Mon, Jul 09, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Cormier flattens UFC heavyweight Miocic

AP, LAS VEGAS

Daniel Cormier, left, punches Stipe Miocic during their heavyweight championship fight at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo: AFP

Daniel Cormier on Saturday night added the UFC heavyweight championship to his light heavyweight title, stopping Stipe Miocic in dramatic fashion during the first round of their superfight at UFC 226.

Cormier (21-1, 1 no-contest) flattened the UFC’s long-reigning heavyweight champ with a right elbow out of a clinch. He finished Miocic (18-3) on the ground with 27 seconds left in the round by landing several shots to the defenseless champion’s head.

Cormier became the second fighter in UFC history to hold two championship belts simultaneously. Conor McGregor was the UFC’s featherweight champ in 2016 when he took the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez.

“I was a heavyweight for a long time, and I left the division,” Cormier said. “I never knew what I could become, but tonight I got the answer. I’m a two-division champion, baby!”

The 39-year-old Cormier has never lost to anyone except Jon Jones, the former light heavyweight champion who beat him twice.

Cormier’s five-inch height disadvantage and eight-inch reach disadvantage against Miocic proved not to be a problem — and he actually weighed a few pounds more than Miocic at the weigh-in on Friday.

Cormier’s move up to challenge Miocic was only the third superfight in UFC history between reigning champions of two weight classes. Welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre defended his belt in 2009 by battering lightweight champ BJ Penn and McGregor accomplished his feat less than two years ago in his most recent MMA fight.

After beating Miocic, Cormier engaged in a bit of clearly planned theatrics with Brock Lesnar, the professional wrestler and former UFC heavyweight champion. Cormier called Lesnar into the cage and Lesnar shoved Cormier in the chest while the fighters traded insults to hype a potential future bout.

“Push me now, [and] you’re going to sleep later,” Cormier yelled at Lesnar. “Your days are in the past — in the stone age.”

Lesnar is widely expected to return to the UFC later this year.

Lesnar will have to face a remarkable fighter in Cormier, who was a heavyweight amateur wrestler before his late-starting MMA career.

Miocic had held the UFC heavyweight belt for more than two years and was the most dominant heavyweight champion in the history of the UFC’s most tumultuous division, defending his belt a record three times.

The Cleveland firefighter had not lost since December 2014 and had not been stopped since September 2012.

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