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UFC 252: Looking back on the event that ended an era

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UFC 252 is finally here with one of the biggest fights in history, as two of the greatest heavyweights of all time do battle, not only for the heavyweight championship but to be known as the greatest heavyweight ever. Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier, with the co-main between Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera and Junior Dos Santos vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik also on the fight card. 

Prelims: 

Kai Kamaka (W) vs Tony Kelley – Featherweight Bout 

Kicking the entire fight card, and the prelims off is a featherweight battle between two UFC newcomers in Kai Kamaka and Tony Kelley. Great first round to this fight with Kelley starting the fight really well, showing some really quick footwork, a stiff left jab, and beautiful front leg kick. Kamaka started to figure out Kelley’s gameplan and was snapping his chin with a well time left hook multiple times. He then set up some nasty lefts to the body that really hurt Kelley and started to slow him down. Kamaka scored a couple of takedowns late on in the round after trying to tee off on Kelley whilst Kelley was backed up against the fence. 10-9 Kamaka. 

Round 2 started and Kamaka went straight back to that left hook of his, both to the body and jaw of Kelley. Kelley was struggling to find a way into the fight for the first two minutes of the round and then, out of nowhere, Kelley bounced off the cage wall and started throwing huge bombs at a high volume that forced Kamaka to start wrestling, scoring some more takedowns and some dominant clinch time against the cage. I’d say it’s 19-19 but Kamaka may have stolen the round. 

Round 3 started and Kelley started really well, throwing some huge multishot combos that really had Kamaka second-guessing his striking gameplan. Kamaka went back to his wrestling, taking Kelley down but never really sinking too much damage in, Kelley came back with some nasty knees to the body in the clinch, but Kamaka hit some rights and lefts to the body. A nut shot stopped the fight near the end and I have this scored 29-28 Kamaka. All three judges scored the same as Kamaka picks the win up and both guys make impressive debuts in the UFC. 

Chris Daukaus (W) vs Parker Porter – Heavyweight Bout 

For the first time tonight we move to the heavyweight division as the next prelim fight sees two more UFC newcomers make their debuts in Chris Daukaus and Parker Porter. The fight started and it quickly became evident that Daukaus had the speed with his strikes whilst Porter was winding up for the one-hit KO with his right hand. Porter tried to pin Daukaus against the cage but Daukaus managed to swerve out of it. Daukaus then started to look really sharp with some right hands and knocked Porter down but couldn’t finish the fight. Eventually, after some more beautiful right hands, Daukaus staggered Porter and hit him with a huge knee to the head to finish the fight, what a debut! 

Ashley Yoder (W) vs Livinha Souza – Women’s Strawweight Bout 

We now move onto the women as we see a battle between two strawweights in Ashley Yoder and Livinha Souza. Both women kept the first round as a way to find out what the other had planned. Yoder shot for the back of Souza early on and found it, however, she slipped off and gave dominant position to Souza quite quickly. It looked like Souza was trying for a submission but Yoder did well at defending to stop anything from happening. 10-9 Souza for me. 

Round 2 was much of the same, as both fighters just seem a little off their main gameplan tonight, Yoder managed to enjoy a fair amount of time in dominant clinch position against the cage wall but she kept going to take the back of Souza and miss, so Souza ended up with dominant position on the floor. Souza looks the better on the feet. 19-19 I’d say but who knows in this lackluster one. 

Continued on the page below.

In round 3, Souza turned to wrestling against the fence at the start, keeping Yoder against the fence for a little time before they went back to striking. Yoder was throwing some nice distance strikes given her length advantage but Souza was answering back with some nice leg kicks. Yoder tried to take the back near the end but Souza did well to keep dominant position. I have 29-28 Yoder. All three judges give it to Souza, interesting… 

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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