Miocic keeps UFC heavyweight title with decision

UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier

On Saturday night, the UFC Heavyweight Champ from Cleveland successfully defended his title for a record third consecutive time.

In the main event, Ngannou could do little but survive as Stipe Miocic imposed himself over the 25-minutes to score a record third heavyweight title defense under the UFC banner.

Three minutes into the third, Ngannou landed a big right hand, but sensing the danger, Miocic promptly took the fight to the ground again with a double leg takedown and saw out the round from top position. With seconds remaining in the round, Cormier locked up a rear-naked choke attempt but the end of the round came before Oezdemir considered tapping.

Gian Villante edged out fellow heavy-hitter Francimar Barroso with a split decision win in a light heavyweight clash that most fans and analysts did not predict would see the final bell.

With nearly no action happening inside the Octagon, Miocic flashed a straight right while Ngannou threatened with a lazy overhand right. Burgos absorbed more blows and briefly escaped until referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight.

The TD Garden was packed and lit from the opening preliminary bout and the card was sprinkled with MA fighters that sent the crowd into a frenzy with each introduction.

The first UFC pay-per-view event of 2018 is in the books. The crowd roared for Bochniak's walk to the cage and cheered when the decision was announced. UFC granted an immediate rematch and Razak Alhassan left no doubt about this outcome.

"It's just a matter of time", said a relatively upbeat Oezdemir at the post fight press conference.

UFC 220 has some star power on the sidelines for the opening fights. Left hand for Oezdemir. "He hits hard, just like any heavyweight did, but I felt good, hit him with some good shots, and then, once I got that takedown, I knew it was going to take time". Tibau made his return following a two-year doping suspension.

In his five previous fights, Miocic won by knockout or technical knockout, and four of those bouts ended in the first round. A former Olympic wrestler, Cormier was untroubled by his 28-year-old opponent's superior reach and quickly took the fight to the ground again early in the second round, ending it with a flurry of right-hand strikes to force the stoppage. Ngannou fights just seven weeks after his stunning victory of Alistair Overeem at UFC 218. In the co-main event, Daniel Cormer (19-1, 1 NC) defends the light heavyweight championship when he faces No. 2 ranked Volkan Oezdemir (15-1).

UFC held its fifth card at TD Garden, the first since 2016, and the company said the arena was sold out.

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