In one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year, Stipe Miocic will attempt to take the Heavyweight Championship from Daniel Cormier in a rematch. The former champ was stopped in one round against Cormier a year ago. He attempts to take back his belt after a year’s layoff. Also on the card is the return of Nate Diaz after almost three days of a layoff. In his return, he’ll face Anthony Pettis. Along with those two fights is 10 other fights. Stay tuned on this post for updates throughout the night.

Bout 1: Sabina Mazo (6-1) vs. Shana Dobson (3-2) (Flyweight)

Starting off the evening was a flyweight bout between Sabina Mazo and Shana Dobson. Dobson has been absent from MMA for a year due to injury, making her return with this fight. Very early in the fight, Mazo hurt Dobson with a kick to the mid-section. She came forward with punches, and then landed a takedown. After Mazo landed punches from above for a while, Dobson tried to take her back. It worked for a second before Mazo brought them back to the position they were in. They stood up in clinch up against the cage, but Mazo took them back down shortly after. Mazo utilized her kicks quite a bit at the start of the second round. Dobson searched for a takedown but couldn’t get one, being put in a standing clinch against the cage. With two minutes left in the second round, Mazo got a takedown. They went back to stand-up as the round concluded. Halfway through the final round, Dobson was put up against the cage and was getting hit with tons of knees. Referee Frank Trigg was getting closer, warning Dobson that she needs to fight back. Mazo got a trip takedown with just for 90 seconds left. The fight ran out of time as Mazo landed punches from above. The judges gave Sabina Mazo the win in very decisive fashion (30-24, 30-25 & 30-25).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Mazo 10 10 10 30
Dobson 9 9 8 26

Bout 2: Brandon Davis (10-6) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (15-8) (Bantamweight)

The next fight was a bantamweight battle between UFC veteran Kyung Ho Kang and Brandon Davis. In the first round, Kang was landing good jabs. Davis was targeting the left leg. Kang rocked Davis with a right jab, then took his back with a minute left in the round. Kang switched over into full mount before the round concluded. In the second round, Davis tried for an armbar to counter a takedown attempt by Kang. That didn’t work, with Kang taking top position moments later. When they went back to stand-up, Davis was swinging for the fences. His fought without his mouthguard for a minute or so. They went to the groudn early in the final round after Davis slipped and fell after throwing a kick. When they were on the ground in side control for a minute or so, the referee stood them up. The commentators seemed to be in disbelief about that. Kang got another takedown moments later. Davis got up and threw some punches before Kang landed a third takedown. The fight ended with Kang in top position. In a split decision, Kyung Ho Kang got the victory (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Davis 9 10 9 28
Kang 10 9 10 29

Bout 3: Hannah Cifers (9-3) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-5) (Strawweight)

Finishing off the Fight Pass early prelims was Hannah Cifers and Jodie Esquibel in a strawweight fight. The first round of the fight was a slow one from both fighters. It was strictly stand-up. Esquibel got a takedown early in the second round. They were stood back up, although Cifers got another takedown right after. Cifers tried for an omoplata but couldn’t get it. They went back to stand-up with a minute left in the round. Halfway through the final round, Esquibel got another takedown. The fight went the distance with Hannah Cifers getting the victory (30-28, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Cifers 10 10 9 30
Esquibel 9 9 10 27

Bout 4: Manny Bermudez (14-0) vs. Casey Kenney (12-1-1) (Catchweight 140lbs)

Kicking off the prelims on ESPN, Manny Bermudez put his undefeated record up against Casey Kenney in a 140 pound fight. Bermudez got a takedown after a minute of the first round. Both fighters had a fair share of control on the ground in the round. With more close ground fighting in the second round, Kenney tried for a choke. It was obvious that both fighters preferred being on the ground. Near the end of the second round, Bermudez had some good striking when they went back to stand-up. Kenney started to look very fatigued. Bermudez brought it to the ground and tried for a choke but Kenney got out and took top position as the round ended. On the ground in the final round, Bermudez tried for a guillotine but couldn’t get it. All three judges had it in favour of Casey Kenney (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). Throughout it was a close competition on the ground.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Bermudez 10 9 10 29
Kenney 9 10 9 28

Bout 5: Drakkar Klose (10-1-1) vs. Christos Giagos (17-7) (Lightweight)

Continuing on the prelims was Drakkar Klose versus Christos Giagos. The first round was a quiet one, with Giagos doing most of the work. Klose landed a good shot right at the for at the end of the first round. On the ground in the second round, Klose was put in a rear naked choke. When they went back to stand-up, Klose was landing tons of punches. He got a trip takedown and took top position with a hammerfist. In the final round Klose looked like the fresher fighter. Klose continued to apply the pressure in the final round with striking. With a minute left in the final round, Klose picked up Giagos and did quite the ceremonial slam to the ground. Both fighters traded punches as the final round ended. The judges all were in agreement that Drakkar Klose had won the fight (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Klose 9 10 10 29
Giagos 10 9 9 28

Bout 6: Raphael Assuncao (27-6) (#3) vs. Cory Sandhagen (11-1) (#9) (Bantamweight)

In the first fight of the evening with ranked fighters, Cory Sandhagen fought Raphael Assuncao. Sandhagen was frequently the fighter coming forward with strikes in the first round. Assuncao wasn’t doing much in the first round, although he didn’t leave himself open to a ton of strikes. In the second round, Assuncao caught a leg kick and turned it into a takedown. Sandhagen was able to take control for most of the time on the ground in the second round. Assuncao got another takedown after a minute of the final round. They got back up immediately. Assuncao got a few more takedowns as the round continued, but they never stayed on the ground. The fight went in favour of Cory Sandhagen (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28). This was the highest profile win that Sandhagen got in his career up until this point.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Assuncao 9 9 10 28
Sandhagen 10 10 9 29

Bout 7: Devonte Smith (10-1) vs. Khama Worthy (14-6) (Lightweight)

Finishing off the preliminary section of the card was Devonte Smith and Khama Worthy in a lightweight competition. Worthy came into this fight was a steep underdog. This was also his UFC debut. Halfway through the first round there was a pause because Worthy was poked in the eye. The crowd started to boo as the first round was closing out. Both fighters were very methodical through the first few minutes. Worthy landed a combo of punches which dropped Smith, then finished the fight on the ground. The fighter who took the fight on less than a week’s time made a lot of underdog betters happy tonight. He asked for a performance bonus in the post-fight interview since he’s the first finish of the evening. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Smith
Worthy

Bout 8: Derek Brunson (19-7) (#8) vs. Ian Heinisch (13-1) (#10) (Middleweight)

The PPV started off with middleweight gatekeeper Derek Brunson facing up and coming fighter Ian Heinisch. Right off the bat, Heinisch opened with punches and a clean head kick which had Brunson in trouble. Brunson clinched up which stopped the momentum from the very start. They went back to stand-up. Brunson tried for a takedown with over a minute left in the round. Heinisch stayed hopping on one foot while throwing punches. He was able to avoid being taken to the ground. Brunson failed to score another takedown as the round ended. Heinisch tried for a takedown in the second round but Brunson stuffed it. Heinisch looked more tired in the second round, getting hit more in stand-up. In between rounds the crowd erupted with boos as Colby Covington walked into the venue. Both fighters were quite tired in the final round. Brunson was dictating the fight through the final round. The fight went all 15 minutes, with Derrick Brunson getting the unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Brunson 9 10 10 29
Heinisch 10 9 9 28

Bout 9: Sodiq Yusuff (9-1) vs. Gabriel Benitez (21-6) (Featherweight)

In the next main card fight, Sodiq Yusuff, a prospect from the Contender Series fought Gabriel Benitez. Yusuff was in control from the start, with powerful strikes making Benitez backtrack. Halfway through the round Benitez landed some strikes that had Yusuff in trouble. It seemed like both fighters were taking turns dictating the fight. With a minute left in the round, Yusuff landed a right hook which dropped Benitez. He landed lots of shots on the ground before referee Herb Dean stepped in. He was in trouble during moments in the fight, but his power to finish the fight got him the win. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Yusuff
Benitez

Bout 10: Yoel Romero (13-3) (#2) vs. Paulo Costa (12-0) (#7) (Middleweight)

In a real middleweight division superfight, Yoel Romero faced Paulo Costa in the next bout. Romero landed a high kick in the first minute and then got a takedown, but Costa got up right after. Romero was clipped with a punch after a minute of the fight, but when he got up he dropped Costa with a punch. He stood back up and went back to stand-up. Romero stayed on the outside of the octagon while Costa was coming forward. After being up against the cage for a while, Romero came forward with a flurry of punches. The action was paused after Romero was kneed in the groin. They resumed after a minute or two of a break. Romero tried for a takedown but it was blocked, with Costa landing punches to the body while stuffing it. Back on the feet, both fighters were eating hard shots. Costa seemed to be controlling the second round Romero was backtracking throughout the round. Romero threw a lot of jabs. Romero scored a takedown in the final 10 seconds of the second round. The crowd was cheering in appreciation before the final round started. There was a pause due to Costa getting poked in the eye. After they traded punches for a few minutes, they started taunting. Costa saluted Romero and stuck his tongue out. Romero had strung together some good combinations. Romero got a takedown again in the finale seconds of the round. The fight went the distance, with the crowd cheering quite a bit when it ended. The judges all favoured Paulo Costa (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). The crowd was booing after the result was announced. He called out the winner between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Romero 9 9 10 28
Costa 10 10 9 29

Bout 11: Nate Diaz (19-11) vs. Anthony Pettis (22-8) (#7) (Welterweight)

In a long awaited return, Nate Diaz fought Anthony Pettis in the co-main event of the evening. Diaz’s last fight was his sequel bout against Conor McGregor, in the summer of 2016. Pettis has stayed active through that time, recently defeating Stephen Thompson via superman punch. Diaz took a takedown with 90 seconds left in the round, thought Pettis tried for a guillotine from it. Diaz got out of it in short time. Diaz took the back of Pettis twice. He was completely dominant on the ground. After a couple minutes in the second round, the referee paused the fight so that a doctor could check an eye of Diaz. He said he was fine, so they resumed. Diaz landed a good knee to the head and then a hard elbow in clinch. Up against the cage, Pettis was getting hurt by strikes. Diaz was landing punches until the last moment of the round. Up against the cage again, Diaz was landing punches and knees that dropped Pettis. Diaz took the back of Pettis, but Pettis flipped around. Diaz continued to be in control on the ground. With 30 seconds left, he tried for a rear naked choke. Pettis escaped as the fight ended. Diaz was cut around his right eye. Nate Diaz walked away with a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28). After the fight, Diaz called out Jorge Masvidal, saying he’s a gangster but not like him.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Diaz 10 10 10 30
Pettis 9 9 9 27

Bout 12: Daniel Cormier (22-1) © vs. Stipe Miocic (#1) (18-3) (UFC Heavyweight Championship)

Finally, in the main event of the evening, Daniel Cormier faced Stipe Miocic in a fight for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. This rematch is the second time DC attempted to defend his Heavyweight Championship. Both fighters threw leg kicks in the first minute. Cormier started to dip into the pocket with some punches, then backing up. He shot for a single leg takedown after a few punches. Cormier held Miocic up high for a few moments before dumping him onto the canvas. In top position, Cormier landed punches to the mid-section. On the back of Miocic, Cormier landed hammerfists. Cormier would land punches after grabbing the hands of Miocic. Cormier started coming forward more, but started get clipped with punches. They clinched against the cage after both fighters landed hard shots. Miocic started to utilize his reach advantage more with jabs. Upon replay it became obvious that Miocic was poked in the eye during the round. Miocic tried for a takedown in the opening minute of the third round but couldn’t secure it. They continued to practically take turns landing shots. Miocic put Cormier up against the cage in a standing clinch. Miocic got a takedown later in the round. They got back up wand went back to striking with a minute left in the round. Both fighters seemed very fatigued. Miocic was coming forward throughout the fourth round. Miocic hurt Cormier with a with a punch which stunned him, then dropped him with a few more. After numerous strikes, referee Herb Dean stepped in to end the fight. Stipe Miocic has gotten his UFC Heavyweight Championship back. Cormier said that he has to make an educated decision about his career moving forward.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Cormier 10 10 9
Miocic 9 9 10

UFC’s next show is on the 31st in Shenzen, China, with Weili Zhang challenging UFC Strawweight Champion Jessica Andrade. That show will be broadcasted on the ESPN+ platform. Before then, UFC’s final two episodes of the Contender Series will air on Tuesday at 8 PM Eastern Time.