Cormier, new UFC heavyweight champion, KOs Miocic in round 1

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DANIEL “DC” Cormier enhanced his “one of the best” legacy after becoming a two-division champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), defeating Stipe Miocic by knockout in the opening round for the heavyweight title at “UFC 226: The Super Fight” on Sunday (Manila time) to add to his light heavyweight gold.

Showing aggressiveness and crisp striking right from the get-go, Mr. Cormier did early damage to former champion Miocic and set him up with a solid counter right that instantly put the lights out on Mr. Miocic.

With the first round winding up, Mr. Cormier caught Mr. Miocic with a solid right off a clinch that sent the latter to the canvas.

Sensing he had his opponent hurt, Mr. Cormier followed it up with a series of punches before the referee stopped the contest at the 4:48 mark of the opening round.

Mr. Cormier (21-1), with the win, stopped Mr. Miocic’s impressive run of three successful title defenses.

Mr. Lesnar, who was at the venue at T-Mobile Arena, nearly came to blows with Mr. Cormier when he was called inside the Octagon.

As two-division world champion, Mr. Cormier joined the ranks of UFC legends Randy Couture, BJ Penn, Conor McGregor and Georges St-Pierre.

Meanwhile in the co-main event, Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis defeated number one heavyweight title contender Francis “The Predator” Ngannou by unanimous decision in a rather uneventful encounter that had the Las Vegas crowd booing for nearly the entirety of the contest.

The fight got to a slow start with both fighters feeling out one another in the first two rounds with occasional tagging with kicks and strikes.

The lack of activity prompted referee Herb Dean to halt the contest with a minute left in the second round to warn both fighters about it.

In the third round both fighters showed more aggressiveness but not really enough to spark the expected fireworks between the explosive heavyweights and leaving the outcome to the scorecards.

When the decision was read, Mr. Lewis’s hand was raised, winner by unanimous decision, 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.

The win was the second straight for Mr. Lewis (20-5) while the loss was the second in a row for Mr. Ngannou (11-3).

In other fights at UFC 226, welterweight Mike Perry edged Paul Felder by split decision (29-28, 28-29 and 29-28), Anthony Pettis submits Michael Chiesa in their catchweight encounter in the second round by way of triangle arm bar, and light heavyweight Khalil Rountree, Jr. knocks out Gokhan Saki in the first round.

In the Philippines, Cignal TV, the country’s foremost direct-to-home (DTH) company, is the home of the UFC after the two groups agreed to an extensive deal that will see the UFC beamed on various platforms. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo