Tuesday, December 1, 2020

7 Takeaways From UFC 252

UFC 252 had the two, arguably, best heavyweights in MMA. Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier squared off and Miocic walked away from the victor. On top of the event occurring during a pandemic, the event also featured some fights that could dictate what’s to come in the bantamweight and women’s strawweight divisions. 

There was a lot to take away from UFC 252, and having it likely be the last fight of Cormier’s career makes the future of the heavyweight division very interesting. Here are a few things to take away from the event.

Oh, a press conference!

Fans and media were treated to the first press conference in Vegas since before the pandemic changed how fight week was done for the UFC. Travel restrictions and logistics likely made it difficult to do them up until now, so having one for what will likely be one of best heavyweight rivalries in UFC history was more than a welcome sight on fight week.

Kamaka vs. Kelly

This opening bout of the night deserves some attention. Kai Kamaka vs. Tony Kelly was a striker’s delight. Even with the low blow, the pacing of the bout was something worthy of being on the main card. While Kamaka walked away the victor, both he and Kelly will likely be getting called back.

Big vs. Small

A few times, not just with UFC 252 but as long as MMA has been around the size of the space the competitors engage has always been a hot topic. The cage in the UFC APEX is on the smaller side. Cruz said on the broadcast during the Burns vs. Pineda bout that it might be an issue for the main event. It did not seem like that was the case, but it is to each his own when it comes to what the two fighters competing prefer.

Welcome to the Chito Show

Marlon “Chito” Vera was an underdog in his bout against Sean O’Malley which might raise the question where oddsmakers get their odds from. Given Vera’s experience, the outcome should not be surprising, but O’Malley is still an evolving martial artist that has taken to MMA very well. Still, Vera was overlooked and with this win, he probably shouldn’t be.

Best two out of three

In a heavyweight competitive rivalry, this third time settled it all. For Cormier, it would have made for a great last fight to walk away as champion. However, Miocic has his own legacy to defend and he did, along with his title. There was an eye poke that happened on each end, but would it have made a difference? 

DC

Cormier, while upset being the consummate professional that he is, still did his post-fight interview. One thing that he said was that he had fought trilogy fights for titles and came out on the losing end of them. He cited it as more reason to retire, and while he did lose them he still had to win them first. He was champion of two divisions and before losing the titles, he did not do a bad job in the defenses he had. 

Bones wants to get heavy

Almost immediately after the UFC 252 main event, during the close of the pay-per-view light heavyweight champion Jon Jones chimed in with the following:

Along with Francis Ngannou who seems to want to be next in line, Jones added to his post saying, “I’m too fast, I’ll be too strong when the time is right and have way too much energy. Soon and very soon I’ll be considered the baddest man on this planet.” 

There’s nothing left for him to prove in his own division, so why not?

There’s obviously more to take away from this event than what is listed here. Some upsets and newcomers will likely be buzzing in the coming week, but what lies ahead for the heavyweight division after UFC 252 should be interesting.

Discussion: What did you take away from UFC 252?

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