HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC 252, and Daniel Cormier retires

By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist

UFC 252 was this past weekend and featured a huge fight for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Let’s get to the rundown.

GOOD– John Dodson vs. Merab Dvalishvili
Dvalishvili took the fight to Dodson and controlled him the entire time en route to the decision victory. Dvalishvili worked the clinch in the first, then got some takedowns and wore Dodson down. Good win for Dvalishvili.

GOOD– Daniel Pineda stopped Herbert Burns
Pineda stopped Burns from doing much of anything in the first round, really showing off a good ground game. The second round started with Burns getting the fight to the ground but then he got blasted with some tough elbows from Pineda to force the stoppage. Good win for Pineda.

GOOD– Jairzinho Rozenstruik stops Junior Dos Santos
They traded punches in the first round, with neither man getting a clear advantage. The second round, though, saw Rozenstruik straight take out JDS. Great power shown by Rozenstruik and he should climb the rankings now. Good win for Rozenstruik.

BAD/GOOD– Marlon Vera stops Sean O’Malley
O’Malley hurt his leg early and was unsteady from that point forward. Vera did connect with some nice kicks that might have played a hand in the injury but I don’t know. Vera pounced and forced the ref stoppage. A win’s a win and I’m sure Vera will take it.

GOOD– Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
Cormier looked good in the first few rounds, though I do wonder why he didn’t try to work his wrestling much at all. I figured he would but he seemed content to mostly box. Then Miocic caught him with some power and almost finished him at the end of the second round. That changed the fight as Miocic gained confidence and he took the fight stronger to Cormier. There was a bad eyepoke to Cormier and I’m sure that didn’t help him.
The fight went the distance but Miocic was clearly the victor. It was kind of close but this isn’t one of the decisions you’re going to disagree with it, in my eyes. Cormier confirmed his retirement after the loss.

GREAT– Daniel Cormier retires
This is more an assessment of his career, not a judgement of his current skill. I think Cormier could still get it done and he’d be favored over a lot of fighters. In fact, other than Miocic and Jon Jones, Cormier would be the favorite over anybody else. Maybe Francis Ngannou but Cormier never laid an egg like Ngannou did when he fought Derrick Lewis, or certainly not in that type of situation where a title shot is on the line.
Yeah, I’d take prime Fedor Emelianenko over Cormier but I’d take prime Fedor over pretty much anybody so that doesn’t mean much.
So Cormier has a loss to Jon Jones and two losses to Miocic on his resume and that’s it. That’s pretty damn impressive, your only losses are to two of the greatest fighters of all-time. And Cormier has a win over Miocic so that offsets some of that. Cormier is also the only man in UFC history to successfully defend the title in two different weight classes.
I do think this retirement will stick, mainly because Cormier will likely just slide into commentating full-time. He’s been training and cutting weight and all that for a long time. He’s had a lot of success, some heartbreak, but can leave on his terms with his health largely intact. He’s a UFC Hall of Famer for sure. I think the only way he could be lured out of retirement is if he was offered an obscene amount of money and the UFC isn’t likely to do that with anyone anytime soon.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

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