The night of UFC 241 was full with plenty of thrills and excitement for fight fans around the world. It’s always a great sign for fans when the co main event is equivalent to the hype of the main event of the evening. The UFC had a sold out Honda Center in Anaheim, California, and the fans that punched their ticket certainly got their money’s worth. From the long awaited comeback of Nate Diaz and the rematch of the respective heavyweights, let’s break it down.
The Co-Main Event
The heavily anticipated matchup years in the making was finally here. Nate Diaz when he left the game back in 2016 after a split decision loss to Conor McGregor, had finally returned. The man to welcome him back was Anthony “Showtime” Pettis a former UFC lightweight champion of the world. The two faced off in the welterweight scrap in what was a fulfilling comeback for Diaz.
Nate Diaz is a totally different breed when it comes to fighters. His conditioning is unbelievable and even when Pettis tagged him he still pressed forward and was able to land takedowns. To go along with the takedowns, Diaz also scored some vicious knees in the clinch which would be the most significant strikes in the fight.
After the significant strikes landed for Diaz, Pettis was clearly hurt and was no longer the one putting the pressure. At some points he looked dazed and the fight could have easily been stopped, with constant blows provided by Nate. However, the referee did a great job of letting the fight go the distance and allowed Pettis to finish the fight. This fight went the full scheduled 15 minutes and was won by Nate Diaz via unanimous decision.
Nate Diaz came back in a big way in the co main event of UFC 241. It was evident that Diaz could’ve got the finish on a few occasions. Nonetheless it was a spectator showing for Stockton’s finest. In his octagon interview Nate paid tribute to his brother, Nick Diaz, and later called out Jorge Masvidal. This is a very doable fight as the two have stated their interest for having a potential scrap. It would also be a real treat for UFC fans around the world to tune into. Personally Nate Diaz is one of my favorite fighters to keep up with, and I as well as many I’m sure, would love to see this fight happen.
The Main Event
In what was a compelling first matchup from the two heavily respected champions, Daniel Cormier defeated Stipe Miocic via knockout. Stipe believing that he just got caught with the one big shot by Daniel earned him the rematch. He feels disrespected by Cormier as he wasn’t offered an immediate rematch as was his expected outcome. So after a year away for Miocic, he was prepared to meet with DC again.
Cormier was able to take absolute control in the first round scoring a takedown and multiple strikes from the ground. After the first round everyone was thinking that DC was going to continue dominating the ground game and cruise to victory. This was not the case. Stipe was able to keep up with Daniel in the second round and get on the scoring cards with excellent striking. This changed the momentum of the fight that proved the difference for Stipe.
After the second round Stipe started to find some confidence against DC, but Cormier kept coming and landed great shots. Daniel does a great job in the clinch game in round three and lands some brutal uppercuts. Stipe fired back with some great combinations and a take down. In what was a confident round three for Stipe, he built on it in round four.
In round four Stipe made a game-changing move that would prove to be the difference. Miocic kept finding a home for the body shots in round four and this hurt DC. After a hook to the body, Stipe closed the distance and caught Cormier with a huge right hand that sent DC to the deck. Stipe smelled blood in the water and laid it on Cormier to regain his heavyweight title. That ended the night of UFC 241 in spectacular fashion.
The heavyweight championship is held once again by Miocic. The fight that makes the most sense to me would give Francis Ngannou a rematch against Stipe. The first fight against these heavyweights was an absolute brawl, and fans would surely want to see it again.