UFC 252: Marlon Vera stuns Sean O’Malley; Jairzinho Rozenstruik impresses

MMA

One more fight. That’s what Daniel Cormier is promising. And it doesn’t come any bigger than his UFC 252 main event vs. Stipe Miocic on Saturday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Cormier (22-2, 1 NC) will close a legendary MMA career by challenging Miocic (19-3) for the heavyweight title. This fight caps one of the most memorable trilogies in combat sports history. Cormier won the title from Miocic via knockout in 2018. Miocic regained the belt last summer with a fourth-round TKO.

ESPN has Miocic ranked as the No. 4 pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world and Cormier is No. 6. Both men are surefire future UFC Hall of Famers. UFC president Dana White has said that there is no debate that Miocic vs. Cormier 3 will decide the greatest heavyweight in MMA history.

In the co-main event, undefeated prospect Sean O’Malley takes on Marlon Vera in a pivotal bantamweight matchup. O’Malley (12-0) has won twice this year by first-round KO/TKO and is one of the hottest prospects in the sport. Vera (15-6-1) was on a five-fight winning streak prior to his last bout, a very close split-decision loss to Song Yadong in May.

Also on the card, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik meet in a key heavyweight battle. ESPN has dos Santos ranked No. 5 at heavyweight in MMA and Rozenstruik at No. 9. Plus, Merab Dvalishvili meets John Dodson in a bantamweight fight and Felice Herrig returns from a two-year injury absence to face former Invicta FC strawweight champion Virna Jandiroba.

Marc Raimondi, Brett Okamoto and Jeff Wagenheim recap the action as it happens in Las Vegas.


Fight lineup:

UFC heavyweight title fight: Stipe Miocic (c) (19-3, 13-3 in the UFC, +100) vs. Daniel Cormier (22-2, 1 NC; 11-2, 1 NC UFC, -120)
Men’s bantamweight: Sean O’Malley (12-0, 4-0 UFC, -300) vs. Marlon Vera (15-6-1, 9-5 UFC, +250)
Heavyweight: Junior Dos Santos (21-7, 15-6 UFC, +110) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-1, 4-1 UFC, -130)
Men’s featherweight: Herbert Burns (11-2, 2-0 UFC, -265) vs. Daniel Pineda (26-13, 3-4 UFC, +225)
Men’s bantamweight: John Dodson (22-11, 10-6 UFC, +210) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (11-4, 4-2 UFC, -250)
Lightweight: Jim Miller 32-14, 22-13 1 NC UFC, +105) vs. Vinc Pichel (12-2, 5-2 UFC, -125)
Strawweight: Felice Herrig (14-8, 5-3 UFC, +250) vs. Virna Jandiroba (15-1, 1-1 UFC, -300)
Men’s featherweight: TJ Brown (14-7, 0-1 UFC, -150) vs. Danny Chavez (10-3, 0-0 UFC, +130)
Strawweight: Ashley Yoder (7-5, 2-4 UFC, +140) vs. Livinha Souza (13-2, 2-1 UFC, -160)
Heavyweight: Chris Daukaus (8-3, 0-0 UFC, +100) vs. Parker Porter (10-5, 0-0 UFC, -120)
Lightweight: Kai Kamaka (7-2, 0-0 UFC, -210) vs. Tony Kelley (5-1, 0-0 UFC, +180)

(c) = defending champion

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