UFC 241: The return of Stipe Miocic

Stipe Miocic is returning after over a year hiatus to throw down in a rematch at UFC 241 in the main event, against the man who took his title last year with a devastating knockout Daniel Cormier. Miocic is one of the more respectful fighters but Cormier has seemed to let a not so humble side of him out of the cage, with Miocic claiming that he may have caught him clean, but he beats Cormier 9 out of 10 times and that he just “got lucky”. That alone makes this a more interesting bout for you can see Cormier has Stipe’s undivided attention and an obsessed, motivated and in a way, crazed Stipe Miocic is surely a force to be reckoned with.

Boxing and Wrestling are what Miocic relies on most, being a former Golden Gloves and NCAA Division l Wrestler, Miocic is extremely well rounded. Not very often do you see a UFC heavyweight putting together combinations the way Stipe does, with phenomenal head movement and counter striking with the added stamina of a horse. Miocic is as top-level as it gets in the Heavyweight division having the most consecutive title defences at 3 and defeating absolute savages in the process.

He has an impressive record of 18-3-0 with a total of 14 KO/TKO’s out of 21 professional bouts making his KO/TKO percentage around 66 percent, some notable KO’s over the likes of Andrei Arlovski and Mark Hunt. When taking on the former champion Fabricio Werdum, Stipe KO’d him in the first round with a sharp right hook while backpedalling. He then defended against Overeem who he also KO’d in the first, followed by Dos Santos who also met the same fate within the first round.

Eventually, he would face a man everyone was positive would be the one to not only dethrone him, but probably take his head off in the process Francis Ngannou, but that was not at all how that story played out. Stipe would go on to absolutely dominate Ngannou for 5 rounds winning a very one-sided decision. Miocic would eventually fall from the throne when defending against Cormier who caught him while breaking from a clinch with a right hand which would KO Miocic. Stipe would go on to protest an immediate rematch but would be put on the back burner for a while, but a recent falling out of Brock Lesnar put Miocic right back in the front to face Cormier for what he claims is still his.

When Stipe isn’t fighting, he is home in Ohio taking care of his newborn daughter and wife, also taking part in a courageous job being a Fireman/Paramedic. The Modelo commercial put it best, “When Stipe is not fighting in the Octagon, he is fighting fires”. I for one am ecstatic to see Stipe Miocic return to the octagon to fight and firmly believe we are in for a great scrap! I don’t believe the last fight between DC and Miocic was a fluke whatsoever, but I also don’t believe DC can replicate what he did last time.

This fight will be more of competitive, being more so of a chess match, I believe Miocic will take his time and try to utilize his distance better this time around. In my mind, I don’t have a clear winner, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t want Miocic to bring the championship back home with him Saturday night. We’ll have to tune in to find out!

UFC 241 preview with Chael Sonnen: What to expect from Cormier-Miocic, Diaz-Pettis, more

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The UFC puts on one of its biggest events of the year Saturday with UFC 241, which features three highly anticipated matchups at the top of the bill.

A heavyweight championship rematch between Daniel Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) and Stipe Miocic (18-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) headlines the card at Honda Center, which airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass.

The co-main event is perhaps the most hyped of all, with former UFC champ Anthony Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC) set to welcome Nate Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) back to the octagon after a three-year hiatus.

In addition, Yoel Romero (13-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) will meet Paulo Costa (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in a fight that finally materializes after three bookings.

To get insight into everything UFC 241, watch the video above as MMA Junkie senior reporter Mike Bohn and ESPN analyst Chael Sonnen preview the top storylines heading into the event.

‘UFC 241 Embedded,’ No. 6: Daniel Cormier throws heater at Angels game

The UFC’s eighth pay-per-view of the year takes place Saturday with UFC 241, and the promotion’s popular “Embedded” series returns to get you ready.

UFC 241 takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

In the main event, heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) takes on former champ Stipe Miocic (18-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) in a rematch of their UFC 226 bout. In the co-main event, fan-favorites Nate Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC and Anthony Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC) collide in a welterweight showdown.

The sixth episode of “UFC 241 Embedded” features the two main eventers, Pettis, and Diaz. Here’s the UFC’s description:

On Episode 6 of UFC 241 Embedded, heavyweight Stipe Miocic counsels his coach post wine-glass-injury. At fight week photo sessions, heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier reveals a superstitious side, middleweight Yoel Romero does pushups, and welterweight Nate Diaz drapes himself in a flag. Cormier and Miocic plus Diaz and Anthony Pettis attend open workouts, where Cormier’s son emcees and Diaz lights up the crowd by lighting up.

Also see:

‘UFC 241 Embedded,’ No. 1: Stipe Miocic sings ‘Eye of the Tiger’; Daniel Cormier hits the pool
‘UFC 241 Embedded,’ No. 2: Nate Diaz grapples in beachside dojo; Stipe Miocic hits fleamarket
‘UFC 241 Embedded,’ No. 3: Nate Diaz would ‘rather be on the beach than cooped up’
‘UFC 241 Embedded,’ No. 4: Daniel Cormier shakes Stipe Miocic’s hand and realizes something
‘UFC 241 Embedded,’ No. 5: ‘Mr. CBD right here’

UFC 241 predictions: Can Stipe Miocic take heavyweight title back from Daniel Cormier?

Cormier
vs.
Miocic
Diaz
vs.
Pettis
Costa
vs.
Romero
Benitez
vs.
Yusuff
Brunson
vs.
Heinisch
MMA Junkie readers’
consensus picks
2019: 137-71 (66%)
micocic2019
Miocic
(54%)
diaz2019
Diaz
(63%)
romero2019
Romero
(69%)
yusuff2019
Yusuff
(78%)
brunson2019
Brunson
(53%)
Nolan King
@mma_kings
2019: 48-13 (79%)
cormier2019
Cormier
diaz2019
Diaz
romero2019
Romero
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
Simon Head
@simonhead
2019: 50-16 (76%)
micocic2019
Miocic
pettis2019
Pettis
romero2019
Romero
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
Dan Tom
@DanTomMMA
2019: 145-63 (70%)
cormier2019
Cormier
pettis2019
Pettis
romero2019
Romero
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
Farah Hannoun
@Farah_Hannoun
2019: 38-17 (69%)
cormier2019
Cormier
diaz2019
Diaz
romero2019
Romero
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2019: 141-67 (68%)
micocic2019
Miocic
diaz2019
Diaz
romero2019
Romero
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
John Morgan
@MMAjunkieJohn
2019: 139-69 (67%)
cormier2019
Cormier
pettis2019
Pettis
costa2019
Costa
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
Ken Hathaway
@kenshathaway
2019: 136-72 (65%)
trophy copy 2018 Champion
cormier2019
Cormier
pettis2019
Pettis
costa2019
Costa
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
Mike Bohn
@MikeBohnMMA
2019: 136-72 (65%)
trophy copy 2014 Champion
cormier2019
Cormier
pettis2019
Pettis
romero2019
Romero
yusuff2019
Yusuff
brunson2019
Brunson
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2019: 136-72 (65%)
trophy copy 2017 Champion
cormier2019
Cormier
pettis2019
Pettis
romero2019
Romero
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
Steven Marrocco
@MMAjunkieSteven
2019: 134-74 (64%)
micocic2019
Miocic
pettis2019
Pettis
costa2019
Costa
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
Abbey Subhan
@kammakaze
2019: 127-81 (61%)
cormier2019
Cormier
pettis2019
Pettis
romero2019
Romero
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
George Garcia
@MMAjunkieGeorge
2019: 127-81 (60%)
cormier2019
Cormier
pettis2019
Pettis
costa2019
Costa
yusuff2019
Yusuff
brunson2019
Brunson
Dave Doyle
@davedoylemma
2019: 68-48 (59%)
cormier2019
Cormier
pettis2019
Pettis
romero2019
Romero
yusuff2019
Yusuff
heinisch2019
Heinisch
Matt Erickson
@MMAjunkieMatt
2019: 117-91 (56%)
micocic2019
Miocic
pettis2019
Pettis
costa2019
Costa
benitez2019
Benitez
brunson2019
Brunson

The UFC is back in Southern California this week, and the heavyweight title is on the line in a highly anticipated rematch.

UFC 241 takes place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) takes on Stipe Miocic (18-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC), the man he took the title from, in a rematch. Cormier is a slight favorite in the fight, but he has a heavy advantage in the picks from our 14 MMA Junkie editors, writers, radio hosts and videographers. Ten of our 14 staff members are taking Cormier to retain the belt.

In the co-feature, Nate Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) returns from a layoff of nearly three years to take on former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC) in a welterweight fight. Pettis is a slight favorite, but he’s got a whopping 11-3 lead from our pickers.

Also on the main card, Yoel Romero (13-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is a mild favorite in his middleweight fight against fellow contender Paulo Costa (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), and he has a 9-5 lead in the picks.

Only one picker is taking heavy underdog Gabriel Benitez (21-6 MMA, 5-2 UFC) to upset near 3-1 favorite Sodiq Yusuff (9-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in their featherweight fight.

And to open the main card, Ian Heinisch (13-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is just a slight favorite in his middleweight fight with Derek Brunson (19-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC), but he’s got a heavy 12-2 edge in the picks.

In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Miocic (54 percent), Diaz (63 percent), Romero (69 percent), Yusuff (78 percent) and Brunson (53 percent) are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

9 burning questions heading into UFC 241


International Fight Week in Las Vegas got more hype in July, but Saturday night’s UFC 241 simply feels like the biggest event of the summer.

The card is chock full of interesting storylines, from the UFC heavyweight title rematch between champion Daniel Cormier and former titleholder Stipe Miocic, to the much-awaited return of Nate Diaz, who meets Anthony Pettis in the welterweight co-feature bout.

UFC 241 takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

Without further ado, then, let’s get right into nine key storylines leading into Saturday night’s card:

Can ‘DC’ cement his status as the heavyweight GOAT?

The fact Cormier’s highest-profile fights were a loss to Jon Jones and a second loss to Jones which later became a no-contest tends to obscure what should be a celebrated storyline to DC’s career: His phenomenal record at 265 pounds.

Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) is 15-0 over the course of his career at heavyweight, a run which included the Strikeforce grand prix tourney win which put him on the map and three victories over men who held the UFC heavyweight title. 

He won the title, of course, over Miocic (18-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) at UFC 226, toppling the only man ever to successfully defend three times a belt with a lineage that dates back more than two decades. 

Fedor Emelianenko’s long reign atop the heavyweight list is warmly remembered for good reason, but the caliber of competition is vastly improved since his time. Cain Velasquez’s injuries got in the way of what could have been HW GOAT status. If Cormier can, at age 40, once again stop Miocic, it’s going to be increasingly difficult to make the case for anyone else as the HW GOAT.