Stipe Miocic TKO’d Daniel Cormier To End His Heavyweight Title Reign At UFC 241

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Stipe Miocic (19-3) regained his UFC heavyweight title with a fourth-round TKO finish of Daniel Cormier (22-2) at UFC 241 from Anaheim, Calif. Miocic finished Cormier after digging in and ripping heavy body shots to Cormier in the fourth round, sending him to the ground and forcing a ref stoppage to become two-time heavyweight champion.

Cormier opened the first round by chopping down the taller Miocic with a series of leg kicks, before shooting and easily taking the former champ to the ground. On the ground, Cormier landed a succession of blows to the head. However, the challenger covered up and referee Herb Dean refused to call the fight before closing out the first.

In the second round, Cormier appeared to hurt Miocic, who responded with two heavy-handed shots that stumbled the champ. Cormier continued to put the pressure on, slamming an elbow to Miocic’s face and walking him down. The two traded shots through the end of the round, eating punches along the way.

Miocic fed off the confidence of a strong second round and fired away at Cormier in the third. After two unsuccessful takedowns of Cormier, Miocic got him on the ground briefly before Cormier returned to his feet.

Heading into the championship rounds, the pace significantly slowed for the exhausted Cormier and Miocic. Midway through the fourth, Miocic began to tear away at the champ’s body, landing left hook after left hook to Cormier’s abdomen. Miocic dug in with level changes, going to the body, up top to the head and again to the body before sending the champ to the mat for the finish.

Coming into Saturday’s fight, Cormier rode a three-fight win streak. He appeared to be going for the finish through the first three rounds, but couldn’t handle Miocic’s body shots in the fourth and final round. The loss is Cormier’s first since 2015, when he fell by decision against Jon Jones. After turning 40 in March, Cormier said he’s be “ok” with retiring after his bout with Miocic. Following the bout, Cormier said he’d need to speak with his wife before making a decision on his future. Whether the former heavyweight and light heavyweight champ rides off into the sunset, or steps up for a third and final bout against his UFC foe, Jones, remains to be seen.

Miocic reclaimed his title after not fighting for the last year, effectively ruining Cormier’s retirement tour in the process. The new heavyweight champ came into the bout 12 pounds lighter than his first fight against Cormier, and the decision to cut weight paid off, as he’s once again the top dog in the UFC’s heavyweight division.