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Justin Faux

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Joined October 2015

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Justin Faux is a seasoned combat sports scribe. Covering mixed martial arts and boxing since 2007, Justin has been published on NineMSN Australia, Fox Sports, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and dozens of other outlets.

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Stipe Miocic (c) vs. Daniel Cormier – Round 1

Miocic, who is looking to defend the heavyweight title for an unprecedented fourth time, stalks Cormier, attempting to corner him early but Cormier ducks out of danger.

Cormier attempts to close the distance, narrowly avoiding a left-hand. Miocic presses the light heavyweight champ against the chain-link fence and lands a series of punches.

The crowd chants “Stipe, Stipe, Stipe” in support of the heavyweight champ who separates from Cormier. A big right-hand lands shortly thereafter and Miocic again engages in the grappling against the fence – a surprising move.

‘DC’ is at a huge reach disadvantage but is still able to get inside, staggering Miocic with a two piece combo.

The fight grinds to a halt after Cormier lands an accidental eye poke. The challenger is warned, but not docked a point.

Cormier is again getting inside and stunning Miocic. The former Olympian sends the Croatian-American hitter to the floor and unloads with several punches to close the show.

Result: Daniel Cormier def. Stipe Miocic via TKO (punches) at 4:33 of round 1

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Business has picked up before the first punch has even been thrown in the main event here in Vegas. Current WWE Universal champion and former UFC heavyweight king Brock Lesnar walked into the arena, with reports now surfacing that he will fight the winner of this fight in October at Madison Square Garden.

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis – Round 3

Ngannou connects with a kick. And it only took one whole minute of the round. So that’s something, I guess.

A sloppy Lewis wings a big punch and misses by a mile. He follows up after what feels like seven lifetimes with a high kick, which is blocked.

Lewis pushes forward with a flurry with two minutes on the clock but almost all of them missed.

Ngannou actually threw a punch with 30 seconds on the clock. Lewis returns fire with a kick to the mid-section.

The Frenchman lands a takedown late and then lands a punch after the bell. Thank God that’s over. 10-9 Lewis (30-28 Lewis)

Result: Derrick Lewis def. Francis Ngannou via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis – Round 2

Lewis complains of having issues with his back – a problem that forced him out of a fight with Fabricio Werdum in the past – so he’s in pain and slowing his output and Ngannous output is already so low that the only way he could lower his is if he actually left the cage.

The crowd is booing, as Ngannou is two for 15 in strike attempts. Referee Herb Dean warns both men to engage, else he will start docking points.

Lewis lands a jab, and a still timid Ngannou fires off a lazy counter. 10-10.

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis – Round 1

One of the most anticipated heavyweight clashes in recent memory begins with both men being tentative. Ngannou is sitting on the outside, waiting for his shot, but it’s Lewis who lands the first crackerjack of the contest.

‘The Black Beast’ lands a high kick, and winds up with another big shot. With three-and-a-half minutes elapsed, Ngannou is yet to even throw a punch.

This certainly feels like a fight where the finish could come at any moment but at this rate I’ll go to sleep before anyone in the cage does. 10-9 Lewis.

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder – round 3

Between rounds, Felder confirms to his corner that he did indeed break his arm. Fighting wounded and with blood all over his face and chest, the Irish-American hasn’t slowed his output, even throwing with his broken arm.

Perry has slowed down in this final frame and Felder is turning up the heat. The smaller fighter is faster and mixes up his strikes well to keep the controversial UFC star off guard.

‘Platinum’ Perry presses Felder against the cage and with one arm he’s ill-equipped to stop him. The hard-hitter lands a series of hard punches against the cage, giving Felder no room to breathe, 10-9 Felder (29-28 Perry)

Result: Mike Perry def. Paul Felder via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder – round 2

Felder found his groove with the low kicks in the first round and continues the trend in this fight. Perry seldom checks those kicks which will slow his down as this fight rages on.

Perry elevates and slams Felder, who appears to injure his arm once he lands. The fight returns to a standing position and Felder is still throwing with the possibly injured mitt.

Perry lands a big shot that makes the cut on Felder’s face gush blood, all the way down his face and onto his torso. The doctor steps in to check on Felder but doesn’t stop the fight.

Returning to the previous position, Felder lands a big elbow before completing a takedown to close the round, 10-9 Perry.

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder – round 1

Felder, who is moving up in weight, darts forward and cracks heads with Perry. A cut opens on the forehead of both men, with Perry getting the worst of the collision.

Perry connects with a hard elbow that makes Felder separate and returns the middle of the Octagon. Perry drills his smaller opponent with another elbow as he begins to stalk Felder.

A counter left-hand from Perry lands on the button as he follows up with a wild flurry that misses. Felder is tough beyond words, having taken Perrys best shots without even flinching.

Felder, the part-time commentator, creates space with a high kick and continues to keep Perry on the outside with a stepping side kick.

Felder has found his range late, using his kicks to perfection but Perry still finds a way to get inside, landing a thudding punch to close the frame, 10-9 Perry.

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis

A refreshed Pettis stuns Chiesa with a right-hand in the opening seconds and looks to align a triangle choke on his stunned opponent. Chiesa adjusts the choke and finally sinks it in to force the tap out.

Result: Anthony Pettis def. Michael Chiesa via submission (triangle armbar) at 0:56 of round 2

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis – round 1

Pettis, the former UFC lightweight champion, opens with a low kick but pays for it immediately with his larger opponent landing an easy takedown.

The crowd, who have been served up mostly action fights today, begins to boo already. Chiesa attempts to align a choke but gives the Milwaukee-born striker an opportunity to slither out and take the back.

Returning to his feet, Pettis breaks free. It’s short-lived, though, as Chiesa quickly closes the distance. Pressing Pettis against the cage, Chiesa smothers him before landing an outside trip takedown to ground the Roufussport poster boy.

Pettis threatens from his back and creates an opportunity to again return to his feet. With a minute on the clock, Pettis begins chopping Chiesa down with leg kicks. This is particularly interesting because Chiesa’s team at Sik Jitsu are notorious for refusing to block low kicks. That will be something to watch in the final two frames. 10-9 Chiesa.

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree Jr.

Saki, the accomplished kickboxing champion, marches forward and eats a solid right-hand coming forward. In southpaw stance, Saki throws a low kick and gets clubbed with a right-hand down the centre that sends him crashing to the mat. Smelling blood, the Syndicate MMA student drills the loopy fighter with a series of hammer fists to force the end of the fight.

Khalil Roundtree Jr def. Gokhan Saki via TKO (strikes) at 1:36 of round 1

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Preliminary card report:

Jamie Moyle vs. Emily Whitmire

Whitmire, a slight underdog heading into this fight according to the bookies, overcame a slow start to win a comfortable decision in UFC 226’s opening bout.

Moyle, a member of the Team Alpha Male crew, looked flat from the opening bell, giving Whitmire the opportunity to dance around her for the bulk of the fight.

Result: Emily Whitmire def. Jamie Moyle unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Gilbert Burns vs. Dan Hooker

Hooker made it four-in-a-row today with arguably the most impressive performance of his young career.

The 28-year-old New Zealander was on the back foot for most of the fight as Burns aggressively stalked, chopping Hooker with low kicks and landing thudding punches.

Even with his feet held to the flames, Hooker was still firing counters, landing vicious counter punches, putting his Brazilian foe down with a beautifully-timed body-head combo.

Result: Dan Hooker def. Gilbert Burns via first round TKO (punches) at 2:28 of round 1

Max Griffin vs. Curtis Millender

Millender, a 30-year-old up-and-comer out of California, made it two-for-two in the Octagon, scoring an impressive decision win over fellow prospect Max Griffin.

Millender was the bigger fighter, using his exceptional reach and varied offense to keep Griffin cautious at all times.

Even with an apparently injured foot, Millender was always in control when both fighters remained standing.

Max Griffin def. Curtis Millender via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Lando Vanatta vs. Drakkar Klose

Continuing the trend of promising rising fighters putting on a show, Klose looked great in his easy win over Vanatta.

The Mixed Martial Arts Lab-trained fighter had a difficult challenge in unorthodox risk taker Vanatta but managed to give the Greg Jackson student few opportunities to land his flashy offense.

Drakkar Klose def. Lando Vantta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Raphael Assuncao vs. Rob Font

Assuncao, easily one of the most underappreciated fighters in the UFC, made a case for a crack at championship gold after a cruisy win over the tough-as-nails Font.

The third-ranked bantmaweight contender, whose only defeat since 2011 is to 135-pound kingpin TJ Dillashaw, isn’t the most exciting fighter but has built a game that relies entirely on pressure.

The 35-year-old Brazilian pressured on the feet then smothered his American opponent on the floor to score a dominant decision win.

Raphael Assuncao def. Rob Font via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Uriah Hall vs. Paulo Costa

In the final prelim of the night, ‘Borrachinha’ absolutely ruined Hall.

The muscle-bound Brazilian fighter isn’t the most polished fighter but has cracking power and constantly pressured Hall.

The undefeated contender is perhaps a little too reckless, especially considering the fact that he could’ve been docked a point for a pair of kicks below the belt but it didn’t matter in the end once Hall crumbled at his feet.

Paulo Costa def. Uriah Hall via TKO (punches) at 2:38 of round 2

Miocic vs Cormier UFC 226 live blog, round-by-round

Cyborg versus a man won’t happen in the UFC. Your best hope is that she gets a release, and starts fighting for Rizin in Japan.

Is the UFC ready for a one-armed fighter?

….Dave Menne won a UFC title whilst legally blind.

Is the UFC ready for a one-armed fighter?

I think Newell has earned the right to at least try his luck at the UFC level. I don’t think he beats the cream-of-the-crop competition, but there’s only one way to find out.

Is the UFC ready for a one-armed fighter?

Fox Sports 3. Broadcast begins at midday, main event fight should begin around 2:30pm.

Deontay Wilder versus Luis Ortiz: Preview and prediction

Couldn’t agree more, mate. Unfortunately, the Sergey Kovalev-Igor Mikhalkin fight is also on that day and it’s not airing anywhere to my knowledge, not even a paid streaming option.

Deontay Wilder versus Luis Ortiz: Preview and prediction

I think you can go further than ‘boxing is making a comeback’. For over a year now the boxing product has been far superior than the UFC’s (or mixed martial arts in general).

As for the fight, I’m also taking Wilder but not confidently. I think Ortiz is a real live dog.

Deontay Wilder versus Luis Ortiz: Preview and prediction

I like your comment Andy, and that’s all true but unfortunately, this is a business first and foremost and networks just aren’t willing to pay top dollar for most prize fights.

Jeff Horn would be a much bigger star if his fights were on free-to-air, especially the local fights if they aired in primetime. But Horn is one of the only local fighters that can drive pay-per-view revenue in Australia, so all of his fights will be behind a paywall for the foreseeable future.

The UFC's pay-per-view problem

I’m with Jerry on this one. In fight sports, you have to strike while the iron is hot and that iron was red hot.

The UFC's pay-per-view problem

The UFC doesn’t have a problem with putting on good fights. The UFC has a problem with putting together fights that fans are willing to pay for in droves.

The UFC's pay-per-view problem

No, the IBO crown now belongs to George Groves.

You'll never guess the problem with boxing tournaments

Good eye, Velasquez did defend the crown twice against Bigfoot Silva & Juinor dos Santos. I stand corrected.

One thing that troubles me about Miocic in this fight is that he does his best work in the phone booth. I just cannot see him staying conscious if he plays in close with Ngannou.

As for Cormier-Oezdemir, I personally don’t think it’s a very competitive match-up. Oezdemir is a good fighter, but also a guy that (in my opinion) lost to Ovince St. Preux just a year ago.

Assuming DC is still the same caliber of fighter he was last time we saw him, he should make easy work of Oezdemir in ‘No Time’.

Francis Ngannou stands between Stipe Miocic and UFC history

I am inclined to agree with you. I see an obvious path to victory for Stipe Miocic – striking at range, setting up takedowns and using his ground-and-pound to tame the beast, but he is far too willing to take punches.

He did against JDS, Overeem, and Hunt and stayed on his feet, but I think Ngannou is a different animal.

Francis Ngannou stands between Stipe Miocic and UFC history

Thanks for the read, mate.

Horn-Corcoran piece will drop tomorrow 🙂

As for Mundine. It will be tough for him to lure someone like Billy Joe Saunders to fight in Australia. He is not an international star and BJS wants to chase a payday against the GGG-Canelo winner if he beats Lemieux.

If he loses, maybe he could get that fight. But if he wins, I say there’s no chance.

If I’m laying bets, Choc fights Horn, Green (or both) before calling it quits.

How Vasyl Lomachenko makes fighters quit