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Stipe Miocic defeats Junior Dos Santos with first-round TKO

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UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic successfully defended his title against Junior Dos Santos, the former heavyweight champion who handed Miocic his most recent defeat in a thrilling five-round scrap in 2014.

Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk defended her crown as well with a unanimous decision over Jessica Andrade in the co-feature. The card was the deepest lineup the UFC has presented in 2017, featuring the likes of Demian Maia, Frankie Edgar and Eddie Alvarez. Check out round-by-round recaps of each fight on the card.

Stipe Miocic avenges loss to Junior Dos Santos

Stipe Miocic hits Junior Dos Santos with a right hand during their heavyweight title fight at UFC 211 in Dallas on May 13.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

Stipe Miocic didn’t hesitate to let his fists fly Saturday night, gaining revenge for his most recent loss and moving within another victory of becoming the longest-reigning UFC heavyweight champion.

Ohio’s Miocic (17-2) found former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos with right-handed punches in the early going, brushing off leg kicks, then dropping his foe with a hammering right hand in the main event of UFC 211 in Dallas.

With Dos Santos on the mat, Miocic pounced and struck with a flurry of short lefts to the face to cause referee Herb Dean to stop the bout at 2 minutes 22 seconds of the first round.

“It didn’t go long,” Miocic said in the octagon when asked about his shin pain from Dos Santos’ kicks. “I am the best in the world.”

Miocic avenged his 2014 loss by decision to Dos Santos with astute counterpunches and an attacking style.

Either former champion Cain Velasquez or the winner of July 8’s Alistair Overeem-Fabricio Werdum bout will be the final obstacle keeping Miocic from becoming the first UFC heavyweight champion to successfully defend the belt three times.

In the co-main event, Poland’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0) tied Ronda Rousey with her sixth women’s title victory, out-landing a game Jessica Andrade by more than a 3-1 ratio.

Judges scored the bout 50-45, 50-44, 50-45 for Jedrzejczyk.

“No one is taking this belt from me. No one,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Jessica was such a tough opponent. I was super tired at the end … [but] we’re making history.”

Third-ranked Andrade (16-6) snapped a scoring combination on Jedrzejczyk’s face in the first round, and took her to the canvas before Jedrzejczyk rose and landed jabs and a kick to the head.

Aided by a 3 1/2-inch reach advantage, Jedrzejczyk continued popping jabs and belted Andrade with a right hand in the second to seize control. The lead widened in the fourth as Jedrzejczyk peppered Andrade with punches and kicks, leaving the challenger cut under the right eye. Andrade absorbed more than a dozen power shots in the fifth, leaving the bout with dignity.

Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar defeated No. 7-rated featherweight Yair Rodriguez to regain traction toward another title shot.

Edgar quickly landed punches on the contender from Mexico and then pummeled him with blows to the head while Rodriguez had his back on the canvas.

A ringside doctor stopped the fight after two rounds, leaving Edgar in prime position to meet the winner of June 3’s UFC 212 main event between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and challenger Max Holloway of Hawaii.

In a welterweight bout, veteran Demian Maia claimed a split-decision victory over Jorge Masvidal.

Maia went to UFC President Dana White afterward and said that after seven consecutive victories, he deserves a title shot at champion Tyron Woodley, and White told him, “You got it.”

Masvidal whipped kicks in the second round, but in the third Maia landed the more effective blows that helped him claim the 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 nod on scorecards.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire

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UFC men’s heavyweight title: Stipe Miocic vs. Junior Dos Santos live round-by-round coverage

Stipe Miocic, a Cleveland native, won the UFC heavyweight title in an upset over Fabricio Werdum and defended it against Alistair Overeem. He now seeks his second title defense against the last opponent to defeat him in former champion Junior Dos Santos. Both men are strikers with knockout power and strong chins.

Round 1. Miocic moves in and lands a couple hard punches by the cage. Dos Santos lands a pair of hard leg kicks while Miocic continues to target the chin. Miocic drops Dos Santos with a right hand and follows with additional punches on the ground until the fight is stopped.

Winner: Stipe Miocic, TKO, round 1.

Miocic made quick work of Dos Santos with his power punches and beat the expert boxer at his own game. Miocic wasn’t on the radar as a top heavyweight for some time but he has strung together a series of title wins in a division that had previously been defined by parity. Dos Santos has alternated wins and losses over the last few years and may not get another title shot for quite a while. He’s on the younger side as far as the heavyweight division goes but he has been through some wars and his chin doesn’t appear to be what it once was.

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UFC women’s strawweight title: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade live round-by-round coverage

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the undefeated strawweight champion seeking her fifth successful title defense. Jessica Andrade is a powerful pressure striker who could present some matchup problems for Jedrzejczyk. It’s a formidable challenge and Jedrzejczyk is only a narrow favorite despite her divisional dominance to date.

Round 1. Andrade moves in with her short range power hooks but gets countered with a nasty counter hook from Jedrzejczyk in the process. Andrade goes swarming in again and gets a takedown. Jedrzejczyk stands up and lands a nice elbow and some knees. Jedrzejczyk has a hematoma near her right eye. Back in range, Jedrzejczyk lands some jabs, low kicks and a high kick. Jedrzejczyk is doing a good job of keeping Andrade at bay. Andrade goes for a takedown late but can’t get it. 10-9 Jedrzejczyk.

Round 2. Jedrzejczyk goes back to work with a series of kicks to Andrade’s lead leg. Andrade moves in with her power hooks and Jedrzejczyk just moves right out of the way. Jedrzejczyk peppers Andrade with punches and kicks from range and Andrade cannot close the distance. Jedrzejczyk just moves right out of the way with ease when Andrade wades in. Andrade is just swinging at air time and time again. She’s missing by huge distances. Jedrzejczyk counters with a strong two punch combination. Jedrzejczyk lands a huge head kick. Andrade goes for a takedown in response. 10-8 Jedrzejczyk. She’s completely outclassing Andrade.

Round 3. Andrade catches a kick and lands a right hook. Jedrzejczyk continues to pound Andrade with leg kicks and then will mix in the occasional high kick. Andrade looks for a takedown but it is stuffed. Jedrzejczyk lands another of those high kicks. Jedrzejczyk is so accurate with her punches and kicks. She’ll snap Andrade’s head back with her jab and then nail the lead leg with kicks. The accuracy differential has to be a chasm in this fight. Jedrzejczyk lands a nice knee late. 10-8 Jedrzejczyk.

Round 4. Jedrzejczyk connects with a high kick early. Andrade lands one of her hooks diving in. Jedrzejczyk is uses straight punches more in this round after a kick heavy third round. She hurts Andrade a little with a two punch combination. Andrade is not getting hurt that much but as far as output this is a wipeout. Andrade goes for a takedown but can’t get it. Jedrzejczyk continues to land her straight punches and kicks as the round concludes. 10-9 Jedrzejczyk.

Round 5. Jedrzejczyk is utilizing her jab and moving a lot to make sure Andrade can’t get in close enough to land a game changing shot. Jedrzejczyk keeps landing those jabs while Andrade mostly just misses. The fifth round progresses much like the first four, with Jedrzejczyk dominating the action every minute. 10-9 Jedrzejczyk, 50-43 Jedrzejczyk.

Winner: Joanna Jedrzejczyk, unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-45).

Joanna Jedrzejczyk turned in another dominant performance there. Jessica Andrade had looked impressive in recent fights but she couldn’t offer basically any resistance over the course of 25 minutes. The next step for Jedrzejczyk is to see if she can transition from being a great champion to a superstar as well.

After the fight in her post fight interview, Andrade proposed marriage to her girlfriend and it was accepted.

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Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal live round-by-round coverage

Demian Maia is the top contender for the UFC welterweight title but was asked to take this fight to stay active. He’s risking that shot against a dangerous opponent in Jorge Masvidal. This is a straightforward style vs. style matchup. Maia is one of the best submission artists in the sport. Masvidal is a smaller but quicker man who relies on his striking. Masvidal will look to make it a striking bout, while Maia will want it on the ground.

Round 1. Maia shoots in for a takedown. Maia gets him down momentarily but Masvidal works his way back up. Masvidal lands punches while continuing to defend. Maia gets a body triangle locked up from a standing position. Maia works from that position, landing punches and looking to set up a choke while controlling Masvidal’s body. Masvidal is defending well, but he is in an extremely precarious position. Masvidal slickly slides Maia’s arm out and pushes him to the ground. Masvidal immediately goes to town with repeated punches on the ground until the round ends. 10-9 Maia.

Round 2. Maia shoots and Masvidal stuffs it. Masvidal lands a nice leg kick and then a head kick. Masvidal blocks another takedown attempt. Masvidal lands a couple more kicks. Masvidal blocks a takedown and lands a knee. Maia shoots again and looks to pull guard. Masvidal gets top position on Masvidal with two minutes left. Masvidal gets up while Maia looks to take his back. 10-9 Masvidal.

Round 3. Masvidal throws a head kick and then a low kick early. Masvidal is throwing a little here and there, while Maia isn’t throwing at all. Maia gets a takedown at the midpoint of the round. Maia takes the back and locks in a body triangle. Masvidal lands some elbows in the process. Maia lands some punches of his own and looks for that choke. That’s a tricky fight to score, with control constantly pitted against damage. 10-9 Maia, 29-28 Maia.

Winner: Demian Maia, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

That was an extremely close fight. Jorge Masvidal was able to defend well, but Demian Maia ultimately was in control for too long. UFC President Dana White said Maia has his title shot against Tyron Woodley next time out, and it is well deserved. Maia has earned the opportunity for sure, and it’s a compelling stylistic matchup.

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Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez live round-by-round coverage

This fight is a classic matchup of the top-shelf, fully proven veteran of the sport against the rising up-and-comer looking to prove his time is now. Frankie Edgar is the former UFC lightweight champion and is one of the most accomplished lighter-weight fighters in the history of the sport. Now 35, Edgar doesn’t show signs of slowing down and has won six of his last seven fights against high-level competition. Yair Rodriguez is an exciting 24-year-old Mexican star who is undefeated in the Octagon, accumulating performance bonuses left and right. He is coming off a win over the biggest-name opponent of his career in B.J. Penn. Now he will have a chance to defeat another name opponent and one at the top of his game.

Round 1. Rodriguez is throwing a lot of kicks early while Edgar looks to close distance with short-range punches. Edgar backs Rodriguez up by the cage and looks for a takedown. Edgar takes Rodriguez to the canvas and avoids a guillotine choke attempt in the process. Edgar immediately goes to work with punches. Edgar continues to be very active as the round progresses with his punches. Edgar adds in elbows as well and really begins to open up with punches. Rodriguez is bleeding and is taking a ton of punishment. 10-8 Edgar.

Round 2. Rodriguez’s eye is a mess. Edgar lands a few hard punches and then slams Rodriguez down. Rodriguez looks for a knee bar on the ground. Rodriguez looks close, but Edgar forces him to give it up with punches and elbows. Edgar secures full mount in the process and lands some punches there. Rodriguez rolls over to get out. Edgar ends up back in Rodriguez’s guard, and once he’s in a comfortable position Edgar goes right back to work with punches just like in the first. 10-9 Edgar.

The fight is stopped between the second and third rounds.

Winner: Frankie Edgar, doctor’s stoppage, round 2.

Yair Rodriguez wanted the opportunity to step up in competition against one of the sport’s best, and Frankie Edgar made him pay for it. Edgar’s wrestling and pressure in particular were just too much for the rising star. It will be interesting to see how Rodriguez rebounds from this and how it affects his career. Edgar remains in title contention at featherweight and continues to build a Hall of Fame legacy.

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David Branch vs. Krzysztof Jotko live round-by-round coverage

David Branch, left, and Krzysztof Jotko trade blow during their lightweight bout at UFC 211.
(Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

David Branch fought in the UFC in 2010-2011 but was released from the organization after a defeat. He won 10 fights in a row in WSOF to become a two division champion there and now returns to the UFC to prove himself at the highest level. He has a stiff challenge in his return fight. Jotko has a sparkling 19-1 record with five straight UFC wins and is looking to spoil Branch’s homecoming here.

Round 1. Branch is the more aggressive fighter early but isn’t landing much of note. Jotko isn’t either. Branch gets a takedown a minute in. Branch lands some punches inside Jotko’s guard. At the halfway point of the round, Jotko looks to stand up. Branch lands a hard elbow as Jotko returns to his feet. They battle in the clinch next to the fence. Jotko gets a takedown of his own but Branch pops up. Jotko lands a nice knee to the body back on the feet. Branch throws some knees of his own. 10-9 Branch.

Round 2. The fighters feel each other out again to start the second. Both are cautious at open range. Jotko lands a few quality punches in the process. Branch gets a takedown in the middle of the round but Jotko pretty much instantaneously stands right back up. Jotko looks more comfortable on the feet so Branch is going to need to impose his ground in this fight. Branch clinches and the referee breaks it up really quickly for some reason. Jotko throws a wheel kick that glances off Branch. Branch goes for a takedown but again Jotko is down only momentarily. 10-9 Jotko.

Round 3. Branch throws more early in the round, mostly light straight punches. They trade kicks. Branch goes for a takedown but it is stuffed easily. Branch clinches again and they grapple for position as the crowd boos. Branch lands a nice left hand after separation and gets a takedown. Branch lands some punches from the top. Jotko stands up and looks to take Branch down. Branch prevents that. Jotko is more active late with his strikes including a nice uppercut. 10-9 Branch, 29-28 Branch.

Winner: David Branch, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

That fight isn’t going to be remembered well on a card that has featured so many exciting fights but Branch will certainly take the win returning to the UFC against a tough opponent.

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Slide show: Photos from UFC 211

Jason Knight, left, and Chas Skelly trade punches during their UFC 211 bout on Saturday night in Dallas. To see more images from the UFC 211 card, click on the photo above.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

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Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier live round-by-round coverage

Dustin Poirier strikes Eddie Alvarez with a right during their UFC 211 lightweight fight.
(Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

Eddie Alvarez is the highly regarded former Bodog, Bellator and UFC champion. He is coming off a disappointing setback in the biggest fight of his career when he lost via TKO to Conor McGregor in the main event of the UFC’s Madison Square Garden debut. He is fighting the dynamic Dustin Poirier, who has won five of his last six and is looking for what would likely be the biggest win of his career here.

Round 1. The fight starts out a little slow. Poirier lands a few kicks that are the best blows of the early going. Poirier continues landing kicks while Alvarez isn’t doing a whole lot. Poirier is opening up more with his punches as the fight progresses. Poirier lands a couple hard punches late. Alvarez’s left eye looks a little rough. 10-9 Poirier.

Round 2. Alvarez lands a couple of looping punches that appear to hurt Poirier early. Rather than following with more strikes, Alvarez goes for a takedown and the fighters are tied up by the cage as Poirier recovers. Poirier continues landing his straight punches and is taking advantage of being the more active fighter. Poirier hurts Alvarez badly with a punch and moves in looking to finish. Alvarez fires back with power hooks to keep Poirier at bay and hurts him. Alvarez again rather than trying to finish with punches goes for a takedown. Poirier blocks that and regains control with his punches. Alvarez gets a takedown late. Poirier gets up and eats some knees by the cage. Poirier puts his hand down and receives two illegal knees to the head. Poirier is bleeding badly as well. The fight is called off. That should be a disqualification win for Poirier.

Ruling: No Contest.

Referee Herb Dean concluded that the knees were accidental because Alvarez was initially throwing legal knees before Poirier went to the ground. Essentially, he gave Alvarez the benefit of the doubt, which is understandable in general when it comes to fighters placing limbs on the ground to make a formerly illegal blow legal. However, in this particular instance, Poirier was so far down on the second knee that it’s harder to justify Alvarez’s knee. A disqualification was probably the more sound ruling.

It’s a shame the fight ended when it did, because this was a really exciting second round on what’s been a tremendous card thus far. Poirier looked better in general but Alvarez had his moments in the second.

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Chas Skelly vs. Jason Knight live round-by-round coverage

Jason Knight, left, and Chas Skelly trade punches during their UFC 211 bout.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

Neither Chas Skelly nor Jason Knight is very familiar with defeat. Skelly is 17-2 with six wins in his last seven fights in the UFC, and Knight is 16-2 and has won his last three in the UFC. Both fighters have exciting styles with many finishes and have never been stopped.

Round 1. Knight lands a few hard punches early. Skelly answers with a big left hook to the jaw and takes Knight to the ground. Skelly works with punches from the top, while Knight uses the rubber guard to try to sweep. Knight looks for a kimura. Skelly tries to counter into an armbar, but neither gets anything and they return to their feet. 10-9 Knight.

Round 2. Knight connects with a two-punch combination and begins talking trash. Skelly lands a nice uppercut. Knight blocks a Skelly takedown attempt and lands a couple of quality hooks. Skelly tries for another takedown, and Knight lands elbows to the body in the process. They battle for position on the ground. Knight ends up cut in the process. As Knight is getting up, Skelly lands a head kick and then the biggest punches of the round at the end. It wasn’t quite enough to steal the round. 10-9 Knight.

Round 3. Knight rocks Skelly early and keeps landing punches on the ground until finally the fight is stopped.

Winner: Jason Knight, TKO, round 3.

That was another exciting fight on what has been a terrific card thus far. It was tough to follow that heavyweight fight, but they did their best. Jason Knight looked impressive again and could be in line for some major fights in the relatively near future.

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Chase Sherman vs. Rashad Coulter live round-by-round coverage

Chase Sherman strikes Rashad Coulter during their heavyweight fight at UFC 211.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

A knockout seems likely when Chase Sherman and Rashad Coulter square off, as each fighter has finished all of his wins via knockout. Sherman is a UFC veteran but has lost both times in the Octagon while Coulter is making his UFC debut.

Round 1. Sherman lands a series of kicks to keep Coulter at range. Coulter is moving in slowly looking to get close enough to land a power shot, but Sherman is landing much more in the process. Sherman is continually landing leg kicks while also connecting with punches as Coulter gets close. Coulter lands a hard right hand that appears to hurt Sherman a little. He opens up and lands a left hook a little bit later. Sherman lands another big leg kick and Coulter is limping. Sherman follows with another leg kick, and Coulter almost goes down. 10-8 Sherman.

Round 2. Coulter connects with a hard right hand to the chin, but Sherman is fine and responds with more of those leg kicks. Coulter can barely stand and goes down. Sherman follows with punches on the ground. Coulter appears done, but he is able to stand back up by the cage. Coulter desperately wings some big, looping punches but can’t connect. Sherman lands some more of those leg kicks and Coulter limps away. Coulter rocks Sherman with a punch and follows with more bombs looking for a finish. Sherman withstands and fires back. Coulter continues hammering Sherman with big punches to the jaw, but Sherman is able to take them and fires back. Sherman knocks Coulter out with a hard elbow by the cage. That was an incredible round.

Winner: Chase Sherman, TKO, round 2.

That was one of the most exciting heavyweight fights in quite some time, a memorable battle where both men were pushed to their limits. The UFC has been looking to establish depth in the heavyweight division, and after that fight, fans are going to be interested in seeing both of these men perform again. Coulter showed great heart in continuing to compete, but Sherman picked up the deserved win.

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James Vick vs. Marco Polo Reyes live round-by-round coverage

James Vick goes on the offensive against Marco Polo Reyes during their lightweight fight at UFC 211.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

James Vick’s length and slick submissions have brought him success in the UFC, where he is 6-1 with wins over some solid names such as Ramsey Nijem, Jake Matthews and Abel Trujillo. Marco Polo Reyes is 3-0 thus far in the UFC with strong striking.

Round 1. Both fighters seem content to trade early. Neither is landing much as both fighters are showcasing good defense. Vick drops Reyes with a big straight right hand. Vick follows with punches on the ground and Reyes is out of it. Reyes can’t defend and the fight is stopped.

Winner: James Vick, TKO, round 1.

Vick’s striking is very good, but it hasn’t resulted in many TKO victories. That changed tonight with a sudden knockout win. Vick has talked of wanting to break into the Top 10 of the division, but that’s a stiff order given the depth at lightweight. A win over Reyes can only move the needle so much.

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Jessica Aguilar vs. Cortney Casey live round-by-round coverage

Cortney Casey right, puts Jessica Aguilar on the defensive during their bout at UFC 211.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

Jessica Aguilar is one of the most respected female fighters. The former WSOF champion has wins over the likes of Megumi Fujii and Carla Esparza. Cortney Casey is 2-3 thus far in the UFC and is looking to rebound from a loss to top contender Claudia Gadelha.

Round 1. Casey lands some hard punches early. Aguilar knocks her off balance with a leg kick and follows to the ground. Aguilar looks for an arm bar but gives up and lands some rapid fire punches on the ground. Casey gets back up and goes to work with strong punches. Casey is bigger, taller and appears to have quicker hands that land stronger. Aguilar gets another takedown and drops some hammer fists. Aguilar lands some punches on the ground until the referee stands it up. On the feet, Casey continues to dominate with her punches. Aguilar lands a hard punch after the close of the round that hurts Casey. 10-9 Casey.

Round 2. Aguilar gets another takedown. Aguilar works from a standing position, dropping down punches while Casey relies on upkicks from the ground. It’s a position that is seen less in the UFC than it used to be in Pride in which soccer kicks and stomps were legal. Eventually the referee returns the fight to the feet. Aguilar gets Casey down again, and they end up in the same position. Casey connects with one particularly hard upkick from the ground. Aguilar finally goes to the ground. where she ends up in half-guard position. She lands a few punches late. 10-9 Casey.

Round 3. Casey goes back to work with her superior boxing. Aguilar does land a hard overhand in the midst of Casey’s flurries. Casey lands an impressive combination by the cage, and Aguilar is bleeding badly around her nose. She may have a broken nose. Casey lands more hard punches as Aguilar moves in. Casey is really punishing Aguilar with her strikes. Aguilar gets a takedown late, but Casey gets up quickly. Aguilar lands a few punches late, but that was a one-sided round. 10-8 Casey, 30-26 Casey.

Winner: Cortney Casey, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

That was an impressive performance by Casey, who has struggled to perform in the UFC at the level to which her training partners and coaches say she is capable. She dominated a highly respected veteran. As for Aguilar, it looks as if she may be at the tail end of her career at 35 years old and not showing a lot after a long layoff.

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Gabriel Benitez vs. Enrique Barzola live round-by-round coverage

Enrique Barzola attempts a kick against Gabriel Benitez during their fight at UFC 211.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

Gabriel Benitez is one of the young Mexican stars UFC is hoping might help build up that market for MMA. He is 3-1 thus far in the UFC with a pair of submission wins. His opponent is the Peruvian Enrique Barzola, who is coming off a win against overmatched Chris Avila.

Round 1. Benitez lands a stiff kick to the body early. He follows with a hard leg kick and stuns Marzola with a straight left hand. Benitez looks to have the much better standup game and has a reach advantage as well. Barzola responds by slamming Benitez to the ground with a takedown. Benitez is able to get up quickly. Benitez is able to avoid another takedown attempt and goes back to work with his striking. Barzola closes distance and gets a takedown late. Barzola lands some punches on the ground as the round concludes. 10-9 Benitez.

Round 2. Barzola comes out with a couple of high kick attempts. He then gets a takedown about a minute into the round. Benitez scrambles back to the feet. After some standup where nothing much lands, Barzola gets another easy double leg takedown. Benitez again scrambles back up to his feet. Benitez’s vulnerability to takedowns and reliance on quickly trying to stand back up could prove to be problematic against jiu jitsu artists. The pattern repeats itself again with Barzola getting another takedown and Benitez popping back up in a hurry. Barzola lands a few nice punches from close range and goes for another takedown late. Barzola seems like he has much more energy as the second round comes to a close. 10-9 Barzola.

Round 3. The fighters embrace at the start of the third. Benitez lands a couple of nice kicks, but Barzola again closes distance and gets a takedown. Benitez tries to get up again, and this time Barzola nearly gets a rear naked choke in the process. Benitez is able to get out of danger and returns to his feet. Benitez aggressively looks to land some strikes while he has the opportunity. He isn’t able to land much of note and Barzola gets another takedown late. Benitez gets up and drops Barzola with a hard punch at the close of the fight. 10-9 Barzola, 29-28 Barzola.

Winner: Enrique Barzola, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

The announcers and Benitez acted as if there might be some drama in the scoring after the late knockdown, but that was an exceedingly easy fight to score. Benitez controlled the first round, and Barzola controlled the last two. Barzola’s wrestling and conditioning ultimately wore down Benitez and scored him an important win.

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Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Joachim Christensen live round-by-round coverage

UFC 211 kicks off with a light heavyweight bout pitting 19-4 Gadzhimurad Antigulov against 14-4 Joachim Christensen. Antigulov has won 13 straight principally relying on submissions, and Christensen is 1-1 thus far in his UFC career.

Round 1. Antigulov pushes forward to start the fight and grabs a single leg takedown. Christensen immediately works to stand back up. That proves to be a mistake as Antigulov utilizes the opportunity to take Christensen’s back and return to the ground. From there, Antigulov locks in a rear naked choke for the submission.

Winner: Gadzhimurad Antigulov, submission, round 1.

Antigulov made it look easy there. His excellent submission game and transitions proved to be the difference.

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Joanna Jedrzejczyk takes aim at a Ronda Rousey record at UFC 211

UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has her sights set on a sixth women's title victory.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

Lessons gained in defeat can be valuable, but when you haven’t tasted loss, the alternative can be to look where others have failed.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see where unbeaten UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has found the resolve to keep grinding as she chases a record-tying sixth women’s title victory Saturday night at UFC 211 versus Jessica Andrade in Dallas.

“All eyes are on me. … The coaches, the camps have more time to check my weaknesses and work on that. … They have more time to study my fighting style,” Jedrzejczyk told reporters at a recent luncheon in Los Angeles. “But I am moving forward. I challenge myself every day.”

Though the title run of Venice’s former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey skidded to a halt at six victories, as Hollywood and other pursuits distracted her, Poland’s Jedrzejczyk (13-0) professes to a singular focus.

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Cormier-Jones rematch is set for UFC 214 main event

Jon Jones, left, and Daniel Cormier trade kicks in the middle of the octagon during UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Jan. 3, 2015.
Jon Jones, left, and Daniel Cormier trade kicks in the middle of the octagon during UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Jan. 3, 2015.
(John Locker / Associated Press)

The heated rivalry between UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones — the former division king whose reign ended by suspension, not in the octagon — will renew at Anaheim’s Honda Center on July 29 in the UFC 214 main event, the organization announced Friday.

In a “Summer Kickoff” news conference in Dallas, site of Saturday’s UFC 211, UFC President Dana White also revealed that women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will make her second title defense, fighting No. 1 contender Valentina Shevchenko in a rematch, on the July 8 UFC 213 card at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

It’s not clear yet whether Nunes-Shevchenko or the men’s bantamweight title bout between champion Cody Garbrandt and former champion T.J. Dillashaw will be the main event to cap International Fight Week.

UFC has yet to finalize where it will place the middleweight title fight between Orange County-trained champion Michael Bisping of England and Cuba’s No. 1 contender, Yoel Romero.

There’s no doubt, however, that the heated Cormier-Jones sequel stands as one of the year’s most anticipated bouts atop a card that will also include a featherweight meeting between Doo Ho Choi, the “Korean Super Boy,” and Andre Fili.

Tickets for UFC 214 are set to go on sale June 9.

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UFC puts Georges St-Pierre’s comeback on hold while making other moves

Georges St-Pierre’s comeback has been postponed until 2018, UFC President Dana White said, moving middleweight champion Michael Bisping to instead defend his belt against No. 1 contender Yoel Romero at UFC 213 in Las Vegas.

White reported Wednesday that England’s Orange County-trained Bisping, who hasn’t fought since a grueling first title defense against Dan Henderson in October, would fight Cuba’s Romero (12-1).

Romero is on an 8-0 run that includes victories over former UFC champions Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida and Brazil’s Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

Yoel “doesn’t need to voice his opinion on why he needs a title shot,” White told Fox Sports Australia. “He definitely deserves a title shot. He’s next in line, he’s the No. 1-ranked guy in the world.”

Meanwhile, White told the Los Angeles Times, “GSP won’t fight until next year,” in a recent text message.

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