12:30 a.m.-Cleveland's Stipe Miocic loses UFC heavyweight championship via KO from Daniel Cormier
LAS VEGAS -- There is a new baddest man on the planet, and his name is Daniel Cormier!
Cleveland's Stipe Miocic lost the UFC heavyweight championship via a first-round knockout from Cormier in the main event of UFC 226 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night.
Prior to the loss, his first since 2014, Miocic set the record for the most consecutive defenses of the UFC heavyweight championship.
With the knockout win, Cormier became the second-ever UFC simultaneous two-division champion.
12:00 a.m.-DERRICK LEWIS EARNED UNANIMOUS-DECISION WIN OVER FRANCIS NGANNOU
LAS VEGAS -- In one of the least active heavyweight bouts in recent memory, Derrick Lewis defeated Francis Ngannou by unanimous decision in the co-main event of UFC 226 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night.
Lewis landed 22 of his 57 strike attempts, all of which were considered “significant” by FightMetric, while Ngannou found his target with only 11 of his 44 tries.
Lewis won the bout, 29-28, on the all three of the judges’ scorecards and improved 20-5-0 in his professional career.
Now, Ngannou is on a two-fight losing streak and dropped to 11-3-0 with the setback.
FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE ACTION
Follow along with the main-card action on Twitter.
1:24 p.m.-‘PLATINUM’ MIKE PERRY EARNS SPLIT-DECISION WIN OVER PAUL FELDER
LAS VEGAS -- From the opening bell to the final horn, “Platinum” Mike Perry and Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder slugged it out in a welterweight bout on the main card of UFC 226 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night.
Perry earned the split-decision victory by winning the bout, 29-28, on two of the three judges’ scorecards. Felder was awarded the fight, 29-28, on the third judge’s card.
Known for his punching power, Perry landed 60 of his 117 attempts (52 percent), and 58 of those strikes were considered “significant,” according to FightMetric. Additionally, Perry was successful with two of his five takedown attempts and held control for 2:23.
Perry improved to 12-3-0 as a professional in what was the first time he did not finish a fight either with a knockout or TKO.
On the receiving end of an elbow that opened up his forehead in the first round and left-handed punches that created a swell above his right eye, as well as a hook in the second that required a visit from the doctor for the bout to continue, Felder fell to 15-4-0 and had his three-fight winning streak halted.
10:48 p.m.-‘SHOWTIME’ PETTIS EARNS SUBMISSION VICTORY OVER MICHAEL CHIESA
LAS VEGAS -- Anthony “Showtime” Pettis usually does not miss a chance at finishing a fight, and certainly, that was the case against Michael Chiesa in a lightweight bout on the main card of UFC 226 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night.
Early in the first round, Pettis rocked Chiesa with a right-handed punch despite taking a left leg kick to the his right ribs, knocked him off-balance with a flying knee attempt and shot in for the submission.
Initially unsuccessful with a guillotine choke attempt, Pettis sank in an arm bar triangle, which forced the tap from Chiesa, himself a well-schooled submission fighter.
Pettis improved to 21-7-0 in his MMA career with the win, which came on the heels of a third-round knockout loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC Fight Night Norfolk on November 11, 2017.
Chiesa fell to 14-4-0 and is on a two-fight losing streak with the setback against Pettis. Chiesa has not won since earning a second-round submission win over Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night Tampa on April 16, 2016.
10:23 p.m.-KHALIL ROUNTREE EARNS QUICK IN OVER GOKHAN SAKI
LAS VEGAS -- Up-and-coming light-heavyweight fighter Khalil Rountree Jr. needed less than one round to earn an impressive knockout victory over Gokhan Saki in the opening bout of the main card of the UFC 226 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Rountree Jr. earned the win with a knockout at the 1:36 mark of the first round against Saki, a world-renown kickboxer.
“Here I am, I’m here,” Rountree said in his Octagon interview. “Let’s go!”
Rountree floored Saki with a left-handed punch that landed flush to the face, and after a brief hesitation anticipating a referee’s stoppage, he followed up with ground-and-pound featuring jabs and hammer fists, which forced the bout to be called.
Unranked in the UFC light-heavyweight division, Rountree improved to 8-2-0 in the professional ranks.
9:20 p.m.-UFC 226 main event all about validation for champions Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier
LAS VEGAS -- To Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, there is far more at stake than the heavyweight championship of the world in the main event of UFC 226 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas tonight.
To champion, Miocic, and challenger, Cormier, alike, a victory would serve as validation of careers that have been mentioned in the conversation of the greatest of all time in each of their respective weight classes.
“Oh, definitely, 100 percent,” Miocic said in a conference call to promote UFC 226. “DC’s fought the best in the world. He’s beaten the best in the world. He’s an amazing fighter, and to beat him is going to be amazing. I’m super-excited. Just the whole matchup, we bring great skill sets to the table, and people are super-excited for UFC 226, like I am.”
Cormier added, “I think I (will be among the greats). I don’t believe that anything else should be thought of. I should be in the conversation. Anytime a guy does performance-enhancing drugs, and on multiple occasions, they eliminate themselves.”
Prior to and following UFC 220, Cormier repeatedly denied wanting to move up to heavyweight in the UFC. However, that is exactly what the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Cormier is doing after previously competing in the division in other organizations.
Cormier enters the super-fight with a 20-1-0 record with one no-contest in nine years as a mixed martial artist. The no-contest came as a result of Jon Jones’ latest failed test, a post-fight scan that turned up a banned substance.
“For as great as Anderson Silva was, he tested positive I think two times,” Cormier said. “Jones has tested positive two or three times. Those guys eliminate themselves. I want to be mentioned among the greats, the Georges St-Pierres and the Demetrious Johnsons, the guys that have done things the correct way over the course of their entire careers without those asterisks.”
By doing things the right way, Cormier is hoping to invoke change in MMA, where several of its biggest stars, Jones, Silva and former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, have all failed multiple pre and post-fight tests in recent years.
“I think as a sport, MMA needs to evolve to the point that the punishment for having done those things is your place within the sport should be challenged and should be questioned,” Cormier said.
But when he steps into The Octagon to challenge Miocic for the heavyweight championship in the headlining bout of International Fight Week, Cormier expects a good, clean fight, one absent of controversy.
“I think it’s part of my story,” Cormier said. “Regardless of what I do, it’ll always be a part of my story. Stipe Miocic, I know he won’t test positive for anything. There will be no sex pill excuse. There will be no issues.
“This guy’s going to come. He’s going to fight clean, and he’s going to fight hard, and that’s what I want my focus to be. I don’t want to worry about a guy that is notorious for trying to screw me, himself, his family and everybody else. You guys can worry about him. It's crazy that a person that is so self-destructive can be held in such high regard in this sport. It’s sad.”
8:00 p.m.-STIPE MIOCIC SET TO DEFEND AGAINST DANIEL CORMIER
LAS VEGAS -- Fight Day is here in “The Fight Capital.”
After nearly five months of build-up to the bout, Cleveland native Stipe Miocic will enter The Octagon and look to build on his record streak of heavyweight title defense in the Ultimate Fighting Championship when he takes on light-heavyweight crown-holder Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC 226 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The super-fight between Miocic and Cormier came together less than a week after each champion successfully defended their titles in feature bouts at UFC 220 at TD Garden in Boston in January.
Prior to and following UFC 220, Cormier repeatedly denied wanting to move up to heavyweight in the UFC. However, the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Cormier is going up a class to heavyweight after previously competing in the division in other organizations.
Cormier enters the super-fight with a 20-1-0 record with one no-contest in nine years as a professional mixed martial artist.
“I have to have a complete performance,” Cormier said.
“I can’t go in there and fight well in one phase of my fighting and not do well in the other. I’ve got to be on my game from start to finish. He’s dangerous. He hits hard, and he’s very powerful. He’s a very good champion, but if I’m on my game, I should win this fight on Saturday night.”
Miocic continues to defy the odds and make those who bet against him regret their decisions.
Despite being an underdog once again, Miocic, a graduate of Eastlake North High School, remains the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion of the world after a dominant unanimous-decision win over top-ranked contender Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC 220.
Including the win over Ngannou, Miocic is on a six-fight winning streak. He is 18-2 in his professional career and 12-2 in 14 bouts under the UFC banner.
“Nothing’s going to change,” Miocic said. “Listen, I’m walking in there and walking out with the belt still wrapped around my waist. I’ve worked way too hard and sacrificed way too much to give it up.
“It’s going to be a great fight, a lot of fireworks, but I’m walking out, ‘And Still.’”