CLEVELAND.com - Stipe Miocic stepped inside the Octagon at UFC 226 Saturday night. For the first time in three years, he didn't leave victorious.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier knocked out Miocic in the first round of Saturday's main event to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Cormier becomes just the second man in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously. The other was Conor McGregor.
Saturday's fight was exciting from the start. Cormier and Miocic stood toe-to-toe and traded hands throughout. Miocic was the more technical boxer. But Cormier absorbed every punch, while landing his own leg kicks and hard punches.
The end of the fight came after a clinch. Miocic made the mistake of dropping his hands. Cormier capitalized with a hard right that sent Miocic to the mat. Cormier followed with a few more punches until Miocic was out cold. The referee jumped on top of Miocic and stopped the fight to prevent any further damage.
Miocic, who resides in Northeast Ohio and trains out of Strong Style MMA in Independence, defended his title a record three consecutive times before Saturday. He and Cormier served as coaches on the recent season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series.
Miocic was gracious after the fight, giving Cormier a fist pound prior to the official result being announced. Yet, it looks like Miocic will have to wait for a potential rematch.
After the bout, WWE superstar Brock Lesnar entered the Octagon and traded words with Cormier in a vulgar (and ridiculous) display. It appears Lesnar, a former UFC champ who still has to serve a suspension for a failed drug test, will get the next title shot.
The publicity stunt prevented fans the opportunity of hearing Miocic's thoughts immediately after the bout, which is probably best given he'd just been knocked out.
If it's any consolidation, Miocic reportedly made $750,000 for UFC 226. He will now head back to Northeast Ohio with his wife, Ryan, due to give birth to their daughter in a few weeks.