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Stipe Miocic Stuns Daniel Cormier, Reclaims UFC Heavyweight Title Via Knockout

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2019

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 17:  (L-R) Stipe Miocic punches Daniel Cormier in their heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 241 event at the Honda Center on August 17, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Good things come to those who wait. For Stipe Miocic, that good thing was his heavyweight belt as he defeated Daniel Cormier via fourth-round knockout in the UFC 241 main event. 

After falling behind early in the fight, Miocic stormed back to win it in the fourth with several left hooks to the body that led to big right hands brought about the end. 

In the first round, Miocic found himself exactly where no one wants to be: Under Cormier. After a few boxing exchanges, DC secured a slam takedown and went to work in the card with ground-and-pound that established the early lead:

ESPN MMA @espnmma

Just how strong is @dc_mma? 😳 #UFC241 https://t.co/zU3N1hqqVX

Cormier went on the offensive once again in Round 2, stalking Stone Cold and landing with regularity. Miocic refused to go quietly, though. He found opportunities to fire back in the boxing exchanges as both fighters scored:

UFC @ufc

Right hand from Miocic lands but DC just keeps coming forward! #UFC241 https://t.co/fTzcqV0GBa

Miocic became the aggressor for the first time in the third frame. The former champion got double underhooks on the champion and pushed him to the fence and even landed a brief takedown before DC scrambled to his feet. 

However, a big right hand from Cormier stymied the momentum for the challenger. It appeared that the comeback was going to be quashed. 

Luke Thomas @lthomasnews

Much better round for Miocic, but it evened out toward the end. 3-0 DC or 2-1 DC.

That wasn't the case, though. Miocic kept focus, applying the pressure in the fourth round and going to the body with left hands that turned the tide of the fight for good. With Cormier reeling from the body work, Miocic went for the kill and ended up putting DC on the canvas and drawing the win. 

The win gave Miocic the rare accomplishment of winning back the heavyweight title:

UFC News @UFCNews

.@StipeMiocic is the 4th fighter in @UFC history to recapture the undisputed UFC heavyweight championship (Couture, Sylvia, Velasquez). #UFC241 Final results: https://t.co/8CNpCy9LJX https://t.co/SsHBF50dao

It also complicated Cormier's situation as he wasn't quite ready to make a decision one way or the other in regard to retirement. 

Bloody Elbow @BloodyElbow

"I need to speak to my wife and we need to make an educated decision on what I need to do." - Daniel Cormier on retirement. #UFC241

The victory sees Miocic take the heavyweight crown once again after losing his title to Cormier in July 2018. 

Rather than take another fight and work his way back up the rankings, Miocic patiently waited for his opportunity to get revenge. 

While speculation and rumors ran rampant that Cormier might take on Brock Lesnar or Jon Jones for the third time, Miocic petitioned for the chance to avenge what was lost 13 months ago. All that paid off, as he finally got his shot and made good on it. 

Last time Miocic had the belt, he set the new heavyweight record for consecutive title defenses with three. 

Now, the question shifts to what DC will do next. The former two-division champion has talked about retiring several times, and at 40 years old, it wouldn't be unexpected. 

Before the fight, Cormier said that a third fight against Jon Jones would be the only thing he would consider. 

"It's only big fights for me," he said, per ESPN.com. "It'll be Stipe Miocic, and if I fight again, it'll be Jones. It's not going to be anybody else."

However, that was before his loss to Miocic. One has to wonder if his swan song might actually be a different trilogy fight to get a different belt back this time around. 

Cormier also said if a third fight against Jones takes place, it will once again be at light heavyweight. Both of their previous fights have taken place at 205 pounds. Jones won both, although the second was later ruled a no-contest after Bones tested positive for Turinabol.