UFC 252: Previewing Stipe-DC 3 and Other Matches on the Card

Kelsey McCarsonFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2020

UFC 252: Previewing Stipe-DC 3 and Other Matches on the Card

0 of 5

    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    There's plenty at stake in the main event of UFC 252 when two of the best fighters in history square off against each other in an important grudge match that will decide one of the best UFC rivalries ever.

    UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and former two-division champion Daniel Cormier meet on August 15 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas in one of the biggest and most important fights of the year.

    The card also features rising superstar bantamweight contender Sean O'Malley in what should be his toughest test to date against Marlon Vera as well as a slew of other noteworthy and fun UFC action fights.

    This is Bleacher Report's big preview for UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier 3. 

UFC 252: Miocic-Cormier Fight Card and Info

1 of 5

    Bleacher Report has all the details for UFC 252.
    Bleacher Report has all the details for UFC 252.John Locher/Associated Press

    UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 15, at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

    The main card ESPN+ pay-per-view is scheduled to begin at 10:00 pm ET.

    The prelims begin at 8:00 pm ET.

    The early prelims start at 6:00 pm ET.

    The card listed below is subject to change.

           

    UFC 252 Main Card (ESPN+ PPV)
    Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
    Sean O'Malley vs. Marlon Vera
    Junior dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
    John Dodson vs. Merab Dvalishvili
    Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba

    Prelims (ESPN) and Early Prelims (ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass)
    Jim Miller vs. Vinc Pichel
    Ashley Yoder vs. Livinha Souza
    Chris Daukaus vs. Parker Porter
    Felice Herrig vs. Virna Jandiroba
    Herbert Burns vs. Daniel Pineda
    TJ Brown vs. Danny Chavez

The Main Event: Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier

2 of 5

    An epic grudge match to settle who's the best UFC heavyweight.
    An epic grudge match to settle who's the best UFC heavyweight.John Locher/Associated Press

    Miocic, 37, and Cormier, 41, are two of the most decorated UFC champions in history. Both enter UFC 252 hoping to add one more massive accomplishment.

    For Miocic, beating Cormier would solidify his claim to being the best heavyweight of the era and arguably to some the best ever. For Cormier, recapturing UFC gold in the final fight of his career would allow him to retire on top as a two-time UFC heavyweight champion.

    UFC 252 will be the third straight year that Miocic and Cormier have locked horns inside the Octagon. Cormier stunned Miocic in the first round at UFC 226 in July 2018 to capture the UFC heavyweight championship. But Miocic got his belt back with a revenge win via fourth-round stoppage at UFC 241 in August 2019.

    The two are knotted at 1-1, and each man believes he'll be the one to have his hand raised after the rubber match.

    It's a battle that was labeled the biggest title fight in the history of the UFC's heavyweight division by ESPN's Brett Okamoto the moment it was booked, and it's sure to be one of the biggest and best fights of the entire year.

The Co-Main Event: Sean O'Malley vs. Marlon Vera

3 of 5

    Will Marlon Vera upset rising star Sean O'Malley?
    Will Marlon Vera upset rising star Sean O'Malley?Steve Luciano/Associated Press

    O'Malley, 25, seems to be on his way to becoming a superstar. The undefeated bantamweight is a phenomenal striker, and his absurd confidence is only bolstered by what appears to be an exquisite MMA skill set.

    But before O'Malley gets to face off with the likes of UFC bantamweight king Petr Yan or any of the other various top contenders in the stacked division, O'Malley has to prove he belongs in those kinds of fights.

    Enter Vera. The 27-year-old is a tough veteran who had won five straight contests before suffering a unanimous decision loss to rising contender Yadong Song in May.

    So O'Malley hopes to make a big splash against Vera under what should be a massive spotlight. The American's brashness and striking ability have meant he often draws comparisons to Conor McGregor.

    That burden hasn't seemed to keep him from his winning ways just yet. If he can topple Vera convincingly, he should be on his way to bigger and better fights at 135 pounds. Conversely, nothing would benefit Vera's career right now more than dispatching of a fighter almost everyone who follows the sport thinks is on his way to doing great things.

Fight to Keep an Eye On: Junior dos Santos vs. Jair Rozenstruik

4 of 5

    Both of these heavyweights are badly in need of a win.
    Both of these heavyweights are badly in need of a win.Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, 36, and hopeful title challenger Jair Rozenstruik, 32, are both badly in need of wins.

    Both suffered first-round knockout losses to the "Mike Tyson of MMA" Francis Ngannou during that phenom's four-fight tear of destruction, and Dos Santos also found himself dumped by the heavyweight division's ground-and-pound monster Curtis Blaydes in January.

    Now Dos Santos and Rozenstruik hope to add the other man's name to his record in order to remain among the division's most elite contenders.

    Dos Santos seems to be entering the fight with more to lose. He's older, on a longer losing streak and ranked higher at No. 5 in the division.

    But Rozenstruik, who is ranked No. 6, also finds himself on shaky ground. The striking stalwart seemed to be on his way to doing big things in the UFC, but another huge setback might mean he'll never quite find his groove in the world's top MMA promotional company.

Best of the Rest

5 of 5

    Virna Jandiroba is eager to disappoint her opponent's plan for a comeback win.
    Virna Jandiroba is eager to disappoint her opponent's plan for a comeback win.Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Jim Miller vs. Vinc Pichel

    Tied for most UFC contests ever with Donald Cerrone at 35 fights, lightweight Jim Miller returns to action to face Vinc Pichel in another record-setting bout.

    Miller, 36, has won three out of his past four fights. Meanwhile, Pichel, 37, has also been on a tear. He's won five of his last six fights entering UFC 252.

        

    Felice Herrig vs. Virna Jandiroba

    Women's strawweight contender Felice Herrig, 35, is making her long-awaited return from an ACL injury against former Invicta FC strawweight champ Virna Jandiroba at UFC 252.

    Herrig hasn't fought since suffering a unanimous-decision loss to Michelle Waterson at UFC 229 in October 2018, but beating Jandiroba at UFC 252 would help get her right back into the thick of things. Jandiroba, 32, lost her UFC debut but won her next fight to enter UFC 252 with a 1-1 record under the promotion.

        

    Herbert Burns vs. Daniel Pineda

    The younger brother of top-ranked welterweight contender Gilbert Burns, UFC featherweight contender Herbert Burns, 32, has won five straight contests, including a submission win over Evan Dunham at UFC 250.

    Now Burns hopes to welcome former UFC veteran Daniel Pineda, 35, back to his first fight inside the Octagon in over six years with another loss.