Leaving it all in the cage is what Junior Dos Santos and Stipe Miocic did in their UFC heavyweight match up, and what a fight it was. A unanimous decision awarded to “Cigano”, in which Dos Santos nearly survived to maintain his status in the heavyweight division. Rafael dos Santos put on quite the more dominant performance, as he completely disfigured Nate Diaz’s leg on the way to a lopsided decision victory. The rest of the main card was comprised by two knockout from two other heavyweights, Alistair Overeem and Matt Mitrione. For the rest of the UFC card analysis please refer down below.
Junior Dos Santos defeated Stipe Miocic via Unanimous Decision – Another classic main event fight in the heavyweight division, Junior Dos Santos stormed back from possibly being down two rounds, to winning the final three and taking home the decision. Stipe Miocic had his moments early, and it looked as if he may work his way through the former champ and finish him in the later round. It was not the case though, as Dos Santos tagged Miocic with counter right hand and dropped him in the second round, from there it had seemed the tides had turned. The fifth round both of them stood toe to toe for the most part and traded blows until the ref stepped in at the end of the round. Dos Santos maintains his status at the top of the division, it will be interesting to see where Stipe Miocic lands after a hard-fought battle with a former UFC champion.
Rafael dos Anjos defeated Nate Diaz via Unanimous Decision – Talk about complete domination from a top contender, dos Anjos took it to the Stockton bad boy immediately, singling out his lead leg from the beginning. The number three lightweight teed off on Diaz’s leg with kicks, possibly injuring the brash talking lightweight. Rafael dos Anjos mixed up his striking and wrestling flawlessly, putting him in the mix for the next shot at UFC champion, Anthony Pettis. Anyone can guess where Nate Diaz goes from here, the controversial lightweight missed weight by four pounds, criticized the company he works for leading up to the bout, and did not show up or do some of his obligated media work. It has been a rough year between the UFC and Nate Diaz, it will be interesting where each side goes from here.
Alistair Overeem defeated Stefan Struve via TKO(Strikes) rd.1 – Not too eventful until the end, Overeem did not seem too comfortable on the feet against the length of Struve’s. Instead, the Reem took him down to the ground and pinned him up against the cage, where he proceeded to ground and pound out the seven-foot tall heavyweight. Disappointing return for Stefan Struve who just recently recovered from health concerns that had kept him out of the cage for quite a while. Overeem on the other hand, gets back on track with his knockout, and could warrant another match up within the top five of the UFC heavyweights.
Matt Mitrione defeated Gabriel Gonzaga via K.O.(Punch) rd.1 – Not too much to examine there, Gabriel Gonzaga could not match Mitrione’s speed, and got clocked with a counter left hook. The punch itself staggered the big heavyweight, the Mitrione followed up with another good punch for measure on the ground. In the preview it was mentioned that Gonzaga may have trouble with the footwork of “Meathead”, and it proved true as the former NFL player continues to climb the ladder in the division. Mitrione has become a viable threat in the UFC heavyweight division and could move up into the top ten.
In other notable fights, Joanna Jedrzejczyk may have locked up a number one contender fight against the new women’s strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, with her split decision victory. Also, Joe Riggs came down with a neck injury after slamming Ben Saunders to the mat during their bout; and Jamie Varner was also injured during his bout due to a take down, even though he was finished in the process.
Claudia Gadelha defeated by Joanna Jedrzejczyk Split Decision
Willie Gates defeated by John Moraga by Submission(Rear Naked Choke) rd.
Joe Riggs defeated by Ben Saunders by Submission(Injury) rd.1
Jamie Varner defeated by Drew Dober by Submission(Rear Naked Choke) rd.1
Joe Ellenberger defeated by Bryan Barberena by TKO(Strikes) rd.3
Garret Whiteley defeated by David Michaud by Unanimous Decision
Dustin Kimura defeated by Henry Cejudo by Unanimous Decision
Anthony Birchak defeated by Ian Entwistle by Submission(Heel Hook) rd.1
The UFC switches gears and heads to Brazil next weekend, as Lyoto Machida fights C.B. Dollaway in the main event. Renan Barao will also make his return to the cage against rising Canadian, Mitch Gagnon. Catch it all on FOX Sports 1, and follow the live coverage through the MMA Spotlight.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA