UFC 252 ‘Miocic vs. Cormier 3’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By Jay Pettry Aug 15, 2020
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Kai Kamaka III (145.5) vs. Tony Kelley (145.5)

Round 1

It’s fight night once again for the UFC, in the form of a pay-per-view card with a heavyweight championship rubber match on tap for the marquee billing. We kick things off in the featherweight division between two UFC newcomers, as Kamaka III (7-2, 0-0 UFC) tries to become another victorious Hawaiian on the roster against Team Alpha Male product Kelley (5-1, 0-0 UFC). Referee Chris Tognoni will oversee the card-opening matchup, and with a touch of gloves, away we go! Kelley throws out a few jabs and a low kick right out of the gate. He flings a front kick, and then tries to step in with a one-two but gets countered. A quick jab from the Louisiana native halts the offense of his opponent for a moment, but Kamaka gathers himself and swings back hard. Kelley blocks it and dances out of the way, and tries to blitz forward, only to get countered with a short left hook. Kamaka lands another left hook, and Kelley responds with a pair of thudding leg kicks that make Kamaka turn his lead leg. The Hawaiian returns fire with a few punches that get Kelley’s attention, and they start trading heavy leather. Kelley targets the leg on the inside and out, while Kamaka is more interested in headhunting with solid success. He lands a right hand that makes Kelley crash in to score a knee up the middle, and backs off to stick him with a jab. Kelley connects with a left, but Kamaka pops him with that same effective left hook to back Kelley against the fence. Kamaka unloads on him with a few punches and a pounding body kick that gives Kelley some serious pause. Kelley resets on the outside, and lands a few shots when he comes in, but Kamaka gives it right back to him. An inside left kick from Kelley is followed by a left and a body kick, but Kamaka winds up and cracks him with a few punches to make Kelley retreat. Kamaka rushes him and presses him to the fence, where scoops up the leg and sets him down. Kelley gets back up, but Kamaka is not done yet as he keeps targeting the midsection with powerful punches and kicks. Kamaka does some damage with his punches, sending Kelley reeling. Kamaka keeps advancing and bulldozes his opponent over, only for Kelley to try to return to his feet by grabbing the fence. He is unable to return to a standing position, and Kamaka steps into his guard and lands some short ground-and-pound. Kelley walks up the fence, and he rips a few knees as Kamaka lumps up the body to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Kamaka
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Kamaka
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Kamaka

Round 2

Kelley keeps his distance in the early going, attempting to stick his man with jabs while staying on the outside to avoid counters. Kelley lazily paws out a jab, and Kamaka sits down on a leg kick and nearly sets Kelley down. Kelley keeps his footing and tries to go for a sweep, but he cannot get it as Kamaka dodges it only to bear down on him. Kamaka lands a few punches that back Kelley away, and every body shot Kamaka connects with seems to make Kelley drops his hands a fraction of an inch. When the hands are lowered, Kamaka takes a low kick but goes over the top with a right hand. Kamaka mixes it up and lands a punch to the torso that nearly forces Kelley to double over. “Primetime” gathers himself and tries to get some kicks off to gain separation, but Kamaka ignores them and scores a left to the body. Kamaka blocks a punch and lands two punches down the middle, and his body work is drawing visible reactions out of his opponent. Kelley, who may be hurt, bites down his mouthpiece and starts to slug it out with “The Fighting Hawaiian.” They keep trading heavy shots, with Kelley taking advantage of his surprising burst of offense, so Kamaka changes levels and hits a quick double leg takedown to halt it. Kelley again grabs the fence to try to get back up, and Tognoni warns Kelley but he still is able to walk up the cage wall. One exchange or possibly a clash of heads has opened up a cut high on Kelley’s forehead, but he pays it no mind as he is more concerned with stuffing the subsequent takedown attempt and break free in the clinch. Kamaka scoops him back up and drops him down, planting the Team Alpha Male fighter on the ground for a moment. Kelley springs back up and in close proximity to his opponent, he hacks at him with several elbows. Kamaka shoots low for a double, and Kelley defends with elbows to the side of the head until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Kelley
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Kelley
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Kamaka

Round 3

They greet one another in the center of the cage with a glove touch, and Kelley quickly fires off a low kick. Kelley is a man possessed, and he starts unloading a series of damaging elbows to wobble Kamaka for a moment. As he pours it on, Kamaka closes in, so Kelley pulls guard for a guillotine choke but slides out. Kamaka winds up in top position in his opponent’s guard in the center of the cage, and rains down shots. Kelley is able to scoot his way to the fence, but Kelley drags him back down and takes his opponent’s back on the way up. Kelley is able to burst free, and the two get right back to it by going punch-for-punch. They stand in front of one another in a proverbial phone booth and start nailing each other, with Kelley stinging him with some knees and elbows while Kamaka punches to the body and the head. Kamaka, who is not getting the better of these brief slugfests, shoots in low for a double, but Kelley stuffs it and punches him repeatedly. Kelley stands him up and slashes at him with a pair of elbows, which forces Kamaka to back off. Once more, the action is furious as they blast each other in close quarters, and a knee from Kelley clanks off the cup to force a brief stoppage. Kamaka takes advantage of all the time necessary to get his wind back, which is something more fighters have done in a crowdless environment. Kamaka signals that he can continue, and with 90 seconds left, it still may be anybody’s fight. Kelley tries to get some jabs off, but a crisp one-two comes back at him from Kamaka. When Kamaka over-extends himself, Kelley sets up a Thai clinch and knees him to the body several times. Kelley ducks down for a body shot, as Kamaka fires back over the top at him. Kamaka dings him with a check left hook twice as Kelley is trying to come in, and Kelley nearly falls over in his final assault. Kamaka digs to the body with a stern left hand in the midst of a combination, and Kelley walks through it like a zombie. One second before the final buzzer, both land a punch at the same time, and this close thriller is now over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Kelley (29-28 Kelley)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Kelley (29-28 Kelley)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Kamaka (30-27 Kamaka)

The Official Result

Kai Kamaka III def. Tony Kelley via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Chris Daukaus (241) vs. Parker Porter (264.5)

Round 1

Shifting gears to the heavyweight division, two finish-minded UFC debutants step in the cage as Daukaus (8-3, 0-0 UFC) and Porter (9-5, 0-0 UFC) toe the line. The two heavy hitters have gone the distance exactly one time across 25 combined fights, so referee Herb Dean will be holding on tight to the fight that likely will not need the judges. They touch gloves, and Porter throws the first strike with a low kick. They clash together and throw caution to the wind, but neither land anything more effective than a glancing blow. Porter targets the lead leg again, and hops forward with a jab. He comes up short with a one-two, as Daukaus is more interested in timing quick strikes. Porter clips him with a short shot, and they clinch up, allowing Daukaus to nail him on the side of the head three times. Porter wobbles but does not fall over, and Daukaus walks him to the fence. With Porter shoved on the fence, Daukaus rips a trio of punches and breaks, but gets tagged with a punch from the charging Porter. Porter keeps coming with a stream of punches, and he tags Daukaus, but Daukaus stings him with a right hand. One of the strikes has cut open Daukaus’ eye, and Porter slaps the lead leg before racing in with some punches. They walk towards one another to let loose a flurry from either, but the most effective strike is Porter’s leg kick at the end. Porter wings up with some big punches and falls short of his intended target, while Daukaus is more accurate with straighter shots. He lets fly a low kick on the inside, and plants his feet to fire off two punches that get Porter’s attention. Porter lets fly a front kick, and Daukaus rails him with several short, nasty punches. Porter’s knees crumble and Daukaus pounces to finish him off, but Porter rolls to his knees and stands back up before Daukaus can get the job done. Porter gets off a leg kick, and Daukaus tries to stick him in the clinch but gets worked on the way out. Daukaus connects with a nasty one-two, and Porter stumbles backwards. He pulls his arm back, lands another punch and sends Porter squirrelly. Daukaus keeps tagging him with punch after pinpoint accurate punch, and Porter falls to the cage wall. When Porter leans over, Daukaus cracks him with a knee flush on the chin and sets Porter down once and for all. No better way to make a first impression inside the Octagon than a dramatic knockout, and the Philadelphia native has done just that.

The Official Result

Chris Daukaus def. Parker Porter R1 4:28 via TKO (Punches and Knee)

Livinha Souza (115.5) vs. Ashley Yoder (115.5)

Round 1

Opening up the four-fight prelim card that just slightly differs from the two early preliminary matchups we were treated to earlier, the first of two strawweight contests of the night goes down between Brazil’s Souza (13-2, 2-1 UFC) and “The Spider Monkey” Yoder (7-5, 2-4 UFC). Our Octagon ranger for this one is Mark Smith, who observes the two women touching gloves before commencing violence. Souza comes out with a very low stance as she walks Yoder down, and fires off a body kick early. Yoder comes back with a low kick, and races forward to jump on to Souza. She hops on Souza’s back but gets tossed to the ground with relative ease. Souza shrugs off any potential submission setup from “The Spider Monkey” and puts her weight on her opponent while getting off a few punches to the body to stay active. Yoder keeps an active guard and throws her legs up to threaten, but Souza steps out of the guard, dives down to slam Yoder in the face with a punch that would make Dan Henderson blush, and backs off. Yoder jumps to her feet, and she pushes her opponent away to gain a separation. Souza winds up a big right hand a few times and comes up short, but they are getting close. Yoder backs her off with a body kick, and misses the mark with a leg kick. Souza comes back at her with a huge inside leg kick that swings Yoder’s leg back. When Souza springs forward, Yoder kicks her away with a front kick. Souza again tries to fire her right hand, but she misses and gets nailed in the body with another Yoder kick. Souza swings and misses once more, so Yoder goes back to the body with the same kick. The Brazilian changes it up by shooting in for a takedown, and Yoder defends with a slick guillotine choke. Souza yanks her neck free but gets bullied against the fence. Yoder traps a single between her legs to try to knock Souza off her feet, but “The Brazilian Gangster” keeps her balance only to get kicked in the face on the break. Souza comes at her with a huge right that is inaccurate, and Yoder kicks her and then stuffs a takedown to end the round landing a few punches on top.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Souza
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Souza
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Souza

Round 2

They clap hands in the center of the cage and back off, and it is Souza that lands first with a low kick. Yoder sticks out a jab to break up the power right hook from Souza. Yoder gets a few straight punches off while Souza is trying to find her angles, and she connects with a liver kick. Souza blasts her lead leg with a kick, so Yoder crashes in and gets clipped with a right hand coming forward. “The Spider Monkey” ignores it and almost trips the legs out from her opponent, but Souza remains upright with her back to the fence. The two strawweights trade knees to the body in close proximity, and Souza breaks up a takedown attempt with a stiff knee. Souza pushes her back and away, and flings an inside leg kick that makes Yoder recoil. She goes to the same spot again and draws a similar reaction from Yoder, but the green-haired woman walks forward, takes a low kick and clinches up again as she narrowly evades a counter right. The two women jockey for position briefly, and Souza breaks free and fires off a powerful calf kick. Yoder tries to come back with a body kick, and Souza lets fly a head kick that gets blocked. The impact of the strike makes Yoder crash forward for a takedown attempt, and in her aggression, she falls over the body of her adversary and winds up on her back. Yoder is able to get back up momentarily, but Souza hits a double to drag her back to her knees. Souza is committed to finishing the takedown until the horn ends the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Yoder
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Souza
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Yoder

Round 3

Souza opens up the final round with a leg kick, and then stings her with another that sends Yoder’s leg way back in an attempt to take the brunt out of it. Yoder walks forward, and Souza sits down with a right hand that she finally lands hard. The Brazilian follows it with a low kick, and Yoder presses in to try to ground her opponent but gets reversed against the fence. Souza drags her down briefly, but Yoder muscles her way back to her feet no worse the wear. After a staring contest where neither commit on strikes, Yoder sticks her with a few jabs to break up the oncoming right hook. Souza tries to back her off with a knee up the middle, but it lands low to halt the action for a few seconds. Yoder resumes and the two kick at one another. Souza keeps kicking the lead leg of her opponent, and Yoder cannot check them or do anything to stop them. Yoder re-commits to the body kick, and comes up short with a one-two at a long distance. Yoder is intent on keeping her distance, reaching with long left hands and front kicks to not get countered. Yoder kicks her in the face when the Brazilian charges in, and she does this again as Souza is reeling. “The Spider Monkey” lets rip a few punches and kicks to get Souza to bounce off the fence, but Souza springs back and the two tie up. In the scramble, Souza tosses her down and sets up a scarf hold headlock. She keeps the position but cannot elicit a tap before time expires. The scorecards could be all over the map with this one.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Yoder (29-28 Yoder)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Yoder (29-28 Souza)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Yoder (29-28 Yoder)

The Official Result

Livinha Souza def. Ashley Yoder via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

T.J. Brown (146.5: Missed Weight) vs. Danny Chavez (146)

Round 1

Up next is a catchweight affair as Brown (14-7, 0-1 UFC) – who missed weight -- takes on “The Colombian Warrior” Chavez (10-3, 0-0 UFC). While all but one of Brown’s wins have come by stoppage, a whole 70 percent of Chavez’ career victories have come on the scorecards; we may have an intriguing style pairing as referee Dan Miragliotta is in charge of the cage. There is no glove touch, and Brown begins the fight with a pair of reaching punches to the body and a hard leg kick. Chavez comes back with a leg kick, and spins with a wheel kick and gets blocked. When Brown charges in, Chavez stings him with a right hand and blasts the backpedaling Brown with a leg kick that draws a visible reaction already. They come together and start swinging and landing on one another, and they back off for Chavez to wing a leg kick that makes Brown wince. Brown comes at him with a pair of jabs, and Chavez goes low and high with kicks. Browns fires back with a body kick and his own low kick, and these two fighters slow their aggression until Brown rushes in and drills him in the jaw with an uppercut. He cannot follow it with anything to put Chavez down, and Chavez responds with twin leg kicks to the same spot that make Brown’s lead leg buckle. Chavez avoids a strike from Brown and targets the lead leg again. Brown switches stances, lands his own leg kick, and returns to orthodox only to get put down by a nasty leg kick from “The Colombian Warrior.” Brown tries to catch him off-guard with a blitz, but Chavez counters with a few punches and then hacks at the lead leg with a kick. He scores on the calf once more, and Brown’s calf is swelling as he puts the damaged leg back. Brown steps through a punch to counter Chavez with a stiff right hand, and a body kick sends Chavez backing up. When Brown wades forward to think about taking the fight down, Chavez kicks the lead leg out once more. Brown steps in with a one-two, and Chavez sits on the leg kick to dull some of the offense. Brown lets his guard down and wings a head kick, but Chavez counters with a right hand and launches a head kick that is barely blocked in time.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Chavez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Chavez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Chavez

Round 2

A one-two from Chavez opens up the second, and he follows with a calf kick that immediately makes Brown change stances. Brown sends off his own leg kick, but he draws one out from his opponent as well that appears to land harder. Brown reaches in with a right and a kick to the knee, and then lunges with a punch to the body. Chavez sends a high kick and then a fierce low kick back at his foe, and Brown is in the danger zone now. Limping back to the cage wall, Brown sits on a counter but Chavez does not engage to absorb it. Brown walks forward with a one-two, and a jumping knee leads to the two clinching up. Brown tags Chavez at the end of a left hand, and he breaks up a counter with a body kick. The two both connect with punches, and Brown nearly falls over when he gets countered. Chavez does to the body, and gets countered. Chavez winds up with a powerful right hand and drops Brown, and “The Colombian Warrior” smells blood and pounces to try to finish the fight. He gets off a few more shots on top in his adversary’s guard, but Brown ties him up to protect himself and shake off the cobwebs. Brown gets to his knees and leaves his neck in submission danger, but Chavez cannot lock up a choke and lets his man stand back up. He zings a head kick that is barely blocked but still staggers Brown, but Brown is tough and rushes at him with a short string of punches. Brown wades forward with more punches, but Chavez stays on his bike and dodges them all. Brown goes to the body with his damaged leg, and swings and misses with a spinning back fist as they clinch up to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Chavez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Chavez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Chavez

Round 3

Brown starts out the final round aggressive, punching his way into a takedown attempt. They scramble as Brown fishes for a leg lock, but Chavez powers his way back to his feet and slugs Brown in the chops. A one-two to the body surprises Brown, but “Downtown” goes downtown with another takedown attempt. Chavez stuffs it and nails the damaged calf with a kick to draw a grimace out of Brown. Brown goes up high with a kick, and he starts swinging like a tornado as he backs Chavez against the fence. Chavez tries to throw back at him as they both swing for the fences, but Brown uses the distance to try to take the fight down. Chavez stuffs it, but Brown is on the warpath, chaining punches together and hurting Chavez with a few punches. Along with the punches, Brown kicks with his busted leg, and Chavez protects himself with his back to the wall. Brown drops down for a takedown and is stuffed with ease, so he times a few short elbows before they break. Brown stabs to the body with a kick, and Chavez has clearly slowed as Brown is putting the screws to him. Brown grinds him on the fence and elbows him a few times to force a takedown from Chavez. “The Colombian Warrior” is unable to keep him down for long, as Brown walks up the fence, but Chavez trips his legs out and slams him back down. Brown scrambles and gets to his knees, and while Chavez holds his back, Brown somersaults and puts himself into a worse position. Chavez knees him to the body and starts to ragdoll his man, hitting a suplex and then another takedown as Brown keeps fighting back to his feet. The final horn sounds while Brown is grounded.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brown (29-28 Chavez)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Chavez (30-26 Chavez)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Brown (29-28 Chavez)

The Official Result

Danny Chavez def. T.J. Brown via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Felice Herrig (116) vs. Virna Jandiroba (115.5)

Round 1

Returning to 115 pounds, Herrig (14-8, 5-3 UFC) will be stepping foot in the cage for the first time since late 2018 when she squares off with the former Invicta strawweight queen Jandiroba (15-1, 1-1 UFC). A full 80 percent of Jandiroba’s career wins have come by tapout, while Herrig has never been finished, so we could be in for a fight as referee Marc Goddard takes charge of the Octagon. There is no glove touch, as Herrig walks forward, lands a leg kick, and is instantly taken down by the Brazilian. Jandiroba steps into half guard and keeps her full body weight pressed on her pink-haired foe, looking to set up a possible arm-triangle choke until Herrig kicks her off for a moment. Jandiroba springs back down and Herrig pulls her into her guard, but Jandiroba muscles out, dives down to land a punch and sucks the legs out to keep Herrig grounded. Jandiroba steps over into a three-quarter mount position as she tries to take her back. Herrig rolls, but surrenders mount in the process, so like a shark, “Carcara” starts feasting with vicious ground-and-pound. Jandiroba decides she has softened her opponent up enough and like a bolt of lightning, transitions into an armbar. Herrig tries to defend it but there is no way out, and her elbow hyperextends as she taps out immediately. What a win for Jandiroba, who is now the first fighter to ever stop “Lil Bulldog” across her pro career.

The Official Result

Virna Jandiroba def. Felice Herrig R1 1:44 via Submission (Armbar)

Jim Miller (156) vs. Vinc Pichel (156)

Round 1

Competing atop the preliminary card is the most active fighter in UFC history in Miller (32-14, 1 NC; 21-13, 1 NC UFC) against “From Hell” Pichel (12-2, 5-2 UFC) in the lightweight division. Pichel made his UFC debut in 2012 and this will be his eighth fight with the promotion, while Miller will have competed 23 times in that same span when the night ends. Referee Herb Dean will keep a watchful eye on this preliminary headliner, and there is a touch of gloves before these two get down to it. The two try to find their way in, and Pichel lands first with a left hand. Miller charges back at him and catches him with a left, and nearly clips him with a knee up the middle. Pichel fires back, and lands a body kick. Miller again races towards him with a string of punches, and he ends a combination with a hard leg kick. A sharp uppercut stings Pichel, and Miller tosses a low kick that grazes the cup and halts the action briefly. Miller takes a shot to the cup as well but he fights through it as they swing for the bleachers. Miller walks him down and clinches up, landing a knee to the torso before trying to trip Pichel’s legs out. Miller commits to a single but Pichel keeps them upright, so Miller drills him in the breadbasket with a knee. Miller hacks at him with elbows and pair of knees until Pichel breaks free. Miller flips up a head kick and Pichel blocks it without countering. Miller walks him down with another head kick and a low kick, and Pichel’s hands are by his waist possibly to stop a takedown. The hand position does not help him stuff the takedown that soon follows, and Miller instantly takes Pichel’s back to get his hooks in. “From Hell” tries with all his might to lean to the fence to try to stave off the submission, and he nearly spins out but almost falls into submission danger. Pichel turns about so Miller switches to a guillotine choke, which he uses to take top position as Pichel holds on tight. Miller rolls and traps the calf of his opponent for a calf slicer, but time expires before he can secure a tap.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Miller
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Miller
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Miller

Round 2

They touch gloves at the start of the round, and Pichel rushes in with a head kick but Miller eats it like a sandwich and hits a takedown with relative ease. Miller works him from the top while Pichel scoots back to the fence, and Miller takes the moment to get to half guard and stand up to land some strikes. Pichel kicks off and just misses an upkick, and springs back up to mash Miller against the cage. Pichel changes levels to get Miller down, and his neck is quickly in danger for a guillotine choke. “From Hell” calmly pulls his neck free, and he keeps Miller pressed to the wall while Miller throws his legs up for some submission. Pichel wrests his arms free from what looks like a double armbar, and he steps over into half guard while Miller keeps attacking. Pichel steps over and Miller latches on to a heel hook, and Pichel turns out and nails Miller with a pair of heavy elbows to step into half guard again. Pichel sets up an arm-triangle choke and swipes at Miller’s forehead with a few elbows as he grinds him out. Pichel postures up and lands a punch, but Miller ties him up again. Pichel stays heavy and keeps Miller trapped on his back, landing sporadic punches and racking up control time. Pichel gets off a few more punches as the horn sounds to wrap up the second frame.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pichel
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Pichel
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Pichel

Round 3

The two lightweights greet with one final glove touch, and Pichel rings home a right hand and a body kick before setting up a takedown. Miller tries to defend against it, but he falls to his back as Pichel fishes for a kimura. Miller yanks his arm free, but in the process, Pichel advances to side control and drops down a few elbows as Miller attempts to roll for a leg lock. Pichel steps out of it and circles around to take Miller’s back, landing a few punches and securing his hooks. Miller twists and turns as Pichel hunts for a rear-naked choke, and “A-10” powers his way up and around to go after a guillotine choke while Pichel is on his knees. A wild scramble puts Pichel on his back as Miller starts to put a few punches together. Pichel walks up the cage wall to his knee, and Miller frees a trapped leg to take Pichel’s back and drags him down. Pichel rolls along with Miller in that instance to buck Miller off, and Pichel now has Miller’s back. The exciting grappling continues as they both keep scrambling and get back to their feet. Miller presses him to the fence as he looks for a single, allowing Pichel to knee him in the chin. Another knee from Pichel backs Miller out of the clinch, and Pichel walks forward to land some punches before changing levels for a single leg takedown. Miller stuffs it and gets kneed several times. When they separate, Pichel boots him in the head, and Miller shakes of the cobwebs, pulls guard and cinches up a guillotine choke. It is incredibly tight, and Pichel is in a bad way, but he grits it out and pulls his neck out of the rough position. Pichel lands a few hard shots on top to bloody up his opponent, and the final horn concludes this exciting lightweight scrap.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pichel (29-28 Pichel)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Pichel (29-28 Pichel)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Pichel (29-28 Pichel)

The Official Result

Vinc Pichel def. Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)

John Dodson (136) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (136)

Round 1

To begin the pay-per-view prelims, we are treated to a bantamweight battle of magic vs. science as “The Magician” Dodson (21-11, 10-6 UFC) comes to blows with “The Machine” Dvalishvili (11-4, 4-2 UFC). Drawing the assignment is referee Chris Tognoni, and with a touch of gloves, the 135-pound contenders go at it. Dodson comes out practically sprinting out of his corner, and he darts out of the way from Dvalishvili’s looping punches. The Georgian is jabbing from a long way away, and the two are more interested in feinting and faking than throwing strikes that might come close to landing. Dodson drops low to land a left to the body and backs out. Dvalishvili misses wide with a front kick, and the two stall out for a time. Dodson jumps forward with another left to the body, and he is well out of the way when Dvalishvili shoots in and gets him down. Dodson pops back up and Dvalishvili is putting his full body weight on him as he tries to wrench Dodson down. Dvalishvili knees him in the thigh repeatedly, and lifts Dodson in the air but Dodson stays upright by grabbing the fence. Dvalishvili attempts to trip him down but he cannot get him grounded, so he continues to kick the legs out and knee the thighs. Dvalishvili hammers the back of Dodson’s thighs repeatedly, and Dodson is stuck to the fence taking them one after the next. Dvalishvili spins and tries to ragdoll Dodson, but “The Magician” works his magic to spin out and gain separation. Dvalishvili attempts to land on the break, but Dodson evades the attack and gets back to striking range. Dodson blocks a kick and takes one to the leg, and finally throws more than one strike as he rushes in with four that fall short. Dodson throws a head kick at the end of the round, and Dvalishvili blocks it at the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dvalishvili
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Dvalishvili
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Dvalishvili

Round 2

They touch gloves to open the second, and Dvalishvili glances a leg kick off of his opponent’s leg. Dodson fires a left hand, and Dvalishvili darts out of the way. Dvalishvili grabs a low single and lifts Dodson’s leg up, but Dodson runs backwards to stop the takedown and keeps his balance. When escaping, Dodson nearly bowls over Tognoni, and “The Magician” fires a hard leg kick that draws an instant reaction out of his opponent. Dodson catches him with a knee on the way in, and Dvalishvili picks him up in the air and slams him down, but Dodson jumps back up in an instant to not give Dvalishvili the satisfaction of landing it. Dvalishvili nails Dodson with a spinning back fist and a right hook, and Dodson eats it as Dvalishvili presses him to the fence. Dodson breaks him away and lands a right hand, so Dvalishvili pushes in for a takedown attempt that is also thwarted. Grinding Dodson to the fence, he again elevates and sets Dodson down, and like before, Dodson springs back up without issue. Dodson gets off a low kick, and Dvalishvili presses forward and lands a left hook while attempting another takedown. Dodson is well out of the way when Dvalishvili reaches in, but he does not make his opponent pay for the attempt. Dodson tries to connect with a few punches, and he hits mostly air. Dvalishvili swarms him, and Dodson stands him up and lands a few shots but gets taken down at the tail end of the round. The horn concludes the second.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dvalishvili
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Dodson
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Dvalishvili

Round 3

The two clasp hands at the beginning of the final frame, and they start screaming at each other. Dodson claps him with a few punches, and Dvalishvili comes back with a low kick. Dvalishvili stabs at the body with a front kick, and he pushes forward but gets countered by Dodson. The strikes draw a grin from Dvalishvili, and Dodson again surprises him with a short left counter when Dvalishvili wades towards him. Dvalishvili gets off a right hand as he tries to race in for a takedown, and Dodson is several feet away from the Georgian's grip. Dvalishvili picks him up in the air and sets him down, but he is grounded for merely a second before he returns to his feet miraculously. Dodson lands a low kick, and Dvalishvili fires back with a few punches. Dvalishvili sells out for a takedown attempt from a distance, and Dodson stuffs it with ease and backs off. Dodson stings him with a single left hand, and Dvalishvili shakes it off and comes in to try to strike. He lands with two punches and a low kick, and Dodson is stuck staring at him. Dvalishvili rings him with a straight right and a front kick comes shortly thereafter, and they both land at the same time with hard right hands. They trade single shots, and Dvalishvili comes up short with a spinning back fist. Dvalishvili continues his momentum into a takedown, and he gets Dodson down for an instant. Dodson gets back up and Dvalishvili squeezes him against the fence as precious seconds tick off the clock for Dodson. Dodson swings and misses with a few hooks, and a final exchange between the two ends the fight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dvalishvili (30-27 Dvalishvili)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Dvalishvili (29-28 Dvalishvili)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Dvalishvili (30-27 Dvalishvili)

The Official Result

Merab Dvalishvili def. John Dodson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Herbert Burns (149.5: Missed Weight) vs. Daniel Pineda (146)

Round 1

In a fight unexpectedly bumped to the main card, the other Burns (11-2, 2-0 UFC) brother takes on the returning Pineda (26-13, 2 NC; 3-4 UFC), with the latter getting a spot on the roster again after a failed drug test wiped out two first-round finish victories in the PFL last year. The referee for this 149.5-pound catchweight contest – Burns missed weight badly – is Mark Smith, who will be keeping tabs on a bout where the fighters combine for 35 finishes among their 37 victories. They touch gloves, and Burns opens up with a few punches. Pineda fires back low, and the two start swinging hard. Burns racks him with a knee up the middle, and Pineda clocks him with a right hook. Burns shoots in deep for a takedown, and Pineda calmly walks back to his feet and elbows Burns on the face when Burns tried to take his back. Pineda is bleeding after an early exchange, and he gets up and takes Burns down and wades into the Brazilian’s guard fearlessly. Pineda puts together some ground-and-pound, before stepping over to half guard and hacking at him with some elbows. Burns pushes him away and nearly gets off an upkick, and Pineda wades his way back in with a hard right hand. Burns throws his legs up to hunt for an armbar, and Pineda ignores it and punches Burns in the face a few times. Burns has his toes interlocked in the fence as he protects himself, and Smith slaps his foot away. Pineda slams down some powerful punches and shrugs off the offensive guard to keep landing shots. Any time Burns looks to set up a strike, Pineda blasts him with a few punches to break up the opportunity. Pineda lets rip a massive right hand that sends Burns falling backwards, but Burns wears it well and tries to throw up a triangle. Pineda laughs it off by busting Burns in the chops again and again with punches and elbows. With his back planted on the ground, Burns throws a few elbows but Pineda gives them back twofold. The horn sounds to end the first.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Pineda
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Pineda
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Pineda

Round 2

The two men greet in the center of the cage, and then immediately start trading. Burns lands a right hand and transitions quickly to a takedown attempt, landing it and planting Pineda on the canvas. Burns starts dropping bombs, and Pineda rolls to get up and stands up, but Burns latches on to his back. The Brazilian pulls him back down to the canvas, so Pineda elbows the thigh in the same spot over a dozen times. Burns gives up the back position to pursue mount, and Pineda keeps two-on-one wrist control to stave it off. “The Blaze” steps through and hunts for an arm-triangle choke, but Pineda irritates him with constant punches from off his back. Burns takes mount and gets off a shoulder strike, but Pineda kicks him off and the two scramble wildly. Burns tosses him down, and Pineda spins about and manages to secure the top position in half guard. “The Pit” immediately rains down right hands to pass to side control. Pineda ties up Burns’ arm in a crucifix position, and he lets an elbow rip. Pineda has him trapped, and he is pounding down elbows and punches while Burns cannot protect his face from the punishment. Smith asks Burns to protect himself, and Pineda pours it on and is smashing him with relentless elbows and punches. One nasty elbow slashes open an eyebrow, and the damage continues to mount as Smith is taking a close eye on the battered Brazilian. A few more destructive strikes are all it takes for Smith to intervene, and Pineda has scored a huge upset all while becoming the first man to finish the Brazilian.

The Official Result

Daniel Pineda def. Herbert Burns R2 4:37 via TKO (Elbows and Punches)

Junior dos Santos (238.5) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (254)

Round 1

In a pivotal heavyweight rumble, former champ dos Santos (21-7, 15-6 UFC) will try to stave off the wild offense from Rozenstruik (10-1, 4-1 UFC). The two strikers hold 24 knockouts among their 31 career wins, but thankfully our heavyweight referee Dan Miragliotta will man the gates as the two respectfully touch gloves. The two strikers come out cautiously, respecting the power that each man holds. Dos Santos starts off with a low kick, and backs away to avoid any potential counter. Rozenstruik fires off one of his own that is much more emphatic. The former champ throws a punch to the body, and Rozenstruik replies with a quick inside low kick. Dos Santos commits to another punch, and Rozenstruik again targets the lead leg as his counter. “Cigano” whips up a head kick, and Rozenstruik blocks it but is moved backwards by the impact. Dos Santos reaches with a right hand, and Rozenstruik comes back at him with a punch and a low kick that clicks off the cup. The action does not halt as Miragliotta warns the Suriname fighter to be careful. Dos Santos sells out with a massive right hook, and Rozenstruik rolls with it and quickly replies with a low kick. Dos Santos targets the body and almost on command, Rozenstruik gives him back a low kick. Dos Santos punches him once in the belly, and this time Rozenstruik waits a moment to give him back a leg kick. This same exchange repeats itself. Dos Santos throws up a kick, and Rozenstruik catches it and pushes him to the cage wall with punches. Dos Santos separates and flings a massive right hand that glances off his intended target, and it is one-and-done. He spins and misses with a wheel kick, and Rozenstruik walks forward to land a left and a kick that smashes the cup. The action stops for that one, and the Brazilian walks it off. Dos Santos ends the round with one final spinning kick, and it partially lands as the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 dos Santos
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 dos Santos
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 dos Santos

Round 2

They touch gloves to open the second, and Rozenstruik slaps the lead leg of the Brazilian with a kick. He charges in with a few punches, and dos Santos dances out of the way without absorbing much in the way of those strikes. Dos Santos flicks out a jab, and like clockwork, Rozenstruik kicks the lead leg. Rozenstruik kicks the outside of the leg and it gets checked as dos Santos reaches with a left. Rozenstruik comes up short with a head kick, and the action slows while the two sluggers try to find their range again. Rozenstruik connects with a few short leg kicks, and the kicks disrupt dos Santos’ attacks on the way in. A left hand comes across the bow from dos Santos, and Rozenstruik eats it like an acai bowl. Dos Santos rings his bell with a hard right hand, and a left to the body follows as he avoids a Rozenstruik counter. The occasional leg kick from Rozenstruik comes, but this is much of his offense until dos Santos attacks him. The Brazilian fighter avoids a blitz, but when they reset, Rozenstruik clips him with a right hand. Rozenstruik lunges with a left, takes a punch on the jaw, and lets go with a right hand that practically lifts “Cigano” off his feet. Dos Santos falls over, and Rozenstruik swarms him with storm of punches. The Brazilian manages to get back to his feet somehow, but it does not take more than a few more booming shots from “Bigi Boy” to put dos Santos down for the count. Miragliotta leaps in to stop the fight as dos Santos is done like dinner, and this is a statement win for the former kickboxer. As a defeated dos Santos sits against the cage in disappointment, Rozenstruik joins him and they respectfully talk about what just transpired.

The Official Result

Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Junior dos Santos R2 3:47 via TKO (Punches)

Sean O'Malley (136) vs. Marlon Vera (136)

Round 1

Serving as the co-main event is a bantamweight tussle between unbeaten phenom O’Malley (12-0, 4-0 UFC) and the hard-charging “Chito” Vera (15-6-1, 9-5 UFC). This potentially high-paced fight will be officiated by referee Herb Dean, and with the trash talk between the two ahead of their meeting, there is no touch of gloves as these two are looking to make a statement. Vera kicks the lead leg early, and O’Malley fires right back at him with one. They throw kicks at the same time, and O’Malley’s longer leg reaches him first. O’Malley targets the lead leg again, and Vera returns fire with a similar strike. They clash knees as they step in, and separate to allow for O’Malley to whip a hard low kick. Vera steps in with a stomp kick to the knee, followed by a front kick that just misses. O’Malley drills him to the body with a kick, and Vera absorbs it flush and looks stunned for a moment. “Sugar” sticks out a few sweet jabs to back Vera off, and Vera replies with a low kick. O’Malley tries to sneak away, and he stumbles, so Vera stands in front of him, shrugs, and then flings a high kick that O’Malley can barely block. Vera rips the body with a kick but does not land much else of note in his combination, and O’Malley spins away, trips and falls over. O’Malley’s leg is hurt somehow, and Vera immediately targets it with a kick. O’Malley is retreating to the fence as Vera walks him down and kicks the leg again. O’Malley’s poise has completely changed, and Vera calmly stalks him down to wing another head kick. As O’Malley tries to escape, he nearly trips again and tries to time a counter. O’Malley strings together a stream of punches in what could be a last ditch effort as he appears to have trouble standing, and after he connects with a few, he falls down while backing away. Vera attacks with all his might as he leaps on top of the unbeaten fighter, blasting him with a left hand and a deadly elbow. “Chito” only needs three more ferocious elbows to force Dean to stop the fight, and O’Malley rolls around in obvious pain. What an unexpected end to the undefeated “Sugar Show,” although an injury very clearly contributed to what some may call an early stoppage.

The Official Result

Marlon Vera def. Sean O’Malley R1 4:40 via TKO (Punches and Elbows)

Stipe Miocic (233) vs. Daniel Cormier (236)

Round 1

In the UFC 252 headliner, this one is for all the marbles in the form of a trilogy match between historic heavyweights as Miocic (19-3, 13-3 UFC) locks horns with Cormier (22-2, 1 NC; 11-2, 1 NC UFC) likely for the final time. The series is tied with each man earning a knockout, and the winner could cement himself as one of if not the greatest heavyweight in company history. There is nothing but respect between the two, as referee Marc Goddard nods when the fighters shake hands to seal the cage. “DC” starts out by taking the center of the Octagon, and Miocic kicks his leg from a distance. Miocic pump-fakes a few times to throw off Cormier, and then lands a thudding leg kick. Miocic sticks out a jab that snaps Cormier’s head back, and “DC” tries to come back with one but comes up shy of the mark. Cormier misses with a leg kick, and Miocic fires back with two and then a reaching jab. Miocic rips the body with a left hand, and “DC” scoops him and sets him down. Miocic scrambles back to his feet, and Cormier holds to a head lock as he knees the champ in the head. Miocic tries to knee his way out, but Cormier is holding his full body weight on him until Miocic muscles out of the position. Miocic jabs to the body and then sticks out a front kick with his toes extended to the midsection. The champ catches him with a left hand on the way in, and then follows it with a one-two that Cormier is able to block. Miocic works the body with a right, and takes a heavy low kick that nearly spins Miocic around. “DC” misses with a front kick and takes a jab to the midsection before eating a right hand over the top. Cormier cracks him with a right hand and backs Miocic away. Cormier extends his fingers when Miocic advances, and jabs Miocic in the eye, and Goddard pauses the action. Goddard warns Cormier about leaving his fingers outstretched, and when the fight starts up again, they trade leg kicks. Cormier rings a kick off the cup, and Goddard does not see it so Miocic has to walk it off. “DC” rips the body with his own punch, and Miocic responds with a powerful right. The champ lands another, and then a left hand that stumbles Cormier. The former two-division king clinches up with him to try to land strikes that got Miocic out of their first encounter, and Miocic wears them well and backs away. They close the distance and Cormier clocks him with a right hand that buckles the knees. Miocic keeps his balance, lands a low kick, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Miocic
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Cormier
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Cormier

Round 2

They clap hands to open the second, and Miocic jabs the torso with a kick. Cormier responds by kicking the knee, and Miocic kicks the cup of his opponent to halt the action briefly. Miocic stings him with an uppercut and a few punches have Cormier reeling, but Cormier defends himself. Miocic fakes for a takedown to get his opponent’s attention, and they back off. Trading leg kicks, Cormier steps forward and lands a trio of hard shots in the clinch. Miocic gets out of harm’s way and kicks to the body, all while avoiding a lethal hook that whizzes by his head. Cormier connects with a left hand, and he ducks the counter that comes back at him. Miocic scores a right as Cormier rolls with it, and he pulls back to not get struck by any return fire. Miocic kicks low and gets jabbed for his effort, and “DC” kicks his leg. Miocic tries to paw out a jab and “DC” works the lead leg and body with kicks. A stutter-step left hand from Cormier catches Miocic standing still, and Miocic replies in kind with a left hand that stuns him back. “DC” jabs hard, and they both kick each other in the body. They clinch up, and Miocic nearly hits a trip but breaks free when Cormier tries to unload on him. The champ tries and fails to trip him down, and he is greeted by a stream of jabs and a follow-up right hand that stings Miocic. Cormier fakes a takedown and wings a right hand that lands on the shoulder. Miocic storms forward and Cormier ducks his attack and kicks him hard to the leg. Cormier delivers a stern left hand to the body, and Miocic walks him down and hurts him with a few punches. Miocic lets loose a few right hands that take the legs out from his opponent, and he climbs on top to try to secure a stoppage in the waning seconds of the round. The champ swings hard but is too close to Cormier to get off much in the way of damage, and the horn sounds to save Cormier from an unpleasant position.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Miocic
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Miocic
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Miocic

Round 3

They again touch gloves in the beginning of the round, and Cormier does not appear to have his legs fully beneath him. Miocic tags him from a distance, and evades a monstrous looping right hand. Miocic targets the body with a long punch and is now walking down Cormier with heavy punches. They clash together as Miocic starts unloading on him, and Cormier is ready to unleash a thunderous right hand to shut the lights out. He cannot land it, as Miocic knees him in the face to force them to separate. Miocic does not let him off the hook and lands a few punches to push “DC” against the cage. The champ knees him while they are tightly clinched, and Cormier asks for referee intervention so Miocic delivers a spinning back elbow to the midsection as they break free. Cormier gets off a jab and a low kick, so Miocic kicks him to the body and swarms him with punches. He again backs Cormier to the fence and starts letting rip a few punches, but mashes Cormier against the cage wall to stall out. Miocic hits him with his shoulder a few times, slowly grinding out “DC” with short punches and knees. Miocic keeps his body weight pressed on the former champ, and lifts up a knee and blasts him with a right on the break. Cormier eats it like a steak while Miocic stalks him down calmly. Cormier ducks down to wing punches, and Miocic is out of the way but now it is “DC” who is advancing as he takes a jab to the body. When they close distance, Cormier zings him with a short right, and Miocic gives him one back to the body. They start swinging wildly and both hurt one another, and Cormier complains he was poked to the eye -- the finger was deep into Cormier’s eye socket. The round ends with slight confusion.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Miocic
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Miocic
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Miocic

Round 4

Cormier’s eye is closing because of the bad eye poke, and he comes out swinging kicks to the legs. He connects with a right hand, and Miocic delivers back a low kick. They come to blows right in front of one another, landing a few stiff shots in the form of some powerful right hands. Miocic bullies him into the cage and leans on him, forcing Cormier to try to get off a few punches to the body before breaking. Miocic slips a punch and cracks him with a right hand, and he lands another as Cormier leans over to try to avoid it -- but “DC” may not be able to see them coming with his partly closed eye. Cormier backs off and throws a low kick that is partially checked, and he misses a one-two and takes a similar combination from Miocic. The champ clips him on the end of a left hand, and “DC” clinches up to drag him down but Miocic is the one that pushes him back. Cormier closes in after they break to land a few right hands, and they separate with Cormier connecting with a left hook to the body. Miocic winds up with a big right hand and stings Cormier, but Cormier bites down on his mouthpiece and blasts Miocic right back. Cormier gets in another right hand and Miocic absorbs it without issue, only to press Cormier to the cage. They trade knees in the clinch, and Cormier attempts a trip and although he cannot get it, he is able to fight out of the position. Miocic clips him with a left hook, and he takes a low kick for his efforts. Miocic wades in again to clinch up, and tries to time a right hand on the break to no avail. Cormier loops a right over the top and it gets blocked. Both nail each other with big punches, and “DC” ends the round with a stiff jab.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Cormier
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Cormier
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Cormier

Round 5

They embrace in the center of the cage to open the fifth and final round. Miocic checks a kick as he walks forward, and “DC” jabs to the body. Miocic does the same, and they trade those single punches again. Cormier flicks out a few jabs followed by hooks to get Miocic’s attention, and Miocic returns fire with a similar combination that lands just a little harder. Miocic connects with a few punches at the end of a jab, and Cormier walks him down and clinches up. Although Cormier pushes him to the cage wall, Miocic reverses him to get some knees off while keeping “DC” high and tight. Miocic keeps him trapped on the fence as time ticks away while he racks up control time, until Cormier shoves him away and tries to blast him with a right hand. Miocic fakes for a takedown and lets fly a few punches, leading Cormier to respond and crack the champ. Miocic stumbles backwards to the cage wall as Cormier unloads on him. Miocic spins out and drills Cormier with some fierce punches, and they separate both having taken some damage. Cormier tries to clinch up again, and Miocic pushes him back to the fence. Miocic works the body and then the head as they break, and Cormier shrugs off oncoming strikes to throw bombs. Miocic pops him a few times and charges in for a takedown attempt, and Cormier cracks him as he stuffs it. The two jockey for position against the cage, and Cormier gets a few punches off that get Miocic’s attention. Miocic grinds him back to the wall to stall out the remainder of the fight. The scores could be very interesting for this fun heavyweight rubber match. What a fight that was, and we look forward to seeing you next week for the next fight night!

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Miocic (49-46 Miocic)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Miocic (48-47 Miocic)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Miocic (48-47 Miocic)

The Official Result

Stipe Miocic def. Daniel Cormier via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)

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