Tag: marlon vera

RESULTS | UFC 252 – Miocic seals status as the heavyweight GOAT

STIPE Miocic confirmed his status as the consensus UFC heavyweight GOAT, after edging Daniel Cormier via unanimous decision in their epic trilogy decider at UFC 252. The Ohio native (20-3), who fought in his seventh-straight UFC title bout now has four successful defences to his name, and improves his ledger against Cormier to 2-1.

Having battled Miocic three-consecutive times, ‘DC’ conceded that this may be the end of his legendary career, with another championship opportunity unlikely to present. Two of his three professional losses have come at the hands of Miocic, with the third part of the former double-champs’ other famous rivalry with Jon Jones.

The ‘and still’ champion was made to endure a raft of sneaky right-hand punches from Cormier throughout, but managed to remain upright through all of his adversary’s power while landing some heavy boxing combinations of his own. After being stunned at the end of Round 1, Miocic got his own back in the closing stages of Round 2, with a significant eye poke closing up Cormier’s left side in the third.

While Cormier looked to push the pace across the championship rounds, he was controlled well by the bigger man, Miocic in clinch engagements, which proved vital in nullifying the Olympian’s wrestling. Almost every five-minute period was as tight as they come, though Miocic’s diversity of strikes and control of position ultimately earned him the nod.

What’s next? It has to be number one contender, Francis Ngannou. Although, light heavyweight champion, Jones has also put his hat in the ring for a potential move up to heavyweight.


Jairzinho Rozenstruik could also be back on track for a shot at the heavyweight strap, after dispatching of former champion, Junior dos Santos in Round 2. ‘Bigi Boy’ was patient and respectful in his approach, but only required one clean combination to change the course of the fight.

The Suriname native swarmed on his seasoned opponent after dropping him with an uppercut and right hook, allowing him no time to recover as the referee duly stepped in. That’s now three-straight losses for ‘JDS’, while Rozenstruik (11-1) gains redemption for his punishing defeat to Ngannou in May.

The co-main event produced another banger, albeit if one of the competitors seemed to come away seriously compromised. Sean O’Malley was transported to hospital after potentially re-aggravating an old leg injury, which saw him stumble a couple of times during his fateful fight with Marlon Vera.

A clear underdog coming into the bout, Vera required just under five minutes to get the job done via TKO, pouncing on his flailing opponent and ending the show with some brutal elbows from top position. It remains unknown as to what exactly caused O’Malley’s leg to fail, as he was seen rolling his right ankle in the early stages. Despite that, the Ecuadorian pointed to his checking of O’Malley’s low kicks when queried in the post-fight interview.

Daniel Pineda was another to impress on the main card, halting the hype train of Herbert Burns with a second-round TKO victory. After six years out of the UFC octagon, Pineda made good on his return with an impressive performance on the mat against a renowned grappler. He ended the bout with some punishing elbows from the crucifix position, having proven much more active from top position than Burns.



Stipe Miocic [C] Daniel Cormier [1] | Decision (unanimous) 49-46, 49-46, 48-47
Marlon Vera def. Sean O’Malley [14] | TKO (elbows) 4:40 Rd 1
Jairzinho Rozenstruik [6] def. Junior dos Santos [5] | TKO (punches) 3:47 Rd 2
Daniel Pineda def. Herbert Burns | TKO (elbows) 4:37 Rd 2
Merab Dvalishvili [15] def. John Dodson [12] | Decision (unanimous) 30-27, 30-27, 30-27


Vinc Pichel def. Jim Miller | Decision (unanimous) 29-28, 29-28, 29-27
Virna Jandiroba def. Felice Herrig [15] | Submission (armbar) 1:44 Rd 1
Daniel Chavez def. TJ Brown | Decision (unanimous) 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
Livia Renata Souza def. Ashley Yoder | Decision (unanimous) 29-28, 29-28, 30-27


Chris Daukaus def. Parker Porter | TKO (punches and knee) 1:28 Rd 1
Kai Kamaka III def. Tony Kelley | Decision (unanimous) 29-28, 29-28, 29-28


RESULTS | UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris

ASK and you shall receive. The UFC delivered its third event in seven days as top 10 heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris headlined the latest Fight Night, and we can all take a breather now with a week-long break.

‘The Demolition Man’ overcame some early adversity to get back to winning ways in what was the sole stoppage of the main card, littered with entertaining three-rounders. Of note, Dan Ige and Edson Barboza threw down in a belter, while Song Yadong edged Marlon Vera in another razor-thin decision.

The undercard brought about a good range of match-ups, with four of the six bouts not requiring the full 15 minutes. Check out all the results from top to bottom once again by way of Jacksonville, Florida in our fight card recap.

POTN: Casey, Baeza

FOTN: Yadong vs. Vera




Alistair Overeem [8] def. Walt Harris [9] | TKO (punches) 3:00 Rd 2

Initial thoughts: Man, the demolition!

Capping off a good week for MMA veterans in UFC main events, Overeem confirmed he is going nowhere with his second round stoppage of Harris. It did not come without adversity though, as the Dutch kickboxing legend was forced to prove his often queried chin after being dropped by a vicious Harris combination.

Having weathered the storm – albeit with a sizeable cut – Overeem would take advantage of Harris’ overzealous chasing of the finish, shoving the American aside as he entered grappling range before moving to his back and laying on some ground-and-pound with plenty of time left in the first round.

The grappling and weight of Overeem clearly wore on Harris, who arguably lost the round despite very nearly finishing his opponent in the early stages. Sensing the opportunity to apply pressure, Overeem connected with a head kick before dropping Harris with a left hand to spell the beginning of the end.

Akin to the first round with Overeem, Harris was given plenty of opportunity to recover, but could not do so as the Dutchman transitioned into back mount and rained down a series of unanswered blows to give the referee no choice but to step in.

It seems the Reem is going nowhere fast, and would now be on a four-fight win streak had his last bout been stopped around five seconds earlier. Currently ranked at eight, he will have to down plenty of his famed ‘horse beef’ to earn another crack at the heavyweight title.

Claudia Gadelha [6] def. Angela Hill | Decision (split) 28-29, 29-28, 29-28

Initial thoughts: Yeah, not too sure about that one.

There were a few questionable, albeit very tight decisions on this card and none were given more attention than that of the co-main event. Gadelha would finally make her return to the octagon after having numerous bouts cancelled, while Hill would push her case for a ranking having kept as active as any fighter, ever.

It is worth noting, Hill had won four of her last five fights, including three-straight, and two via TKO. The woman was in form, and this was a deserved step up in competition for someone who deserves to sit among the elites right now.

But Gadelha started the better of the two, showcasing improved boxing combinations to now go with her world calibre grappling. The Brazilian had good success early, setting her feet and swinging hard as she looked to punch her way into grappling sequences. The best she could manage was a grinding clinch into a takedown in Round 1, but points to her nonetheless.

The tide began to turn in Round 2 as Hill dropped Gadelha with a clean right hand, making the smart decision to let her opponent get back up. The finish may not have been forthcoming, but the round was clearly Hill’s.

Both women had success in the deciding round, which proved to be a stand-up battle. Gadelha finished well as she continued to put everything into her shots, but Hill seemed to have the greater volume. It is tough to take that performance away from Hill, but she will be back. For Claudinha, could Carla Esparza be next?

We had it: 29-28 Hill.

Dan Ige [15] def. Edson Barboza | Decision (split) 28-29, 29-28, 29-28

Initial thoughts: If you don’t know, now you know.

Another decision, another talking point. But first, let’s give it up for these two warriors. To paraphrase Chael Sonnen; if Ige is ranked 15, who are the other 14 guys? The Hawaiian was incredibly tough against easily his most fearsome competitor, absorbing and hitting back at everything Barboza threw at him.

While the result may not have gone Barboza’s way in his featherweight debut, he looked strong, just as quick, and durable despite the extra weight cut. A clean hook from the Brazilian dropped Ige in Round 1, and the signs looked ominous as he threw some vicious hammer fists on the mat. Ige survived though, and replied to being stammered in the same round with a flying knee. Ridiculous.

Ige’s fast hands and bruising combinations began to yield success in Round 2, returning a great output and bringing the pressure right to Barboza, not allowing him to settle. His sheer ferocity and power arguably delivered him Round 2 points despite a late rally from Barboza, so we would again face a decider.

Barboza seemed to have taken his late momentum into Round 3 with both men busted up and not taking a backwards step. The Brazilian’s body shots began to come into play, but the judges may have viewed Ige’s takedown as the clinching factor as he claimed the split decision.

We had it: 29-28 Barboza.

Krzysztof Jotko def. Eryk Anders | Decision (unanimous) 30-27, 29-28, 29-28

Initial thoughts: Wait, Jotko isn’t ranked?

Anders faced his greatest step up in competition as he readied to face Jotko, with both men coming in off consecutive wins. In what was an interesting battle of styles, the Pole would do his best work from distance in piecing Anders up and circling out, while Anders would constantly hunt him down and look for takedowns.

Ultimately, Jotko’s defensive grappling and greater number of significant strikes delivered him the unanimous decision victory, with the third round a particularly great showing of his movement to not get pinned against the fence, while sticking and moving well. Anders wanted a brawl, but just fell short of the final product.

We had it: 29-28 Jotko.

Song Yadong [14] def. Marlon Vera [15] | Decision (unanimous) 29-28, 29-28, 29-28

Initial thoughts: Was Chito cheated?

Team Alpha Male phenom Yadong was again the beneficiary of a razor-thin decision, only this time he would collect the win, too. The 22-year-old was the youngest fighter on the card, but now possesses one of the more impressive unbeaten streaks at nine fights.

It was a battle of Vera’s length and volume at range against Yadong’s quick combinations and power in the pocket, with the Chinese native most probably edging the first round on the back of his strengths with Vera somewhat cautious of that early power.

Vera’s corner asked for more activity, and they got exactly that as the Ecuadorian looked to move forward. But he was met firmly by Yadong’s tight boxing in another close round, which the eventual victor may have edged for his heavier shots, but should have gone to Vera for his late flurry and success in the firefight.

The South American’s forward movement continued in the third, and a takedown very nearly resulted in him getting mount. It wasn’t to be though, and Yadong would get up to finish what was another back-and-forth five minutes. Two takedowns should have sealed the round and quite possibly the win for Vera, but it was Yadong who had his arm raised.

We had it: 29-28 Vera.


Miguel Baeza def. Matt Brown | KO (punch) 0:20 Rd 2

Baeza signalled a coming of the new age in his KO triumph over ‘The Immortal’ Brown, coming back from being knocked down to finish an MMA legend. The veteran’s power was still very much apparent, but it was on the defensive side where Baeza could exploit his opponent, proving too quick as he put Brown away upon a second knockdown of his own. The first round was crazy and full of momentum shifts, but a beautifully timed counter left hook did the job for Baeza in the second.

Kevin Holland def. Anthony Hernandez | TKO (knee and punches) 0:39 Rd 1

Holland made light work of fellow Contender Series alum, Hernandez with a vicious first round stoppage of his compatriot to put ranked middleweights on notice. Looking fit and coming in slightly under weight, Holland landed a big elbow and folding knee as Hernandez closed the distance, quickly yielding the referee’s intervention. It was impressive, not so sure about calling out Micky Gall though.

Giga Chikadze def. Irwin Rivera | Decision (unanimous) 30-26, 30-27, 30-27

Props go to Rivera for taking this fight on short notice above his usual weight division, though he seemed mismatched from the beginning. Chikadze’s kicks did much of the damage as he took out every round, getting comfortable by the end of the bout with punishing knees and even a front kick to the face. Rivera looks a solid, explosive 135’er with a great chin though, look out for him.

Nate Landwehr def. Darren Elkins | Decision (unanimous) 29-28, 30-27, 30-27

One of the most violent and exciting fights of the night was hidden deep in the prelims, as Elkins and Landwehr went to war. Elkins looked to have claimed the first round, but some chest pumping and bizarre peacocking from the former M-1 champion perhaps caught the judges’ eye. Nonetheless, Landwehr timed his shots – particularly the uppercut – well in the latter stages, and gave back everything he got. His clinch work was also great, and he resisted much of Elkins’ grappling advances. Fun fight, two machines and could have gone either way.

Cortney Casey def. Mara Romero Borella | Submission (armbar) 3:36 Rd 1

Casey made it two finishes from two fights on the night with her seventh overall first round stoppage victory. Having fought a gallery of killers at strawweight, Casey’s move up to 125lbs proved a good one as she dragged an early takedown and capitalised on Borella’s complacency to sink in a deep armbar. She had to threaten it a couple of times, but persistence pays off.

Rodrigo Nascimento def. Don’Tale Mayes | Submission (rear-naked choke) 2:05 Rd 2

Nascimento got the night rolling with an impressive, well-rounded performance against Mayes. The Brazilian grappler and Contender Series alum moves to 8-0 with six submission victories after a swiftly managed rear-naked choke. Nascimento’s desire to grapple gave him freedom on the feet, and he took full toll upon gaining the opportunity to get the fight to the mat.

UFC Rankings update: December 2019

THE post-UFC 245 fallout has seen magnets shuffle across seven of the promotion’s divisions, headlined by the crowning of a new featherweight king. We break down every move in the seven featured divisions, with plenty of risers and sliders on the board. You can find the full updated list of UFC rankings here.


Ian Heinisch #12 (-2)
Omari Akhmedov #13 (-1)

Omari Akhmedov‘s unanimous decision victory over Ian Heinisch was not enough to see the Russian leapfrog his opponent in the rankings, but it boosted him up to 13th place as Antonio Carlos Junior moves down to 14th. On the other hand, Heinisch moves back two spots behind Brad Tavares and Uriah Hall to 12th, with plenty of journeymen in the back end of the 185lbs top 15th. With not much booked at the top end, we might not see much more shuffling for a little while.


Geoff Neal #12 (+2)

Contender Series alum Geoff Neal moves past Vicente Luque and Gilbert Burns into number 12 among a raft of high level welterweights after his impressive TKO victory over Mike Perry. There was not any movement at the top as Kamaru Usman retained his belt, but we may see some in 2020 with Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards waiting in the wings and some mouthwatering fights to me made among the top five.


Justin Gaethje #3 (+1)

A simple shuffle for the lightweights with Justin Gaethje moving up into third to join former-champion, Conor McGregor. While the ‘Notorious One’ is booked for a welterweight bout in early-2020, Gaethje may be waiting on next year’s title bout before making his next move. The Khabib-Conor rematch has been hinted at, but this move leans towards McGregor staying at 170lbs pending his fight with Donald Cerrone.


Alexander Volkanovski CHAMPION (+1)
Max Holloway #1 (-1)
Jose Aldo #8 (-5)

A new king was crowned at UFC 245 as Alexander Volkanovski fought to a decision victory over the consensus greatest ever featherweight champion, Max Holloway. The result obviously saw the two swap places, with a rematch looking likely for 2020. Another former champion, Jose Aldo made the move down to 135lbs and slid five places after his loss, as the third to seventh ranked fighters all moved up one spot. The upcoming bout between Frankie Edgar and ‘The Korean Zombie‘ should also yield some movement. Elsewhere, a random shuffle at the back end saw Ryan Hall move ahead of Arnold Allen into 14th.


Petr Yan #3 (+1)
Jose Aldo #9 (NR)
Urijah Faber NR

Former featherweight champion Aldo enters the bantamweight rankings at ninth after his tight decision loss to Marlon Moraes, with the latter remaining in the number one spot. Aldo’s entry saw each fighter ranked 10-13 move down one spot, while Casey Kenney jumped Marlon Vera into 14th. The other main card bantamweight bout saw Petr Yan knock Urijah Faber out and also move him out of the rankings, seeing the Russian overtake Cory Sandhagen into third spot.


Kai Kara-France #8 (-2)

A simple one for the flyweights with just one fight on the UFC 245 card, as Kai Kara-France slides down two spots after losing to fifth ranked Brandon Moreno via decision. The result sees Tim Elliott and Rogerio Bontorin leapfrog the Kiwi, but the division may be stalled for some time with champion Henry Cejudo looking for a bantamweight matchup against Aldo as Joseph Benavidez waits in the wings.


Irene Aldana #5 (+5)
Ketlen Vieira #7 (-5)

The belt may not have changed hands as Amanda Nunes retained, but new number one contenders have shuffled up the order in the women’s bantamweight division. Aspen Ladd moves up into second after her recent win, with former second ranked Ketlen Vieira sliding down five spots after a knockout loss to Irene Aldana. The Mexican moves up five spots on the back of her highlight reel win, sitting just behind fellow riser, Julianna Pena in fifth.