In battle of ex-wrestlers, Cormier KOs Miocic at UFC 226

In a battle featuring two big men with amateur wrestling backgrounds at UFC 226 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, it all came down to a knockout ... with a third former collegiate mat star entering the Octagon to challenge the winner.

UFC light-heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier -- a two-time Olympian and NCAA All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State -- knocked out UFC heavyweight titleholder -- and former Cleveland State matman -- Stipe Miocic at 4:33 of the first round of their top-of-the-card bout.

Daniel Cormier
Immediately after becoming a two-division UFC champ, Cormier was challenged by former UFC, WWE and collegiate champ Brock Lesnar, who as put it, "returned to the heel role he enjoyed in the octagon during his UFC championship fight against rival Frank Mir, berating Miocic and Cormier." continued, "The WWE heavyweight champ then entered the octagon and immediately shoved the new UFC champ. The two then engaged in a shoving and shouting match that more closely resembled a pre-fabricated pro-wrestling angle than a legitimate faceoff between combatants."

The new holder of both the heavyweight and light-heavyweight titles responded after Lesnar got physical, saying, "Push me now, you go to sleep later."

The 2000 NCAA heavyweight champ for the University of Minnesota also dished out some trash talk.

"Miocic is a piece of (expletive) ... " Lesnar shouted. "D.C, I'm coming for you, (expletive)."
The Cormier-Miocic headliner featured more than a war of words.

"For the first few minutes of Daniel Cormier's heavyweight superfight with Stipe Miocic, size appeared to matter as the two locked up against the fence," according to USA Today's reporting, hinting at the height and weight difference between the two.

"But when Cormier got free, his power evened the score with a short right hook that knocked out Miocic (18-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) and made him the second simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history (joining Conor McGregor)."

The two former wrestlers incorporated their boxing skills throughout the less-than-five-minute bout.

"In the latter part of the first round, it was Cormier who was landing more punches and getting clinches," MMA website reported. "Eventually, he found a home for one of his punches at close range, as a hard right hook landed on Miocic, dropping him instantly. Cormier followed up with a few more punches until referee Marc Goddard stepped in to stop the action."

With the win, Cormier not only gained a second UFC title belt but enhanced his record to (21-1 overall in his MMA career going back to September 2009, and 10-1 in UFC ... while Miocic gives up his heavyweight title he had held for just over two years, dropping to 18-3 overall, and 12-3 in UFC competition.

What's next? Perhaps Cormier and Lesnar will actually battle for the UFC heavyweight title.

A trio of accomplished amateur wrestlers

As stated earlier, Cormier, Miocic and Lesnar all sport real wrestling credentials.

Cormier, a native of Lafayette, La., won three Louisiana state wrestling titles for Northside High School. He then headed off to Colby Community College, where he won back-to-back NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) titles at 189 pounds in 1998 and 1999. Cormier then moved on to Oklahoma State for two years, where he earned NCAA All-American honors as a senior by making it to the 184-pound finals, losing to Iowa State's Cael Sanderson in the title match.

Miocic grew up in the Cleveland area, placing second at 215 pounds at the Ohio high school state championships. He stayed close to home, continuing his education at Cleveland State, where he ultimately qualified for the 2003 NCAA Division I championships, but lost his first two matches and failed to place.

Lesnar was raised in rural South Dakota, attending Webster High School (alma mater for fellow Minnesota grad -- and emerging MMA star -- Logan Storley). Big Brock continued his on-the-mat career at Bismarck State College in North Dakota, where he won a NJCAA heavyweight title in 2008. Lesnar was discovered at the Bison Open by J Robinson, then head wrestling coach at University of Minnesota, which propelled the Gopher big man into the consciousness of the national wrestling community ... and not just for his muscular physique. In his two years at Minnesota, Lesnar was a two-time Big Ten heavyweight champ, and a two-time NCAA All-American, as a runner-up at the 1999 NCAA championships then as national champ (defeating Iowa's Wes Hand) in 2000.


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hildafarida (1) about 11 months ago
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Keyser Soze83 (1) about 11 months ago
Not a professional fighter so I don't know how much this affects a fight but, damn when they stopped because Stipe got hit in the eye and when they showed the slowmo DC jabbed him in the eye and then slid the rest of his fingers across Stipe's eye. That seemed dirty as hell to me and right then I went from liking DC, but wanting Stipe to win to hating DC because that was a bitch move