Stipe Miocic and Joanna Jedrzejczyk both managed to cement their legacies as the best in their respective weight classes at UFC 211 last night with two very different, but equally impressive performances that drew comparisons to a champion of the past.
Jedrzejczyk came first, putting on a workwoman like performance, picking apart a tenacious attack from challenger Jessica Andrade, overwhelmingly outstriking the Brazilian despite being on the retreat much of the fight. Joanna “Champion” took the fight on the judges’ scorecards without a lick of controversy, with two 50-45 cards and one 50-44. The win marks the fifth consecutive title defense for Jedrzejcyzk, inching her closer to what UFC announced as a record six title defenses for a female by Ronda Rousey, although the number is actually seven if you count her Strikeforce title reign which rolled into her UFC title reign.
Miocic also brought back memories of Rousey, not for setting a title defense record (he did tie the heavyweight title defense record of two shared by several fighters), but for racking up another quick first round stoppage.
Miocic stopped Junior dos Santos in just over than two minutes with a pair of consecutive right hands that sent the former champ turtling on the mat. Miocic avenged a 2014 decision loss to dos Santos and notched his fourth consecutive first round finish, three of those in title fights. Rousey had a run of four first round finishes during her title run in 2014-2015.
Jedrzejczyk’s and Miocic’s wins may resemble aspects of Rousey’s run, but one thing that doesn’t appear to be similar is that neither appears ready to burn out anytime soon. But also similar to Rousey, they are running out of top contenders quickly. Miocic has defeated three of the top four contenders in his weight class based on the most recent MMATorch.com staff rankings and Jedrzejczyk four of the top five.
UFC pushed during the broadcast the prospect of either Cain Velasquez or Francis Ngannou for Miocic, and Rose Namajunas for Jedrzejczyk. All would be formidable challengers, but could any of them be Miocic or Jedrzejczyk’s Holly Holm?
Hiscoe’s Analysis: UFC 211 was a strong show that I would say lived up to the hype of being UFC’s strongest show on paper in some time. Heavyweight is a very volatile division, but Stipe Miocic might be the long-running champ and “Baddest Man on the Planet” that UFC and fans have been looking for nearly the entire history of the sport. That said, Miocic could get knocked out in his next fight and the revolving door at heavyweight would continue. UFC pushed Ngannou and Velasquez as potential contenders, but I still like Derrick Lewis for Miocic next.
As for Joanna, there is less ambiguity as to who should be next and that should be Rose Namajunas. Other than that, you’d be looking at a rematch with Karolina Kowalkiewicz – and that probably should happen someday, but it’s too soon right now. After that, someone is going to have to put some wins together, whether it be Tecia Torres, Randa Markos, or someone flying below the radar. It’s clear though that Jedrzejczyk is UFC’s most dominant champion at the moment.
SUNDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Dana White told media at last night’s post-fight press conference that he plans to firm up an agreement with Conor McGregor to fight Floyd Mayweather sometime today. “Then I’ll start working with Team Mayweather next week,” he said.
-Post-fight bonuses went to Stipe Miocic and Jason Knight for Performance of the Night and to Chase Sherman and Rashad Coulter for Fight of the Night.
-Speaking on his fight with Stipe Miocic last night, Junior dos Santos said at the post-fight press conference that he felt he was on his way to winning the fight due to the success of the leg kicks he was throwing at Miocic. “I remember the last kick I threw at him, he felt a lot,” he said. “And I felt I did well. ‘Now I have to move.’ And then I don’t remember anymore.”
-UFC announced during the broadcast that Joe Silva would be inducted into the contributors wing of the UFC Hall of Fame at the July 6 ceremony in Las Vegas. The former UFC matchmaker joins Urijah Faber and Maurice Smith as this year’s inductees.
-UFC 211 drew 17,834 fans for a live gate of $2.7 million at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
-UFC fighters Tecia Torres and Raquel Pennington announced yesterday that they are engaged to be married. Jessica Andrade also proposed to her girlfriend after her fight last night.
Press Conference Video: CLICK HERE