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UFC 241: Daniel Cormier’s best efforts were not enough to beat back Stipe Miocic a second time.

UFC 241: Daniel Cormier’s best efforts were not enough to beat back Stipe Miocic a second time.

Miocic reclaimed the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight title with a fourth-round technical knockout of the American Kickboxing Academy captain in the UFC 241 headliner on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Cormier (22-2, 11-2 UFC), who knocked out the Strong Style Fight Team cornerstone a little more than a year ago, met his end 4:09 into Round 4 of their rematch.

Daniel Cormier” was in control for a majority of the fight. He executed a slam takedown in the first round, advanced to half guard and poured on the punishment with ground-and-pound. The 40-year-old Lafayette, Louisiana, native spent the second, third and parts of the fourth rounds flexing his hand speed with crippling jabs and powerful right hands. Midway through the fourth, Miocic (19-3, 13-3 UFC) tweaked his approach and focused on the champion’s midsection with a series of left hooks, the last of which set up a right cross that began Cormier’s downward spiral. Miocic pushed him to the fence and swarmed him with punches until referee Herb Dean intervened.

Returning Diaz Overwhelms Pettis

UFC 241: “The Ultimate Fighter 5” the winner Nate Diaz returned from close to a three-year layoff and did not skip a beat, as he pocketed a unanimous decision against Anthony Pettis in the three-round welterweight co-main event. Scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28, all for Diaz (20-11, 15-9 UFC), who competed for the first time since Aug. 20, 2016.

Pettis (22-9, 9-8 UFC) sliced open the Californian above the right eye and landed a number of counter right hands but too often drifted in the wrong direction. Diaz engaged him at close range, overwhelmed him with output and either executed takedowns or initiated scrambles that resulted in his moving into top position. He had Pettis teetering in the third round, where he pinned the Roufusport star to the fence and uncorked a volley of crushing knees to the face that had him ducking for cover. “Showtime” stay alive, but his fate on the scorecards was sealed.

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