UFC 211 lives up to the hype

By: Adam Zipple

Stipe Miocic wished his mom a happy Mother’s Day after putting his opponent away with a crushing right hand, in the very first round. Miocic (17-2) made quick work of the ever-dangerous top contender Junior Dos Santos, the former UFC heavyweight champion. Miocic finished the fight with another explosive first round KO, the fourth first round KO in a row for Miocic.  

Dos Santos, the last man to defeat Miocic, felt he had done everything right in his preparation yet still came up short.

“He did very well actually,” said Dos Santos, who thought he was on his way to winning the fight.

Dos Santos landed a few low kicks early in the fight and appeared to be executing his game plan perfectly. Nevertheless, Dos Santos was humble in defeat.

“If I’m not the champion I’m glad this guy [Miocic] is the Champion,” he said.

With this victory, Miocic extends his win streak, maintains his championship belt and solidifies his place at the very top of the heavyweight division.

Miocic’s vicious KO served as an excellent cap on a highly entertaining night of fights. The undefeated champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0) masterfully defended her title against the fierce up-and-comer Jessica Andrade.

“No one is taking this belt from me. Nobody,” Jedrzejczyk said just before the bout.

The challenger, Jessica Andrade, has been on a wild tear since moving down to the 115 pound strawweight division. Andrade’s three fight tear was left smoldered last Saturday after a prolific performance by the Polish champ.      

Demian Maia, an extremely decorated grappler, racked up yet another win, extending his win streak to seven after a grueling three round war with veteran Jorge Masvidal. Maia’s overwhelming pressure and jiu-jitsu expertise earned him the victory, but both fighters had their moments in this competitive welterweight bout.

After a surgical takedown on a hesitant Masvidal, Maia did what he does best and smothered his opponent with his dominant ground game. On the feet Masvidal did the most damage, landing some devastating kicks in the moments he had standing before being sucked into the quicksand that is Maia’s grappling. Maia is screaming through his competition and undoubtedly will soon be knocking at the door of the current UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley.    

Frankie Edgar taught Yair Rodriguez (10-2) a lesson in old school fighting Saturday with his relentless wrestling and vicious ground and pound. Edgar possesses one of the most impressive resumes in the featherweight division, yet in his ten plus years of professional fighting, has never been knocked out.

This presented a major challenge for Rodriguez, who prides himself on his unorthodox, erratic, striking style and his ability to stun opponents on the feet. Rodriguez entered the fight with a momentous eight-fight win streak looking to utilize the reach advantage and spinning techniques that have brought him so much success at the young age of 24. Edgar, who has now won seven of his past eight fights, managed the range beautifully and employed excellent wrestling, earning him the victory by doctors stoppage in the second round.