3 key takeaways from UFC 252
UFC 252 was a night of blood, guts ,and glory. In the aftermath of a card filled with dramatic upsets, shock submissions, and the end of a great rivalry, let's take a look at the takeaways from the amazing event.
Daniel Cormier’s not-so-storybook finish
The big storyline heading into UFC 252 was, win or lose, Daniel Cormier was going to retire.
Though he put up a spirited effort, he did not do enough to regain the heavyweight title. Stipe Miocic was too big and too strong for Cormier to directly engage over the course of their five-round clash.
Clearly disappointed, Cormier reiterated that he would not return, unless it was for another title shot. At 41 and now with two straight losses to the defending champion, it’s safe to say Cormier is done.
As for the champ, Miocic looked vulnerable as ever, even though he won comfortably. What is likely next is a rematch with Francis Ngannou, who is hell-bent on avenging his loss to the champ.
If Miocic survives Ngannou, there is a good chance Jon Jones will come up to heavyweight to finish what Cormier started in 2021.
The disastrous derailment of the sugar train
Going into his bout with Marlon Vera, public sentiment was that the popular Sean O’Malley would be tested but ultimately victorious.
As the fight got underway, O’Malley suffered an injury to his right leg and succumbed to Vera shortly after. This is a considerable setback for a man being groomed as the potential face of the promotion.
Because the injury was self-inflicted and so sudden, a rematch between the two is in order, when O’Malley recovers. Even so, O’Malley will need to ease way back on the flash and focus on his technique. He’ll come back a more focused fighter and recapture some momentum he lost Saturday night.
Jandiroba stakes her claim at strawweight
Virna Jandiroba turned heads with a speedy submission, the fourth-fastest in the division’s history, and dominated capable veteran Felice Herrig.
The nature of her victory is sure to propel her toward a major fight at the division. That fight should come against the sole woman to defeat her, Carla Esparza, who won via decision back in April of 2019.
The women’s strawweight division is getting crowded with top-tier talent. Should Jandiroba continue to win in the same impressive fashion, we’ll see her headlining a UFC event against the likes of Jessica Andrade, Marina Rodriguez, or even a title shot against Weili Zhang.
Quote of the night
"Y'all keep counting me out, betting against me. That's OK. I'll make more money."
- Daniel Pineda, following his second-round TKO win over Herbert Burns.