UFC 211 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Miocic vs. Dos Santos 2
After an extended period of UFC cards of spotty quality, UFC 211 came along and reminded hardcore fans of what the sport's top promotion can do when it really sets its mind to it.
The main event was easy enough to understand: Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos did battle, not only for Miocic's heavyweight title but for the unofficial title of Baddest Man On The Planet.
From the biggest UFC division to the smallest, fierce women's strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk put her own belt in peril against the bigger, stronger, potentially more dynamic fighter in Jessica Andrade.
And those were only two of the evening's 14 contests. As usual, the final stat lines only reveal so much. These are the real winners and losers from UFC 211 in Dallas, Texas.
For the literal-minded among us, full card results appear at the end.
Winner: Stipe Miocic
Give it up for the baddest man on the planet.
This was the champion's game plan from the get-go, and he executed to a tee. An unabashed pressure fighter, Stipe Miocic moved in against Junior dos Santos and cut off the cage.
Dos Santos didn't have the speed to circle out of there, and found himself swinging wildly with his back against the fence. Miocic, smelling blood, threw a one-two combination, with his power right hand perfectly finding Dos Santos' jaw.
Dos Santos, whose jaw has been involved in quite a few wars over the years now, hit the canvas hard. A few ground strikes later and it was all over. It only took a little more than two minutes for the finish to come.
"I am the best in the world," Miocic told broadcaster Joe Rogan in the cage after the fight. "I'm the heavyweight champ."
It's hard to defend the UFC heavyweight championship. That's evidenced by Miocic, who, despite only having defended the belt twice, has tied the record for such things. The Cleveland native continues to shower sporting glory on the city by the lake.
Winner: Joanna Champion
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the best women's MMA fighter on the planet today.
Against an aggressive and powerful volume puncher in Jessica Andrade, the champion showed again why she is just one of those people who's touched by greatness.
Jedrzejczyk absorbed a couple of power takedowns in the first round. Depending on who was watching and scoring, she may even have lost that round. But five-round title fights are a marathon and not a sprint, and the champion knows that all too well.
Starting in the second frame, Jedrzejczyk began to find her range and tag Andrade with punch combinations and pinpoint kicks. And those weren't little fluttery strikes, either. They hit home and they hurt.
As Andrade began to tire, the champion was hitting her stride. The competition became more and more of a mismatch as the fight wore on. By the time it ended, there was no doubt that Jedrzejczyk was the better fighter.
She's the best fighter, too.
Up next? It has to be Rose Namajunas, who recently defeated Michelle Waterson in a de-facto title eliminator. Namanjunas is aggressive and talented; we'll see if she can threaten the champ, assuming that fight is made. If she can, that would be quite a thing. Pedestals are shaky in MMA, but as far as they go, this one looks pretty solid.
Loser: Demian Maia
Demian Maia is at a level that we don't often see in any sport. If he's not unbeatable right now in the UFC welterweight division, he'll do until the unbeatable person gets here.
All Jorge Masvidal did coming into this fight was win three straight in one of MMA's toughest weight classes, most recently knocking out Donald Cerrone in January.
All Maia had done was win six in a row, most recently in a first-round submission of Carlos Condit last August.
As great as Maia is, he's 39 years old and plies a relatively dull style, predicated on the Brazilian jiu-jitsu he's honed over the years as a multi-time world champ before entering the UFC.
He defeated Masvidal by decision for his seventh straight win, and after that called (again) for a title shot. It's a title shot UFC brass don't seem overly inclined to give him.
However, according to Maia, in speaking with Rogan in the cage after the fight, it may have finally happened. Maia spoke with UFC President Dana White briefly after the fight was over, and he shared the gist of it with Rogan.
"Seven in a row, the Brazilian with the most wins in the UFC," Maia told Rogan. "I said I want to fight for the title, he said you got it. ... Finally."
So, it would seem, he's finally over the hump. Still, I'll believe it when I see it.
Winner: Frankie Edgar
Welcome to the big leagues, Yair Rodriguez.
The electrifying 24-year-old hadn't lost in six UFC contests. He showed in all his fights that he was able to throw high-octane kicks and other strikes in a way that was actually effective, and it pegged him as one of the sport's brightest stars in his native Mexico.
Enter Frankie Edgar.
The former lightweight champ used his trademark footwork to steer clear of Rodriguez's big kicks, then darted in for easy takedowns. Once on the mat, Edgar postured up and rained brutal ground strikes.
After the first round, Rodriguez was bloodied, swollen and in trouble. Edgar went after the most egregiously injured part—the left eye—in the second stanza. It got so bad that the referee called a stop after the second, and it was a good decision.
Edgar is a great competitor, and he proved it again. Rodriguez is still a legitimate fighter at this level, but he has a ways to go before he can tangle with someone as great as the indomitable New Jersey native.
Loser: Eddie Alvarez
The prelim headliner was living up to its billing. Dustin Poirier was sticking, moving and tenderizing ex-champ Eddie Alvarez with kicks and punches.
But Alvarez was equal to the task. Or at least his chin was. In fact, his chin might have been too effective.
A clinch knee from Alvarez led to knees on the ground. The only problem was, the knees came when Poirier was on the ground, making them clearly illegal. As a result, the bout was ruled a no contest.
"The first knee, I thought he was playing the game where he had his hand down," Alvarez said after the fight, according to a written statement UFC officials emailed to reporters after the fight. "[Referee] Herb (Dean) was very clear about you can't play the game, so I hurt him with the first one, I think the second one may have been legal, but the third knee was illegal. I saw it on the prompter afterwards that it was illegal and I apologize to Dustin. Oh yeah, that's a fight I'd love to replay. I think it's only right for me, Dustin and the fans to run that back."
Were the illegal knees also intentional knees? We'll probably never know for sure. But both men called for a rematch after the bout, and most people probably will not dispute that.
UFC 211 Full Card Results
Stipe Miocic def. Junior dos Santos by TKO, 2:22, Rd. 1
Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Jessica Andrade by unanimous decision
Demian Maia def. Jorge Masvidal by split decision
Frankie Edgar def. Yair Rodriguez by TKO (referee stoppage), 5:00, Rd. 2
Dave Branch def. Krzysztof Jotko by split decision
Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier No Contest (Alvarez threw illegal knees)
Jason Knight def. Chas Skelly by TKO, 0:39, Rd. 3
Chase Sherman def. Rashad Coulter by TKO, 3:36, Rd. 2
James Vick def. Marco Polo Reyes by TKO, 2:39, Rd. 1
Cortney Casey def. Jessica Aguilar by unanimous decision
Enrique Barzola def. Gabriel Benitez decision
Gadzhimurad Antigulov def. Joachim Christensen by submission (rear-naked choke), 2:21, Rd. 1
Scott Harris covers MMA for Bleacher Report. Scott is available on Twitter.