UFC 252: Stipe Miocic defeats Daniel Cormier by decision

John Pollock's coverage of the UFC 252 event featuring the third fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight title.

Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of the UFC 252 event from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada featuring the trilogy fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight title.

Tune into the UFC 252 POST Show immediately after the main card ends with John Pollock & Phil Chertok on the POST Wrestling YouTube channel. We will be taking phone calls on the POST Show for those logged into the POST Wrestling Discord chat.

The commentary team features Jon Anik with Joe Rogan and Dominick Cruz.

*Stipe Miocic def. Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) to retain the UFC heavyweight title
*Marlon Vera def. Sean O’Malley by TKO at 4:40 of Round 1
*Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Junior Dos Santos by TKO at 3:47 of Round 2
*Daniel Pineda def. Herbert Burns by TKO at 4:37 of Round 2
*Merab Dvalishvili def. John Dodson by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Vinc Pichel def. Jim Miller by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Virna Jandiroba def. Felice Herrig by armbar at 1:44 of Round 1
*Danny Chavez def. TJ Brown by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Livinha Souza def. Ashley Yoder by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)


*Chris Daukaus def. Parker Porter by TKO at 4:28 of Round 1
*Kai Kamaka def. Tony Kelley by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

KAI KAMAKA (2-5, 145.5, -220) VS TONY KELLEY (3-0, 145.5, +185) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Kelley started well with low kicks and being quick on his feet. Kamaka got his timing and was landing with a left hook as Kelley walked in. Kamaka took over with hooks to the body, knees off the break, and unloaded with Kelley against the cage. Kamaka took him down and rode out the round and was a solid one for Kamaka. 10-9 Kamaka

Kamaka was continuing with his game plan but Kelley responded with his best strikes of the fight landing numerous blows to the head and knees from the clinch. After being taken down, Kelley got up and landed an elbow and more knees from the clinch. 10-9 Kelley

In the third round, Kelley came out with elbow strikes and lost a guillotine ending up on his back. Kelley got to his feet and his jabs set up his right hands. Kelley threw a pair of tight elbow shots that caught Kamaka and followed with more knees from the clinch where he hit Kamaka low and he got a recovery period. They ended the fight trading on their feet and it was a close round that could go either way. 10-9 Kelley and 29-28 overall

WINNER: Kai Kamaka by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

This was a fantastic fight to kick off the show and should be a contender for fight of the night. The third round was very close and could have gone either way.

Kamaka just fought fifteen days ago for LFA while Kelley had not competed since May 2019. The Hawaiian had won his previous five fights before this one.

CHRIS DAUKAUS (8-3, 241, -115) VS PARKER PORTER (10-5, 264.5, -105) – HEAVYWEIGHT

Daukaus landed a beautiful combo starting with a clean right hand that put Porter down. The larger Porter recovered and was back to his feet but was annihilated with a big combination placing his back to the fence where Daukaus drilled him with a knee and a final right hand for the finish.

WINNER: Chris Daukaus by TKO at 4:28 of Round 1

Daukaus showed accuracy and power, which was the winning recipe on Porter. His right hand was able to find Porter consistently and both showed patience rather than throwing wildly. The closing sequence was violent especially the knee strike that Daukaus landed.

Daukaus is the older brother of UFC middleweight Kyle Daukaus and started fighting professionally in 2013. Daukaus had not fought since last August but was preparing for a fight when he got the call for this show. Porter lost to Jon Jones in his third pro fight and has also fought Gabriel Gonzaga.

LIVINHA RENATA SOUZA (13-2, 115.5, -160) VS ASHLEY YODER (7-5, 115.5, +140) – STRAWWEIGHT

In the first round, Yoder leaped on Souza’s back but slipped off allowing Souza to get on top where she blasted her with a right hand. On the feet, Souza escaped a guillotine near the cage and landed another big right on Yoder, who responded with a push kick. 10-9 Souza

Yoder had a better round in the second warding off Souza’s attacks and Yoder had a better round on her feet, it was a close round though. 10-9 Yoder

I felt Yoder edged out the third round with her push kicks and connecting at distance while Souza relied on her low leg kicks and didn’t get much going with the right hand. 10-9 Yoder and 29-28 Yoder

WINNER: Livinha Souza by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

This was a close fight and not the greatest fight in the world. It could have gone either way but the 30-27 card for Souza seemed like a tough one to digest but the two rounds I had for Yoder were close. Souza had won four in a row until losing her last fight in July 2019 to Brianna Van Buren in July 2019. Yoder loses her second consecutive fight after dropping a split decision to Randa Markos last October.

T.J BROWN (14-7, 146.5, -135) VS DANNY CHAVEZ (10-3, 146, +115) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Brown missed weight for this fight by half a pound and was fined 20% of his purse.

The opening round was intense as both were quick and loading up on their shots. Chavez had the most success with the low calf kicks that caused Brown to buckle his leg and later, went down from a kick. Brown had to adjust his stance to Southpaw and connected with a counter right, which was his best shot of the round. 10-9 Chavez

In the second, Chavez continued to attack the left leg of Brown’s that is severely swollen. Brown landed a jumping knee to the body. They started throwing heavily when Chavez rocked him with a straight right hand that stunned Brown and Chavez got on top of him. Brown recovered to finish the round. 10-9 Chavez

Brown had his best round in the third despite the state of his left shin. He landed a kick to the body of Chavez and started landing with his hands. Brown hit a pair of knee strikes from the clinch position before he was taken down. Chavez had a pair of slams in the closing seconds. 10-9 Brown and 29-28 Chavez

WINNER: Danny Chavez by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

This was a really good fight and Chavez had a strong game plan with the low calf kicks that made a big difference in Brown’s output forcing him to adjust on the fly and fight from the Orthodox stance.

Chavez has been fighting professionally for over a decade and was making his UFC debut in this fight while extending his win streak to four. Chavez had not fought since December 2018 and then returned last month where he won a fight on July 18th.

FELICE HERRIG (14-8, 116, +255) VS VIRNA JANDIROBA (15-1, 115.5, -310) – STRAWWEIGHT

Jandiroba immediately scored the takedown and she dominated on top of Herrig. She took Herrig to the fence and mounted her with a transition to the armbar and Herrig was forced to tap. It was a short, but spectacular performance by Jandiroba.

WINNER: Virna Jandiroba by armbar at 1:44 of Round 1

The former Invicta FC strawweight champion Jandiroba is now 2-1 in the UFC and builds off her last fight where she submitted Mallory Martin last December. She was tremendous in this outing and it overwhelmed Herrig, who was never in the fight. This should propel Jandiroba within the 115-pound division. She is hopeful of fighting a top ten or top five fighter next.

Herrig had not fought since October 2018 and was out due to a knee injury. This was Herrig’s third straight loss following fights with Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Michelle Waterson.

JIM MILLER (32-14, 156, +105) VS VINC PICHEL (12-2, 156, -125) – LIGHTWEIGHT

Miller won the first round after getting Pichel to the mat and working from the back. Miller gave up on an attempt at a choke and rolled to a calf slicer at the end of the round. 10-9 Miller

Pichel had a strong second round despite it starting off with an errant head kick and placed onto his back. Pichel pushed off and got to his feet before he executed his own takedown and worked from half-guard controlling Miller on top. Pichel landed short elbows and applied lots of pressure to easily win the round. 10-9 Pichel

The third round was close but Pichel did enough to edge past Miller. Pichel got the takedown off the fence and worked to side control before taking Miller’s back. On their feet, Pichel landed a knee to the body and more knee strikes against the cage. Pichel threw a high kick and Miller went for a guillotine that was tight but Pichel popped out and ended with strikes on top. 10-9 Pichel and 29-28 Pichel

WINNER: Vinc Pichel by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)

This was another great fight and was competitive for fifteen minutes. Pichel has now won six of his last seven fights and showed a lot with his takedowns and top pressure against a world-class grappler in Miller. This was probably Pichel’s best performance and the biggest win on his resume.

Miller had won three of his last four fights and this fight had the distinction of both guys coming off wins over the same fighter in Roosevelt Roberts.

JOHN DODSON (21-11, 136, +210) VS MERAB DVALISHVILI (11-4, 136, -255) – BANTAMWEIGHT

In the first, they circled for the first ninety seconds and then Dvalishvili charged towards him and grabbed hold of Dodson’s waist. From behind, Dvalishvili hit repeated knees to the thighs and was the most significant offense of the round. 10-9 Dvalishvili

Dodson continued to defend takedowns throughout the second round, Dvalishvili lifted and slammed him down but Dodson popped up instantly and wasn’t ruled a takedown. Dvalishvili’s best sequence was a spinning back fist that grazed Dodson and a right hook follow-up. Dodson is so fast but he was not pressing the action and was reacting. 10-9 Dvalishvili

Dvalishvili had another strong round in the third where he landed several solid right hands. Dvalishvili could not keep Dodson down whenever he went for the takedown, but Dodson was not pressing anything on his feet and caught reacting throughout the fight. 10-9 Dvalishvili and 30-27 overall

WINNER: Merab Dvalishvili by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

It wasn’t a very entertaining fight but it was never a question who won any of the rounds and it was the Dvalishvili show for three rounds. Dodson couldn’t get anything going and get seemed frozen trying to react rather than initiate.

Dvalishvili has now won five straight fights in the UFC and three in 2020. He stated that he wasn’t even tired after fifteen minutes. He is a big name to watch at bantamweight.

HERBERT BURNS (11-2, 149.5, -265) VS DANIEL PINEDA (26-13 & 2 NC, 146, +210) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Pineda had a strong opening round throwing big rights out of the gate. Burns went for the takedown and he cut Pineda around his left eye. Pineda scored his own takedown and dominated Burns on top from half-guard including some powerful rights connecting while fending off triangles. 10-9 Pineda

Burns used a right hand to set up the takedown and moved to Pineda’s back. Pineda started elbowing the leg and then tried to escape the position. Pineda reversed and secured a crucifix position as Burns seemed tired. Pineda started to land vicious elbows from the crucifix and ended the fight with the strikes.

WINNER: Daniel Pineda by TKO at 4:37 of Round 2

Pineda had a great performance and Burns appeared to tire out and didn’t have an answer for Pineda’s ability to get out of bad positions and do lots of damage. Burns missed weight by 3.5 pounds and was fined 20%, so this was a bad couple of days for Burns.

Pineda last fought for PFL where he had two fights in one night last October that were turned into no contests after he failed a drug test. Pineda last fought for the UFC in March 2014 at UFC 171 until receiving the call for this fight, which was bumped to the pay-per-view after Ion Cutelaba had to withdraw from the card after testing positive for COVID-19.

Pineda said he cut 27 pounds in two weeks for this fight.

This ends a five-fight win streak for Burns.


Dos Santos threw with an overhand that missed and Rozenstruik came at him with the counter. Dos Santos was kicking at the legs and attacking the body while respecting Rozenstruik’s power. Rozenstruik charged at him with strikes but Dos Santos got off the fence away from danger. 10-9 Dos Santos

Dos Santos was timing his right hand and cracked Rozenstrik with a great shot. Rozenstruik remained patient and suddenly connected with a left hook and blasted Dos Santos with a follow-up right hand. Rozenstruik swarmed him with strikes and referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in to stop the fight.

WINNER: Jairzinho Rozenstruik by TKO at 3:47 of Round 2

Rozenstruik respected Dos Santos and was very careful with his output until the end. His power is enormous, and it only took the combination and it was over for Dos Santos, who ate additional strikes from the follow-up.

Rozenstruik bounces back from his first pro loss when he was stopped by Francis Ngannou in twenty seconds this past May.

For Dos Santos, it’s his latest stoppage loss and third in a row after TKO losses to Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes.

SEAN O’MALLEY (12-0, 136, -265) VS MARLON VERA (17-6-1, 136, +210) – BANTAMWEIGHT

O’Malley was changing his stance repeatedly and kicking the body of Vera. Vera responded with a high kick. Suddenly, O’Malley’s ankle rolled, and he had a right leg injury that he was heavily favoring. Vera targets the knee as O’Malley starts throwing and goes down to his back. Vera got on top and blasted him with an elbow and follow-up shots as Herb Dean stopped it.

WINNER: Marlon Vera by TKO at 4:40 of Round 1

It was an unfortunate end for O’Malley because of the leg injury that limited his movement and clearly a difference-maker in the fight. Vera was smart to capitalize and is back in the win column after a close decision loss to Song Yadong in his last outing.

It’s the first loss of O’Malley’s career. They brought out a stretcher for O’Malley.

STIPE MIOCIC (19-3, 233, -105) VS DANIEL CORMIER (22-2, 1 NC, 236, -115) – UFC HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE

It was a strong first round with Miocic coming out with his jab and low kicks. Cormier got a takedown and went for a headlock that Miocic escaped. Cormier connects with a right and time was called when he poked Miocic in the eye. Miocic landed two big shots but Cormier fired back and hit a huge right near the end. 10-9 Cormier

The round was going in Cormier’s favor and it was a chess match with Cormier trying for his underhooks while Miocic aimed for the body. Cormier was landing more frequently with several solid hands. Miocic connected with a right hook at the end of the round, put him against the fence, and followed with more right hooks and mounted Cormier and landed strikes to take it. 10-9 Miocic

The third round was Miocic’s as he charged forward and may have thought Cormier was vulnerable from the end of the second round. He was attacking the body and the head and placed Cormier against the fence. Each landed a big shot at the end. Miocic poked Cormier in the eye and it looked brutal, but Goddard didn’t see it. 10-9 Miocic

Cormier said he couldn’t see between rounds and his left eye is a mess. Miocic connected with a combination and put Cormier against the fence. Cormier connected with a big right getting off the fence and a pair of rights at the end. This was a really close round. 10-9 Miocic

The fifth was another very close round with Cormier landing several big strikes, which made the difference for me. Miocic clinched with Cormier while sneaking in strikes. It was a competitive round. 10-9 Cormier and 48-47 Miocic overall

WINNER: Stipe Miocic by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)

Cormier told Joe Rogan he can see nothing out of his left eye and sees black.

About John Pollock 5568 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.