Stipe Miocic knocks out Alistair Overeem at UFC 203
Defending champion Stipe Miocic takes on former Strikeforce title-holder Alistair Overeem for the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight belt on Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Additionally, famed pro wrestling star CM Punk makes his MMA debut against Mickey Gall. Follow the fight-by-fight, round-by-round coverage here.
UFC heavyweight title: Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair Overeem round-by-round coverage
Stipe Miocic is an athletic heavyweight who has utilized his boxing and wrestling to succeed in the UFC. He won the UFC heavyweight title in his last fight against Fabricio Werdum and now is looking to defend the title successfully for the first time in his hometown of Cleveland. Alistair Overeem is a devastating striker who was Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 champion and now is looking to add the UFC heavyweight title to his accolades.
Round 1. Overeem circles a lot to start, forcing Miocic to chase him. Overeem lands a hard body kick and then runs out of the way out of a head kick. Overeem drops Miocic with a punch and looks for a guillotine choke to finish. Miocic is able to get out and return to his feet. Miocic lands a nice 2 punch combination. Miocic hurts Overeem with some punches including a hard uppercut. He is nailing Overeem by the cage and Overeem is doing a strange job of defending. Overeem keeps circling out. However, he then hurts Miocic with a hard uppercut. Overeem has this weird jog that he uses to get out of trouble. Miocic gets a takedown and lands a series of punches. He knocks Overeem out cold with one of the punches on the ground.
Winner: Stipe Miocic, KO, round 1.
Slideshow: Images from UFC 203
Fabricio Werdum vs. Travis Browne round-by-round coverage
Fabricio Werdum is one of the best heavyweights in the sport’s history, a master jiu jitsu ace who added great striking to go with it. He holds wins over many of the best fighters ever, including Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cain Velasquez. Travis Browne is a tall striker who was on the cusp of a heavyweight title shot before he faced Werdum the first time. Werdum took Browne apart in that fight and now Browne is looking for revenge, taking this fight on short notice.
Round 1. Werdum throws a flying side kick to start. Werdum looks for a takedown early but doesn’t get it. He wades in with some punches much like he did against Stipe Miocic when he was knocked out. Werdum throws a wild somersault kick. He’s not showing a lot of caution. Browne suffered a finger injury and the referee stopped the fight, perhaps thinking something was wrong with the glove. Browne just put his finger back in place and continued, but that should have been a TKO win for Werdum. Fighters are not allowed to stop a fight for an injury. The fight restarts and Werdum lands a solid punch. Browne connects with a big punch of his own. Werdum lands a couple of leg kicks. He drops Browne with a punch late and follows with additional punches on the ground. Werdum looks for a rear naked choke but doesn’t get it. He lands a series of punches late and the time runs out. 10-8 Werdum.
Round 2. Werdum throws another wild kick. He’s fighting a reckless fight, which is interesting given he was done in by that in his last fight just a few months ago. Werdum lands a couple leg kicks. The fight has slowed in the second. Werdum is landing much more, mixing in punches and kicks. Browne lands a nice leg kick of his own late. 10-9 Werdum.
Round 3. Werdum throws a series of leg kicks and mixes in a few hard straight punches as well. Browne continues to not have much of an answer for Werdum in either of these fights. Werdum moves in with a few punches and continues to land the best shots. Browne isn’t disengaging but he is losing such a high percentage of the exchanges. 10-9 Werdum, 30-26 Werdum.
Winner: Fabricio Werdum, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27).
After the fight, the corners got into an argument and Werdum threw a kick at Edmond Tarverdyan. That was just a strange fight all around. The fight should have been over in the first but the referee blew it. The exchanges were wild. Then there was the altercation at the end. Werdum won solidly again and Browne continues his move down the rankings in the UFC.
CM Punk vs. Mickey Gall round-by-round coverage
CM Punk is one of the best professional wrestlers of his generation, who forged a strong connection with the wrestling fanbase thanks to his anti-authority personality and plain speaking style. He quit WWE and decided to pursue a fight in the UFC, a risky move at 37-years-old with a slew of injuries and no fighting background. UFC gave him the opportunity anyway because of his fame and he has all counts been extremely committed while training with Duke Roufus in Milwaukee. However, the general sentiment is he has not proven to be a natural at the sport by any means. Mickey Gall is 13 years his junior and got this big opportunity after going 2-0 in amateur fights and 2-0 as a professional. He is considered a solid prospect but this fight is all about Punk and how he will do.
Round 1. Gall ducks down and takes Punk down. Punk lands some punches from bottom. Gall answers with much harder punches from the top. Gall works into side control. Gall passes into mount. Punk turns and Gall takes his back. Gall lands punches from there. Gall keeps landing punches while looking for a rear naked choke. Gall grabs a rear naked choke. Punk fights out at first but then Gall gets it for the tap.
Winner: Mickey Gall, submission, round 1.
CM Punk’s quest to fight at the UFC proved to be as quixotic as it seemed. He wasn’t competitive in the slightest. It took a lot of courage to attempt this, but doing it at the UFC level didn’t make a lot of sense and that was born out. Punk after the fight says he wants to fight again and described this as the time of his life. It will be interesting to see if UFC is willing to give him another fight or if he ends up fighting elsewhere.
Urijah Faber vs. Jimmie Rivera round-by-round coverage
Urijah Faber is one of the most popular lighter weight fighters in the history of the sport. The former WEC champion has built up that fan base with an entertaining fight style and outgoing personality. However, Faber appears to be reaching the end of his peak as a top fighter and hasn’t looked as good in recent fights. Rivera is a fighter on the rise with a 19-1 record and is coming off an impressive win on Fox. This is a crucial crossroads fight, with Faber looking to remain in the top mix of the division and Rivera attempting to break into that group with the biggest win of his career.
Round 1. Faber looks for a takedown early but does not get it and eats an uppercut. Faber throws a front kick but eats a hard counter hook. The fight slows down with the fighters settling into a cautious approach and not throwing a lot. The fighters are throwing more in the way of low kicks than punches. That wasn’t much of a round. 10-9 Rivera.
Round 2. The fight returns to a slow pace as in the first round. Rivera lands a nice punch in an exchange as Faber looks for a kick. Rivera knocks Faber down with a leg kick. Rivera senses that he may have hurt Faber’s leg and begins throwing more leg kicks. He’s punishing that leg and it’s the best offense of the fight by either fighter. Rivera continues to work on the leg while Faber isn’t throwing much at all. The fight is starting to strongly resemble Faber’s fight with Jose Aldo, which is not good for the California veteran. Strong round for Rivera. 10-9 Rivera.
Round 3. Faber comes out swinging wildly. Rivera goes back to work with the attacks on the leg. Faber’s offensive tools have been severely compromised. Rivera connects with a couple of hard punches. Rivera knocks Faber down with another leg kick. Rivera keeps up the attack on the leg. Faber is struggling to mount any offense because whenever he moves in, he eats additional hard leg kicks that further limit his mobility. 10-9 Rivera, 30-27 Rivera.
Winner: Jimmie Rivera, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Jessica Andrade vs. Joanne Calderwood round-by-round coverage
Jessica Andrade was a welterweight fighter before dropping to strawweight. She looked great in her strawweight debut against Jessica Penne, winning via second round TKO. Many now expect her to make waves in her new division. Joanne Calderwood is a top strawweight contender, sporting an 11-1 record and the winner of this fight could work into the title mix.
Round 1. Calderwood opens the fight with a few kicks from different angles. Andrade moves in closer, landing a few hard punches from close range. Andrade shoots in for a takedown but Calderwood blocks it nicely. Andrade continues to work and eventually secures the takedown. Calderwood works her way back to her feet. Andrade then slams Calderwood back to the ground and gets side control position there. Calderwood gamely works into full guard, a much better position for her than side control. Correia works from the top, landing punches and not focusing as much on positioning in that effort. Calderwood looks to stand up late but Andrade grabs a guillotine choke, drops back down and gets the submission.
Winner: Jessica Andrade, submission, round 1.
Andrade was impressive again at strawweight, dominating a top contender with a strong ground game. She’s likely to get some big fights in quick order against the best in the division.
Jessica Eye vs. Bethe Correia round-by-round coverage
Jessica Eye is a charismatic and talented fighter, but she has struggled in the UFC when matched against high level opposition. With four losses in her last five, it’s imperative she rebound in this fight. Bethe Correia was in a massive fight last year against Ronda Rousey, a title fight that drew over a million buys on pay-per-view. However, Correia was knocked out in 34 seconds and lost her next fight as well.
Round 1. Eye lands a stiff right hand to start. Eye lands another combination moments later. Correia lands a couple of leg kicks. Correia lands a right hand. They continue to boxing on the outside of the cage, not mixing in a lot of other techniques. Correia grabs a clinch in the final minute, lands a punch and breaks. 10-9 Eye.
Round 2. Correia throws a few kicks early. She lands a nice hook. They trade jabs. Correia is doing better in the second with her shots. Eye lands a solid hook. Eye follows with a solid combination and opens up with some punches. 10-9 Eye.
Round 3. Eye lands a few kicks early. She follows with a three punch combination. Eye is using kicks to keep Correia from establishing her jab as well as she did in the second. Correia lands a nice punch late. Eye counters Correia coming in with a couple of punches. They clinch late and exchange punches in the clinch. All three rounds were tough to score. Bad fight. 10-9 Eye, 30-27 Eye.
Winner: Bethe Correia, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
That was a close fight so the decision could have gone either way. The crowd didn’t like the decision at all, but Eye is the local fighter. Correia didn’t look good, but she rarely does, even in victory. Eye will likely be out of the UFC.
Brad Tavares vs. Caio Magalhaes round-by-round coverage
Brad Tavares at one point appeared to be turning into a young middleweight contender. He had a 12-1 record in early 2014 with wins over the likes of Lorenz Larkin, Tom Watson and Phil Baroni. However, Tavares lost three of his next four as he stepped up in competition. Not having competed for over a year, he will look to reestablish his name here. Magalhaes had a four fight winning streak broken in his last fight against Josh Samman, so he too will be looking to regain past momentum.
Round 1. After some boxing on the feet, Magalhaes grabs a single leg and looks for a takedown. The fighters end up pressed against the cage fighting for that potential takedown. Nothing comes of it and they return to fighting at range. They clinch and works with punches and knees from that position. Nothing much happened that round. 10-9 Magalhaes.
Round 2. The fighters return to the clinch. After not a lot of action, they separate. They are both not throwing a lot in the standup. Magalhaes mixes in a few kicks while Tavares relies mostly on his boxing. Magalhaes moves in for a takedown. They end up by the cage again, with not much happening. Magalhaes gets a takedown briefly but Tavares pops right back up. Another nothing round. 10-9 Magalhaes.
Round 3. Magalhaes throws a few kicks early. Tavares lands a straight punch and they end up back in the clinch. Magalhaes grabs a guillotine choke and drops down but Tavares is too sweaty and Tavares gets out of the choke. They return to the feet with Tavares pressing forward looking for a big shot. He lands a solid punch. Magalhaes lands a hook of his own. Another tough round to score. 10-9 Tavares, 29-28 Magalhaes.
Winner: Brad Tavares, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).
Nik Lentz vs. Michael McBride round-by-round coverage
Nik Lentz is an extremely effective fighter who hasn’t gotten as far as he might because of an often unappealing fight style. Lentz is a grinder and has secured decision wins over the likes of Danny Castillo, Manny Gamburyan and Tyson Griffin. Michael McBride is making his UFC debut with an 8-1 record. He scored submissions in all eight of his victories but this is a major step up in competition for him.
Round 1. Lentz lands a couple of big punches early and then a knee. Lentz looks for a takedown but does not get it. They scramble and Lentz throws McBride down. McBride attacks the leg but can’t set up a heel hook or something comparable. Lentz lands some punches on the ground. Lentz looks to set up a guillotine choke but can’t get it and gives it up. Lentz continues landing punches on the ground while looking to set up a submission. Lentz gets his hooks in and lands some punches from the back as the round runs out. 10-8 Lentz.
Round 2. McBride lands a few solid punches as Lentz moves in. Lentz answers with a few looping punches of his own. McBride drops Lentz with a punch and takes Lentz’s back. McBride looks for a rear naked choke but Lentz works his way out of trouble. McBride scores a takedown moments later. Lentz works his way into top position, threatening with a choke. Lentz lands some punches and controls the body. Lentz follows with elbows as well. He gets in his hooks like in the first, landing big shots repeatedly until the fight is stopped.
Winner: Nik Lentz, TKO, round 2.
That looked like a mismatch on paper and Lentz backed up that sentiment with his performance in the cage. For McBride, it was a rough night on short notice.
Drew Dober vs. Jason Gonzalez round-by-round coverage
Drew Dober is a Nebraska fighter who has competed in the UFC since 2013, going 2-3 with 1 no contest. His biggest victory was via submission over former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner in Varner’s final fight. Gonzalez is a tall lightweight who makes his UFC debut following six straight wins on the local circuit.
Round 1. The fighters start out at a quick pace, with both men swinging wildly. They clinch, Gonzalez lands a nice knee, and they separate. Dober rocks Gonzalez with punch and swarms in for the finish. He follows with a bunch of hard punches by the cage. Gonzalez drops and the fight is called off.
Winner: Drew Dober, TKO, round 1.
Dober showcased tremendous power in that fight and capitalized when he had Gonzalez in trouble. For Gonzalez, it’s a big setback on the major stage.
Sean Spencer vs. Yancy Medeiros round-by-round coverage
UFC 203 starts off with a bout featuring UFC veterans Sean Spencer and Yancy Medeiros. Spencer is 12-5 in MMA but has lost two in a row and needs a win here to remain in the UFC. Medeiros is an entertaining action fighter who is coming off a fight of the night performance but has lost two of his last three.
Round 1. The feeling out process starts out slowly, with neither man landing much in the opening couple minutes. Both men are throwing a fair number of kicks. Spencer lands a nice right hand at the midway point of the round, the best blow to that point of the fight. Medieros catches a kick and lands a left hand answer. Medeiros knocks Spencer off balance with a high kick and becomes more aggressive in the follow-up, although Sepncer is fine. 10-9 Spencer.
Round 2. Medeiros badly hurts Spencer with a left high kick. Spencer goes down hard and Medeiros sinks in a rear naked choke for the submission.
Winner: Yancy Medeiros, submission, round 2.
Medeiros didn’t look at his best in the first round, but he scored an explosive finish in the second that will fit nicely into his highlight reel going forward.