Mon, May 15, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Miocic beats Dos Santos to retain heavyweight title


Stipe Miocic, right, hugs Junior Dos Santos on Saturday after their mixed martial arts bout at UFC 211 for the UFC heavyweight championship at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Photo: AP

A piece of history and a measure of revenge both came swiftly for Stipe Miocic.

Miocic beat Junior Dos Santos with a technical knockout at 2 minutes 22 seconds in the first round to defend his heavyweight title at UFC 211 on Saturday night.

In the co-main event, Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland scored a unanimous, five-round decision over third-ranked Jessica Andrade to defend her women’s strawweight championship.

Since the heavyweight division was formed in 1997, only Miocic, Randy Couture, Tim Sylvia, Cain Velasquez and Brock Lesnar have won two title defenses. Miocic avenged a loss to Dos Santos in December 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona, which was a five-round bout that left both fighters bloodied.

Miocic (17-2) stunned Dos Santos midway through the round with a series of punches ending with a hard right to Dos Santos’ left cheek as the challenger was backing away. That pushed him into the cage before he fell to the mat.

Miocic then straddled Dos Santos and fired away with a series of lefts that ended the fight.

“`We’ve been working on that for 10 weeks,” Miocic said of the critical punch. “My coaches are the best in the world. If it wasn’t for my coaches, we wouldn’t be here right now.”

The fourth-ranked Dos Santos (18-5), who had hurt Miocic with multiple kicks, called the loss “terrible.”

“I know he likes to walk forward and I like to walk backwards,” he said. “The last kick I threw, he felt a lot and I felt I did well.”

Saturday’s victory was Miocic’s fifth straight since the loss to Dos Santos.

As for who is next, he said, “Right now, it’s my kitchen. The kitchen when I get home. That’s all I’m worried about.”

The 34-year-old claimed his crown with a first-round knockout of Fabricio Werdum in May last year in Brazil.

He defended against Alistair Overeem in September last year “at home” in Cleveland, Ohio, with a first-round knockout.

Will Miocic become the first UFC heavyweight to defend his title three times.

“He’s looking like the man,” UFC president Dana White said. “Cleveland’s killing it right now.”

Dos Santos is 3-4 since his championship loss in a rematch with Velasquez in December 2012.

The Brazilian returned to the octagon on Saturday following a 13-month absence that began with surgery on his right shoulder.

Jedrzejczyk (14-0) has defended her title five times since defeating Carla Esparza in March 2015 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

That ties Ronda Rousey for the most title victories among UFC women.

“I didn’t even know,” Jedrzejczyk said. “This is amazing. I respect Ronda so much as a fighter, but more as a human. It’s a pleasure for me to stand next to Ronda in this category.”

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