Miocic vs. Overeem | Werdum vs. Browne | Punk vs. Gall | Faber vs. Rivera | Andrade vs. Calderwood | Eye vs. Correia | Magalhaes vs. Tavares | Lentz vs. McBride |Dober vs. Gonzalez | Medeiros vs. Spencer
UFC 203: Miocic vs Overeem main card
Main event: Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic defeats Alistair Overeem
In a riveting comeback victory, Cleveland’s Stipe Miocic defended his UFC heavyweight championship after surviving a dangerously deep guillotine choke by Alistair Overeem to finish the fight by TKO at 4:27 of the first round. Miocic and Overeem traded big punches in the opening minutes and the crowd seemed to be hanging on every overhand right from Miocic and overhand left from Overeem. Both men were rocked at one point but it was a takedown by Miocic that won him the fight. He gained top position and began to rain huge punches that eventually left Overeem’s head bouncing off the canvas.
They said it:
Stipe Miocic: “He hit harder than I thought, he knocked me down but I wasn’t hurt. I said I would keep this belt for a long time and I did it. I wanted to shut him down, turn the mother board off.”
Alistair Overeem: “Stipe was the better man today. He’s a great athlete, he’s tough, he won the fight. I thought he tapped.”
More from UFC 203: Results | Miocic defends crown at home | Werdum wins chaotic co-main | Punk falters in UFC debut | Correia gets back to winning ways in prelims | Medeiros kicks off the night with a win | Backstage interviews: Stipe Miocic, Fabricio Werdum, Mickey Gall, Urijah Faber, Jessica Andrade | Octagon interviews: Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Mickey Gall and CM Punk, Yancy Medeiros | Postfight press conference highlights | Replay: Watch Medeiros vs Spencer on UFC FIGHT PASS | Best pics from fight night
In a strange 15-minute heavyweight scrap, Fabricio Werdum took out Travis Browne once again by unanimous decision. Werdum started the fight out with a flying sidekick and then dominated the round, landing 60 strikes to just 12 from Browne. Werdum also almost submitted “Big Hapa” with a choke on his back. Werdum seemed to coast from there but it was enough to win 29-28, 29-27, 30-27.
CM Punk had The Q rocking with his trademark walkout song “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour and put on quite a show before the fight actually started. Once that happened thinks went south for the debutant as Mickey Gall scored a takedown in the opening seconds and then mauled Punk on the mat before submitting him by rear naked choke at 2:14 of the first round. Punk came charging out and Gall simply dropped for a double leg takedown and landed it. The rest of the fight was Gall maneuvering on the mat looking to sink in a submission. After the bout Gall used his big moment to call out Sage Northcutt.
They said it:
Mickey Gall: "I did want to show off the striking with him, but he came in hot so I took him down. I wasn't surprised he got through those early chokes because I was only half committing, almost playing a game with it in a way. I hope they give me Sage. I think everyone wants to see that fight."
CM Punk: “Yeah you know in life you go big or you go home. I just like to take challenges. It was a hell of a climb, I didn't get to the summit tonight but it doesn't mean I'm going to give up it doesn't mean I'm going anywhere, it doesn't mean I'm going to stop. I appreciate all the support from everybody. … Obviously Mickey's a hell of a fighter. I will be back, believe it or not. This was the most fun I've had in my life, second best night of my life after marrying my wife. I know there's a lot of doubters but listen, life's about falling down and getting back up. Doesn't matter how many time you get knocked down, get back up. … So if there's any kid out there that's told by a parent, or coach or teacher or somebody they look up to or somebody that's supposed to push them and they're told no, believe in yourself.”
Jimmie Rivera must have studied the tape of Jose Aldo vs. Urijah Faber because he executed the blueprint Aldo used in that fight to defeat Faber by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). Rivera chopped Faber’s lead left leg down throughout the fight and at one point was able to knock him off his feet with a titanic sweeping kick. Faber valiantly stuck in the fight and tried to find an answer for Rivera’s power, but wasn’t able to land any takedowns and got out-struck in the bout. Rivera fourth consecutive fight and is now tied for second-longest active win streak in the 145-pound division.
They said it:
Urijah Faber: "My leg is good. Those kicks were tough but I'll be alright. He's a solid guy and in those scrambles it was hard to get a hold of him. I was definitely trying to get him down in those scrambles but it came down to small mistakes that didn't allow that to happen. It's unfortunate to come away without the win, but it is what it is."
The powerful Jessica Andrade proved her dominance once again at 115 pounds in her second fight in the weight class, slamming her way to a first-round submission win over Joanne Calderwood with a guillotine choke at 4:38. Andrade was willing to exchange with Calderwood early and then took the fight to the mat with a ferocious slam. She landed some strikes on top and then as Calderwood looked to stand up she baited her right into her right arm and locked in a guillotine choke to get the win.
They said it:
Jessica Andrade: "The main goal going in was to stay standing and get the knockout like I had been talking about all week. However, I knew that if I got her in the clinch or on the ground I would have the advantage. I just want to stay focused and keep training right now. If the UFC wants me to fight in Brazil, Japan or wherever tomorrow, I would. If they give me the title shot I'm ready for that too."
Joanne Calderwood: “I expected her to stand up with me a little bit more. I thought my preparation was good. I was happy about where I was coming into the fight. I just have to wait and see what the UFC has next for me.”
Bethe Correia took out Jessica Eye by split decision, earning enough points on two judges’ scorecards to win 29-28, 28-29, 29-28. Correia seemed to lose the first round but came back in the second and hurt Eye for a moment but wasn’t able to capitalize. The loss extends Eye’s losing streak to four in a row and to make matters worse she lost in front of her hometown fans. The crowd booed loudly throughout Correia’s Octagon interview with Joe Rogan. The Brazilian snapped a two-fight losing streak to get back on the winning side of things.
They said it:
Bethe Correia: “It was no problem for me fighting here. I trained for my body to be in very good physical condition. I'm ready for five rounds and three rounds was no problem for me. (I want) Miesha Tate."
Jessica Eye: "I don't think I lost that fight at all. I just don't know how and to think it would happen here like this; just blows my mind. I'm not sure what is coming now. It's just how it goes."
Brad Tavares was a takedown-stuffing machine against Caio Magalhaes and out-struck the Brazilian on his way to a split decision win (28-29, 30-27, 29-28). Tavares landed a few flying knees in the third round to wrap up what ended up being a one-sided affair. Tavares landed 59 percent of his significant strikes for a total of 65 compared to just 34 percent and 25 total sin. Strikes for Magalhaes.
They said it:
Brad Tavares: "I was worried when that first scorecard was read and it went his way. I started to panic a bit. In training I've been sharpening my tools and getting better every day. Whoever makes sense for me next, I'm ready to fight. I would love to be on that New York card soon or whenever the UFC finally comes to Hawaii. If none of those happen, I would love to be on the New Year's Day card in my new home of Las Vegas."
Caio Magalhaes: “I think I won the first and second round and the last round for sure my opponent won, but I think I won the fight. I took a long break without fighting, one year and two months because I injured something, but I think I won the fight for sure.”
Nik Lentz is known for his tenacious wrestling style and ability to grind on his opponents, and he did just that against Michael McBride en route to the TKO finish at 4:17 of the second round. Lentz was winning the fight on the feet and ended up winning all the exchanges on the ground with McBride, who was making his UFC debut and took the fight on one week’s notice.
They said it:
Nik Lentz: “He's just a tough guy, I knew I had to break him. You know he was strong, he was awkward, he was going for really weird things. It kind of threw me off at the beginning but I just figured out what he was doing and beat him. … The guy I was supposed to fight is 5'8", this guy's over 6'1". This guy's lanky and a grappler other guy was a striker so just a completely different guy. I just had to come in and do my best.”
Michael McBride: "I would say 100 percent that it came down to just being tired in that fight. Taking the fight on short notice didn't allow me to capitalize on things I normally would on the ground or standing."
Drew Dober erupted with a flurry of punches and dropped Jason Gonzalez in dramatic fashion in the very first round in their FS1 prelim opener, winning by knockout at just 1:45 of the round. It was a right hook that started the beginning of the end for Gonzalez and then Dober jumped on him and landed about three fight-ending blows before the referee could jump in to stop the fight.
They said it:
Drew Dober: "We knew going in that he was an aggressive fighter, so early on I was watching him and then when it was time to turn it on I did just that. I have a world class gym and coaches behind me right now. I want more exciting fights in the UFC Lightweight division."
Jason Gonzalez: "He was strong man. He hit harder than I expected. Just a tough fighter. I just need to look at the videos and just get with my coaches. I don't know, we just got to sit down and talk about it."
UFC 203: Miocic vs Overeem FIGHT PASS prelims
Yancy Medeiros rocked Sean Spencer with a head kick in the first round and went back to the well in the second round and dropped him again before a sensational ground performance that led to the rear naked choke submission finish at 0:49 of the second round. Medeiros knew Spencer was hurt and went for a standing guillotine as he tried to stand back up and as Spencer tried to defend Medeiros moved to his back and finished with the choke. Medeiros picks up the win in his debut at 170 pounds after admitting that the weight cut was too hard at 155 pounds.
They said it:
Yancy Medeiros: "For the most part I feel like going up in weight class really helped me. Emotionally, mentally, physically, I'm just a better all-around fighter. I'm a real versatile fighter. I wanted to show that and just fight and I felt like this weight class is my weight class. I wanted to show Joe (Silva) and the UFC I'm here to fight. I feel like 170 is more of a natural weight class for me to show off my skill sets."
Sean Spencer: "He did a really good job of switching from southpaw to orthodox in there and he just got me. I'm not sure if it was the same kick as round one but he just was the better fighter than me tonight. I think my skill set is there, I just got to get better as a fighter. At this high a level there is a fine line between being confident and having skills to execute at this level. It's all about learning and I hope I continue to evolve in the UFC."