Stipe Miocic scored a knockout win over Alistair Overeem to retain the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 203 on Saturday. Miocic and Overeem didn't make it into the second round after the fight saw both fighters take some heavy shots.
Overeem scored a knockdown on Miocic with a left kick about a minute into the round. Overeem tried to advance and secure a guillotine, but he was unable to. Miocic recovered and the fight resumed standing. Not long after, Miocic started to land on Overeem, who tried to circle around but Miocic timed his shots perfectly and kept circling Overeem into the cage.
Miocic had wobbled Overeem and it looked like he might secure the finish, but Overeem responded with some big shots of his own, and a huge knee to the body. At one point, Overeem stumbled and Miocic took advantage, securing a takedown. He started to deliver ground and pound and at heavyweight, nobody can take much of those.
Overeem was quickly knocked out and Miocic secured the win and the title defense.
The fight between Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne was disappointing from an excitement standpoint. Werdum came out throwing wild kicks, but action was mostly non-existent throughout the fight. Werdum landed more and controlled the pace, and he left with a unanimous decision win over Browne.
There was a bizarre moment in the fight where Browne essentially called a timeout over what appeared to be a dislocated finger. The referee allowed him to stop it and Browne was given a moment. The rules indicate that such a stoppage is not allowed, but the referee allowed it to happen.
The mixed martial arts debut of former WWE performer CM Punk did not go well, as he lost to Mickey Gall in the very first round.
Gall immediately went for a double leg takedown at the start of the round and he got it. He was quickly raining down blows on Punk from above and there was a furious scramble. For a minute they scrambled for position when Gall took Punk's back. Gall went for a choke but couldn't get it and then he started raining down heavy blows on Punk from his back.
Just past the two-minute mark, Gall went for a choke again. He had it in tight and it was clear that Punk was not going to be able to get out of it. A few seconds later, Punk tapped out, giving Gall the first-round submission victory and his third win as a professional MMA fighter.
The card was cut short twice close to its beginning. A bout between Ray Borg and Ian McCall was cancelled when Borg had to bow out due to illness. On the day of the event, C.B. Dollaway was forced out of his bout against Francimar Barrosso due to an injury related to riding a malfunctioning elevator.
That forced the Fight Pass card to contain just one fight, one that saw Yancy Medeiros submit Sean Spencer with a rear-naked choke in the second round. The Fox Sports 1 card began with the lightweight bout between Drew Dober and Jason Gonzalez pushed up from the Fight Pass card. Dober won that fight less than two minutes into the first round via TKO.
Main Card results
Heavyweight: Stipe Miocic def. Alistair Overeem via KO (ground and pound) at 4:27 of Round 1
Heavyweight: Fabricio Werdum def. Travis Browne via decision (unanimous: 29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
Welterweight: Mickey Gall def. CM Punk via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:14 of Round 1
Bantamweight: Jimmie Rivera def. Urijah Faber via decision (unanimous: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Women's Strawweight: Jessica Andrade def. Joanne Calderwood via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:38 of Round 1
Fox Sports 1 Prelims results
Women's Bantamweight: Bethe Correia def. Jessica Eye via decision (split: 29-28,28-29, 29-28)
Catchweight (158 lbs): Nik Lentz def. Michael McBride via TKO (punches) at 4:17 of Round 2
Middleweight: Brad Tavares def. Caio Magalhaes via decision (split: 28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Lightweight Drew Dober def. Jason Gonzalez via TKO (punches) at 1:45 of Round 1
Fight Pass Prelims results
Welterweight: Yancy Medeiros def. Sean Spencer via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:49 of Round 2