12:56 a.m.-STIPE MIOCIC SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS UFC HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE WITH FIRST-ROUND KO OF JUNIOR DOS SANTOS
Revenge is sweet for Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titlist Stipe Miocic.
Miocic, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and the reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion avenged one of only two losses on his professional record with a knockout of Junior dos Santos at the 2:24 mark of the very first round in the main event of UFC 211 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas Saturday night.
Miocic finished off the victory when he backed up dos Santos against the cage and floored him with a right hand to the head. When dos Santos fell, Miocic pounced at the opportunity to finish the fight and fired off more than a dozen left-handed punches through the guard and forced referee Herb Dean to jump in and call a stop to the bout.
Although dos Santos landed nine strikes, including early leg kicks that caused instant swelling in Miocic’s left shin, the champion withstood the damage and landed 12 of his 35 strikes (34 percent), but all 12 were considered significant, according to FightMetric.
With the win over dos Santos, Miocic tied the UFC record by successfully defending the heavyweight championship for a second consecutive time. He improved to 17-2 in his professional career, and 11-2 in his 13 bouts within the UFC.
12:32 a.m.-JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK RETAINS UFC TITLE WITH DECISION WIN OVER JESSICA ANDRADE
Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s straw-weight titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk successfully defended her crown with a unanimous decision victory over well-respected contender Jessica Andrade in the co-main event of UFC 211 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas Saturday night.
In the very arena where she won the championship on March 14, 2015, Jedrzejczyk retained the championship for the fifth straight time by winning the bout on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
Jedrzejczyk connected on 215 of her 353 strikes (61 percent), and 203 of those punches, kicks and knees were considered significant, while Andrade was successful with only 74 of her 239 strikes and two of her 12 takedown attempts.
Andrade tried to assert her wrestling acumen in the first round when she attempted a takedown. Andrade earned the takedown when she picked up Jedrzejczyk and slammed her to the canvas. However, the champion eventually fought her way back to standing and landed several knees and elbows to the face and midsection to bloody the challenger against the cage.
Although Jedrzejczyk out-landed Andrade, 40-15, in strikes according to FightMetric over the first five minutes of the bout, one of those 15 strikes landed flush and put a huge welt over the right eye of the champion.
Following the takedown, Andrade controlled the ground for 93 seconds in the first round.
Jedrzejczyk controlled the pace with her distance striking in the second round. She landed 44 of her 77 strike attempts (58 percent), and 42 of those 44 strikes were considered significant, but Andrade walked through most the punches, kicks and knees and earned a takedown late in the round.
Much like she did in the second round, Jedrzejczyk outpointed Andrade in total strikes in the third round. Jedrzejczyk landed 47 of her 77 attempts, 45 of which did damage. Andrade connected on just 15 of her 53 attempts and missed on all three takedown tries.
For the fourth straight round, Jedrzejczyk landed at a better than 58 percent clip in strikes, as she connected on 43 of her 67 attempts (65 percent), and 38 of those were considered significant. Many of those 38 significant strikes were to Andrade’s head.
11:45 p.m.-Damian Maia earns split-decision victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 211
Veteran UFC contender Damian Maia earned a split-decision victory over Jorge Masvidal in a welterweight championship eliminator bout on the main card of UFC 211 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, Saturday night.
Maia earned the 29-28 decision on two of the judges’ scorecards, and Masvidal earned a 29-28 decision on the third card.
Early in the first round, Maia secured a body triangle with his legs around the waist of his opponent, and held control of Masvidal’s back for 3:44 of the five-minute stanza. Maia used the back advantage to land 38 of his 44 attempts (87 percent), but none of those were considered significant, according to FightMetric.
Maia was successful on two of his five takedown attempts, but ended the first round on his back with Masvidal landing punches in bunches.
Masvidal landed 24 of his 28 strikes, and 13 were significant in the first round.
The second round had an interesting pace as Maia, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, turned the fight into a grappling contest.
Despite missing on all five of his takedown attempts and not landing a strike until the final 40 seconds of the round, Maia rolled over Masvidal and held control on the ground for more than two minutes and landed 11 of his final 12 strike attempts in the second round.
In the third round, Maia secured his third takedown, in 12 attempts, and held control of Masvidal’s back for nearly two-and-a-half minutes. Maia used the advantage to land 17 of his 24 strike attempts (71 percent), as opposed to 13 strikes from Masvidal.
11:02 p.m.-Frankie Edgar earns victory over Yair Rodriguez due to doctor's stoppage
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight titlist Frankie “The Answer” Edgar used his superior wrestling skills and ground and pound to earn a victory over Yair Rodriguez on the main card of UFC 211 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas Saturday night.
On the advice of the Octagon-side doctor, the referee called a stop to the bout in-between the second and third rounds because Rodriguez’s left eye was swollen completely shut after two rounds of ground and pound.
From the outset, Edgar used his wrestling to gain an advantage against Rodriguez.
After fighting for and being unsuccessful with a takedown attempt early in the first round, Edgar secured a double-leg sweep and put Rodriguez on his back. Despite Rodriguez’s attempt to use his momentum to roll into a reversal, Edgar held strong and used his elbows and fists to do damage after getting inside the guard.
Edgar landed 54 of his 78 strike attempts, 31 of which were considered significant, according to FightMetric. In addition to landing 70 percent of his total strikes, Edgar landed one of his two takedowns and held control for 4:03.
Rodriguez landed just 17 of his 37 strikes in the first round.
Edgar handed out more of the same punishment in the second round.
Successful with one of his three takedown attempts, Edgar landed 39 of his 54 strike attempts, as opposed to 21 from Rodriguez. After securing the takedown, Edgar held ground control for more than three minutes.
10:37 p.m.-DAVID BRANCH EARNS SPLIT-DECISION WIN OVER KRZYSZTOF JOTKO AT UFC 211
In his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship after six years in other organizations, David Branch earned a split-decision victory over Krzysztof Jotko in the opening bout of the main card at UFC 211 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas Saturday night.
Branch won the fight with 29-28 scores on two of the judges’ three cards. Jotko won the bout, 29-28, on the second judge’s card.
While Jotko was the more economical fighter in the first round, landing 24 of his 26 strikes (93 percent), Branch was the busier striker and was more significant when he landed. Branch landed 48 of his 64 strikes, 21 of which were significant, according to FightMetric.
Branch landed one of his takedown attempts and held control for 3:25, as opposed to just 24 seconds from Jotko when he was successful with his only takedown try of the five-minute first round.
The second round was fairly even in strikes, as Branch landed 14 of his 52 strikes and Jotko connected with 12 of his 40 attempts. Eleven of Jotko’s 12 punches were significant. Branch landed one takedown and held control of the tempo for 28 seconds.
In the third round, Branch doubled up Jotko in strikes, 28-14, and landed one of his two takedown attempts.
9:59 p.m.-STIPE MIOCIC'S GOAL VS JDS: KEEP UFC TITLE IN CLEVELAND
CLEVELAND -- It is not every day that a champion goes in search of redemption against a contender, but redemption is exactly what UFC heavyweight titlist Stipe Miocic has in mind when he defends against Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC 211 in Dallas tonight.
Miocic last lost on December 13, 2014, and that setback came via a unanimous decision after a five-round slugfest against the very same man he will stand and trade with in Texas, dos Santos, a former heavyweight champion in his own right.
“I’m a totally different fighter than I was last time, probably the same as him, but I’ve definitely evolved more than he has,” Miocic said. “I’ve fought a lot more than he has, and so, nothing is going to change. The reign is still going to be me being the champ.”
Since the loss to dos Santos, Miocic has rattled off four straight victories, all by knockout or technical knockout, including the last three in the very first round.
After dispatching of a well-respected contender in Mark Hunt in a five-round battle in 2015, where he landed a UFC record 361 strikes, Miocic dominated former champion Andre Arlovski in just 54 seconds last January.
Following the win over Arlovski, Miocic demanded a shot at the heavyweight championship, and when given that chance, he made good by knocking out Fabricio Werdum in front of 45,000 fans in Curitiba, Brazil.
Miocic won the UFC championship after delivering a right hand to Werdum’s jaw in the main event of UFC 198 last May. Miocic added three shots to the downed Werdum before referee Dan Miragliotta jumped in-between the fighters to end the bout at the 2:14 mark of the first round.
Then, four months later, Miocic successfully defended the heavyweight championship with a first-round knockout win against veteran contender Alistair Overeem in the UFC’s debut show at Quicken Loans Arena, which marked the champ’s first Cleveland fight in six years.
After failing to lock in submission and take advantage of an early knockdown, Overeem attempted to throw a right leg kick when Miocic checked it and sent the challenger to the mat. After the takedown, Overeem pulled guard, but Miocic was not to be denied, as he postured up and landed a pair of right-handed hammer fists before throwing a left-right combination.
Following another left hand, Miocic landed four straight rights to Overeem’s jaw, knocking out the challenger and forcing the referee’s stoppage with just 33 seconds left in the first round.
“We’re just scratching the surface,” Miocic said. “Every fight, I’m a different fighter. I come out and I bring something new to the table. I have a different game plan. I go out and I show them why I’m the best in the world.”
And when he steps into The Octagon to defend against dos Santos, Miocic has one thing in mind, putting in a good day’s work, and no matter how long it takes, finishing the fight and returning to Cleveland as a champion.
“It’s going to happen,” Miocic said. “If it’s not the first, it’s going to be the second, third, fourth or the fifth. I’m going to win the fight. He’s going to get knocked out. I’m getting my hand raised.”