. Dodson avoids another takedown attempt, then eats a bit of a right. Both men land power hand punches again. Bit of a flurry from Dvalishvili as Dodson avoids the fence. Dodson is fading a bit, he’s still got power but he’s dropping off his already low output. Dvalishvili lands a right. Double leg from Dvalishvili stalls out on the fence but Dodson can’t get free this time. Both men land some knees, Dvalishvili lets him free and they both swing a little wild as the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dvalishvili, 30-27 Dvalishvili overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Merab Dvalishvili via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Dodson is hard to take down and harder to hold down, but he just didn’t have any kind of meaningful offense while Dvalishvili did. On the mic now Dvalishvili says he’s still not tired, puts over Aljamain Sterling who’s one of his training partners as the next champion. He thanks his coaches again and promises this is just the beginning for him, he can finally stop his construction job and be a full time fighter now and is very grateful for that. Asked who he like next he wishes Sean O’Malley good luck and hopes to see him after.

Herbert Burns is on a five fight winning streak including two finishes in the UFC, he missed weight here which is never a good look but could help smooth that over with another win. Daniel Pineda was last seen in the UFC back in 2014 when the promotion cut him after a couple of losses. Since then Pineda has bounced around Bellator, LFA, and the PFL with a winning record along the way to pave the way for his return to the UFC. Now Pineda is trying to make the most of his second chance. Burns is the -265 favorite to +210 for Pineda.

Featherweight Bout: Herbert Burns (11-2, 149.5 lbs.) vs. Daniel Pineda (26-13 2 NC, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Burns is two inches taller and has four and a half inches of reach in addition to missing weight. They touch gloves to get things going. Leg kick from Burns and they both miss punches. Both men land in close quarters. Burns gets a takedown, Pineda back up and Burns has his back. They scramble free and trade, Pineda lands a left to the body, eats a knee and gets a takedown into guard. Pineda with some blows from top position. Burns gives up half guard, gets guard back as Pineda stands over him. Pineda lands a right and returns to the guard. Burns is trying to work his guard but Pineda is landing offense. Elbows from Pineda. Burns is struggling to work against the fence like this, Pineda lands a couple more rights and they move away from the fence. Pineda is constant with his ground and pound, Burns is really kind of stuck here trying to play his guard game. That’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pineda, might be 10-8

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Jab from Burns then a leg kick. Burns lands a right and gets a trip takedown into half guard. Pineda gets his guard back and eats blows. Pineda up, but Burns is on his back and drags him back down to the mat. The cut on Pineda’s left eyebrow is pretty bad, it was opened in the first and is still leaking. Pineda moves to the fence and is looking to wall walk, Burns moves towards full mount. Full mount now for Burns, and he lands some shoulder strikes. Hip escape from Pineda, he’s back up but is still clinched and Burns gets his back again but can’t keep it as Pineda spins into him to get on top. Half guard for Pineda now and he’s working some short rights. Pineda passes to side control, and gets the mounted crucifix. Elbows from Pineda, now punches as well. Pineda still laying in elbows and the ref has seen enough.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Daniel Pineda via TKO, elbows, at 4:37 of Round 2

Great performance from Pineda, dealing with adversity but finding openings and then just brutal ground work while Burns got tied up playing a little too much pure jiu-jitsu against a guy willing to mix in strikes. Mic time for Pineda, his left eye is swollen about shut. He tells everyone to keep counting him out because he just gets more money by betting on himself. He mentions cutting 27 pounds in about two weeks and he had to manage his energy as Burns was strong. Asked about the weight miss from Burns he says he was mad about that. He talks us through the finish and puts over Burns jiu-jitsu but notes that his is good as well then notes his eye got hurt early and puts over Burns again. To close he says he’s getting older but also getting better.

Junior dos Santos is a former UFC champion but currently finds himself on the first losing streak of his career, if he wants to retain relevance in the division he really can’t afford to drop three in a row here. Jairzinho Rozenstruik is coming off of the first loss of his career when he ran into Francis Ngannou, he’s trying to bounce back now with his second win over a former champion and prove he’s still a relevant force at the top of the division. Rozenstruik is a slight -125 favorite to an even +100 comeback on dos Santos.

Heavyweight Bout: #5 Junior Dos Santos (21-7, 238.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-1, 254 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Rozenstruik has an inch of reach in addition to being a little under 20 bounds heavier. They touch gloves to get us going. OK, whoever measured Rozenstruik at 6’4 was being a little generous I think. Both men feinting a bit, looking for openings. Rozenstruik lands a leg kick. Dos Santos jabs the body, lands a right to the body but eats a hard inside leg kick for it. Dos Santos has a head kick blocked. They trade rights, Rozenstruik landed better. Dos Santos falls a little short with a right and they trade lefts. Body jab from dos Santos. Rozenstruik keeps landing inside leg kicks, they’re just probing at the moment or looking to off balance dos Santos when he fires a right. Dos Santos jabs the body again. Body kick from dos Santos, Rozenstruik responds with a flurry of punches. Dos Santos lands a right, and eats a counter left hook. Dos Santos misses a spinning back kick. Rozenstruik tries a left hook, but a follow up kick goes into the groin of dos Santos so we’ve got time. Dos Santos is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Dos Santos tries a spinning kick again as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rozenstruik but could go either way

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Rozenstruik back to inside leg kicking. Stiff jab from Rozenstruik as he backs dos Santos up. The patience from Rozenstruik is both impressive and a little frustrating. Both men land leg kicks, Rozenstruik checks a leg kick and lands a hard one. Dos Santos reaches for the body and takes a left hook. Rozenstruik has a head kick blocked. Dos Santos lands a right. They trade jabs, neither man has a real avenue for consistent success so far. Dos Santos lands a clean right, Rozenstruik just eats it. Bit of a right from Rozenstruik after they clashed on kicks. Rozenstruik lands a right. Left then a right from Rozenstruik, dos Santos is down, he tries to get up but Rozenstruik unloads and he drops again to end the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jairzinho Rozenstruik via TKO, punches, at 3:47 of Round 2

Solid win for Rozenstruik to bounce back after losing to Ngannou. Mic time for Rozenstruik, he says winning again feels great and he wanted a quick turnaround after the Ngannou loss. He mentions needing this win to set his career straight. Asked about who’s next for him he says a lot of people are calling him out and says the fans and the UFC can do that, he’ll be back in the gym if anyone wants to find him. He says the title is his ultimate goal, but does want a rematch with Ngannou if Ngannou is the champion, or if he gets the belt first he’ll give Ngannou a crack at it. He closes with some I believe local language to Suriname, Suriname has 8 different recognized indigenous official languages so I apologize but I don’t know what he was speaking.

Sean O’Malley is undefeated with four wins in the UFC and he’s coming off of a brutal first round finish of Eddie Wineland, he’s trying to defend his newly acquired top fifteen spot and start looking towards the top end of the division for his next opponent. Marlon Vera has a five fight winning streak at bantamweight going, he’s coming off of a loss at featherweight though. Vera is hoping to crack the top rankings here and take some of the considerable hype that O’Malley is building around himself. O’Malley is your favorite at -265 to a +210 comeback for Vera.

Bantamweight Bout: #14 Sean O’Malley (12-0, 136 lbs.) vs. Marlon Vera (15-6-1, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: O’Malley is three inches taller and has an inch and a half of reach over Vera. Both men open southpaw but O’Malley does a lot of switching. Leg kick from O’Malley. Vera is switching with O’Malley, interesting tactic. More leg kicks from O’Malley, some kicks to the knee as well. Every time they’re in the same stance O’Malley is landing leg kicks. Body kick from O’Malley lands. Vera is looking to close distance, at full kicking range he’s getting chewed up a bit. Vera lands a leg kick. O’Malley blocks a high kick but Vera is getting him to the fence more consistently now. O’Malley hurts his right foot or knee on a step, he’s limping badly. Vera is coming forward, O’Malley lands a bit of a right. Leg kicks from Vera now, O’Malley is constantly on the fence. Body kick from Vera. O’Malley avoids a clinch, and lands a right. Forward charge from O’Malley, but he slips trying to recover and Vera is on top. Vera with elbows on top, they land flush and O’Malley looks to be badly hurt in addition to the knee, that will prompt the stoppage from the ref.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marlon Vera via TKO, elbows, at 4:40 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Vera for his work this evening. That injury was bad, O’Malley is still down favoring that leg. OK, looks to be an ankle injury to O’Malley, he was swollen badly when he took off the ankle sleeves he had on. Vera gets an interview after that, he says the only thing that matters is hard work and dedication because that will help you succeed. He says everyone can have an opinion, he’s a tough guy who trains hard and shows up on time and puts in the work. Asked about the injury he notes they kicked each other a lot and that might have contributed. He notes O’Malley has power but not a lot of combinations, then says he’s got the biggest dog inside of him and got to show it off. To close he mentions he came from a small town in Ecuador but now he’s here in Veags conquering, he’ll be back in the gym tomorrow putting in more work.

Daniel Cormier is one of the very best fighters the sport of MMA has ever seen, a former two division champion with title defenses across both of those reigns. Cormier has only ever lost to two men, Jon Jones and his opponent tonight. Cormier is trying to regain the UFC heavyweight title and potentially retire as a champion to secure his place in the discussion of all time greats. Stipe Miocic is coming off of a win over Daniel Cormier that saw him reclaim the heavyweight crown, Miocic was already the most successful heavyweight champion in UFC history in terms of title defenses and now he’s trying to turn back Cormier again and solidify himself as the best heavyweight in UFC history. Cormier is a slight favorite at -115 to -105 for the champion Miocic.

Heavyweight Title Bout: (c) Stipe Miocic (19-3, 233 lbs.) vs. #1 Daniel Cormier (22-2 1 NC, 236 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Miocic is five inches taller and has seven and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Circling to start, both men starting to feint a bit. Miocic probing with an inside leg kick. Miocic lands a jab. Cormier coming forward, he eats a leg kick. Body shot from Miocic. Cormier didn’t like that, he hits a high crotch single leg, Miocic scrambles back up but is stuck in a front headlock on the fence. Knee from Cormier. Miocic spins free and separates. Front kick to the body from Miocic. Bit of a body jab from Cormier. Miocic fires a one two that’s partially blocked. Miocic lands a right to the body, Cormier lands a calf kick. Another jab to the body from Miocic. Cormier lands a right. Miocic gets poked in the eye, so we’ve got time for him to recover. Replay confirms the poke, and the doctor is in to check on Miocic. Miocic can continue, Cormier gets a stern warning and we restart. Both men back to kicking, Miocic jabs the body. Leg kick from Miocic. Miocic lands a right, then a right to the body. Stiff left from Miocic, then another right. Cormier lands a couple of rights out of a clinch. Again that right out of the clinch from Cormier. Miocic lands a jab. They trade rights, both men landed heavy. Cormier lands a calf kick. That will close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Miocic but Cormier might have stolen it

ROUND TWO: Miocic looking to jab again as the round starts. Body kick from Miocic, Cormier claims it was low and gets a quick timeout but wants to continue. Lunging uppercut from Miocic lands, and a bit of a combination to follow up. Cormier jabs the body. Both men with inside leg kicks and they trade in close. Another left to the body from Miocic. Cormier misses a right overhand. Bit of a right from Miocic, then a left to the body. Cormier lands a jab. Jabs to the body and head from Cormier. Miocic lands a left hook, that was pretty heavy. They trade lefts. Brief clinch, nothing comes of it. Miocic punches the body in close, then Cormier lands a jab. One two from Cormier. Calf kick from Cormier, but Miocic is pressing him back. A couple of rights from Miocic drop Cormier. Miocic into full round on the fence, but Cormier will hold on for the final couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Miocic, 20-18 Miocic overall

ROUND THREE: Forward pressure from Miocic, and he jabs the body. They trade rights in close, Cromier isn’t all the way back but he’s still dangerous. Another body jab from Miocic. Miocic lands a right, they get close and he lands a knee. Stiff jab, Miocic is coming on strong now. They clinch up and hit the fence. They break with a flurry then reset at distance. Cormier lands a calf kick. Miocic lands a left hook then a right and they clinch again. Both men land knees, Cormier is the one on the fence though. Body shots from Miocic but he’s not getting much power into these. More knees from Miocic, then a right as they break. Miocic back to body jabs and circling. Both men land in close, then Miocic checks a leg kick. They clinch off of punches, Miocic lands a one two on the break. Cormier is backing up now. Cormier complains about an eye poke as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Miocic, 30-27 Miocic overall

ROUND FOUR: Cormier’s left eye is badly swollen, and the replay confirmed it was a poke between rounds. Miocic coming forward, they trade leg kicks. Bit of a right from Cormier. Body jab from Miocic again. Both men land inside leg kicks then they trade rights. One two from Cormier and they clinch, Miocic drives Cormier to the fence. Miocic has a body lock, they wind up breaking without incident. Right lands for Miocic. Miocic with body jabs. They trade rights then Miocic lands a left. They clinch again and Miocic drives Cormier into the fence. After a moment they break. Both men land body shots. Pull counter from Miocic lands flush. Cormier responds with a right of his own. Both men land rights in close. Another clinch and Miocic drives Cormier into the fence. Some knees go back and forth, then Miocic lands an uppercut on the break. Miocic lands a left hook. Cormier lands a calf kick and they clinch again. Miocic with knees again and they break. They trade in close, both men just eat the blows. Cormier avoids for the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Miocic but we’re back to a close round, 40-36 Miocic overall

ROUND FIVE: Miocic coming forward this round. Body jabs from Miocic. Miocic lands a jab. One two from Miocic. Cormier lands a right. Combination from Miocic lands. Cormier eats an uppercut but gets a clinch. Miocic pushes Cormier into the fence and starts kneeing again. Some body shots from Miocic as he keeps Cormier on the cage. They break without incident. Miocic lands a right, Cormier returns it and Miocic fires a combination before they clinch in space. Cormier lands a right as they break, then they clinch again. Miocic gets Cormier into the fence again and works the body. Body shots from Miocic on the break. Miocic lands a couple of rights. Cormier pushes forward, but they still wind up clinched as he defends a takedown attempt. They break with a right from Cormier. Another clinch, and body shots go back and forth before Miocic gets Cormier to the fence. Cormier eats a knee and then breaks just as the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Miocic, 50-45 Miocic overall but 3-2 or 4-1 is probably more what you’ll see

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Heavyweight Champion – Stipe Miocic via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46 x2)

Easily the best fight of the three from those two, first was quick and the second mostly a sloppy brawl. This was very engaging.

First on the mic is Cormier, he says he can’t see out of his left eye but says Miocic did a good job and that the clinch time helped Miocic win rounds. He says Miocic didn’t over extend too much after the first so the takedown wasn’t available. Asked about the eye he says he can’t see anything out of his left eye but it doesn’t matter. He says losing sucks, especially in big spots but he’ll deal with it like he’s dealt with loss in the past. About the future he says he’s only interested in title fights and he doesn’t see that in his future anymore, so he’s probably done.

Miocic gets an interview now, he says he’s tired and wants to go home which I think we can all understand. He says he was ready for the takedowns and that his quick escape in the first deterred Cormier. He jokes about how many plans he had to go through in this fight, he barely even knew what he was doing at times. Asked about the future now that he’s cemented himself as the best UFC heavyweight, he says he’ll be up early tomorrow and will spend time with his family, enjoy his birthday coming up, and break in his new Traeger grill. To close he thanks Rogan for the fanny pack.

Just something to think about coming out of this fight.

Alright everyone, that will wrap up UFC 252. Thanks to everyone for reading, be that live or after the fact I appreciate all of you. We’ll unpack all of the results from this on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast Sunday, plus look ahead to next weeks UFC on ESPN 15 when Pedro Munhoz battles Frankie Edgar in the main event. I’ll be back for that event, and I hope you all will as well. Until next time then, stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC 252, Robert Winfree