UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier made UFC history at UFC 226. The title holder knocked out UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic for his belt within the first round of their live pay-per-view main event super fight.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, former UFC bantamweight champion and UFC 226 commentator Dominick Cruz has come forward to reveal the technique that allowed Cormier to get his historic knockout.
“Go back to the very beginning of the fight, to the very, very first sequence. You see Cormier is already looking for this setup. And this is one of his things he’s used throughout his entire career, but I think that he assumed that it was going to work extra well against Stipe and you can see he has a natural gift to where he can feel things and then just flow instead of overthinking it.
“And right off the bat Stipe came across the fence and started punching combinations and what you do is you grab. You grab the top of the head and you grab underhook on the other side and what that does is it gives Stipe the underhook, but it also allows (Cormier) to grab the uppercut and fire on the opposite side. So it’s kind of a weird feeling for Stipe. Most people don’t give underhooks like that, most of the time there’s a fight there.”
“So it was really intelligent because it was a trap. The whole thing was a big trap. DC just wanted to grapple with Stipe to get the feel of the Greco. Now in that last sequence, it’s not that DC was driving the underhook. He gave the underhook. So if you watch, you’ll see that he’s right back to that very first sequence that the fight started out with where he pretty much puts that left hand almost on the back of Stipe’s neck and by doing that he can switch to an uppercut with the right hand if he wants to. But what Stipe did is what most people would do, he went and tried to jack the underhook up because that’s how you gain control on a shorter man. DC ‘limp-armed’ Stipe when he trid to jack him up, and a ‘limp arm’ is like when you just sag the arm back through and you come around the waist of Stipe.
“By doing that, Stipe has to move away from the tight waist that DC grabbed, because if DC grabbed that tight waist he now has a sequence to throw Stipe. So as he walked away from the tight waist of Daniel Cormier, he walked into the right hand of Daniel Cormier, which actually makes it more powerful and harder to defend. It’s just dirty boxing 101 with Greco Roman wrestling and it was just in fluidity and it was beautiful.”
“I think that when you look at the way that fight went, nobody really thought knockout going in the first round, so that was surprising. But the fact that he won, not really surprising; just to get a knockout in the first round, that was pretty cool for him.”