The UFC 161 co-main event featured a heavyweight match up between potential title contender Roy Nelson, who was looking to continue his tear through the division, and up and comer Stipe Miocic. Miocic is known for his heavy hands and athleticism, while Nelson was coming off of a string of knockout wins, so the bout looked poised to provide the fans with fireworks after the snoozefest from Ryan Jimmo and Igor Pokrajac that left the fans booing and craving some action.
The heavy punches were being thrown right out of the gates with both fighters landing some big shots. Miocic was looking to take down Big Coutry, but he was unsuccessful and the two men continued to circle the center of the octagon while exchanging big punches.
Despite it being the biggest fight of Miocic’s career, he was able to stay calm and land the cleaner shots.
Miocic looked sharp and was hurting Nelson with a number of punches before unloaded with some dangerous shots that left Nelson on queer street, but Nelson’s chin held up and he stayed on his feet and clinched on to Miocic while hanging on for dear life.
In Round 2, Miocic continued to land the heavy punches on an exhausted Big Country. Miocici’s quick straight punches were the difference as Nelson appeared to have no answers while he began to fall apart.
Entering the final frame, Miocic looked fresh as Big Country continued to fade. Nelson was only looking to land his overhand right in the final round, but he was too exhausted and Miocic was able to avoid the shot at every attempt. Miocic ended the fight being very cautious as he cruised to victory in the toughest test of his career.
When the judges scorecards were read, Miocic earned the clear unanimous decision victory — 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.
With the win over a top ten heavyweight who was on the verge of a title shot, Miocic jumps up the rankings. You have to wonder who the UFC will match the Ohio native up against in his next match.
The one thing Nelson can take away from his fight is that he continues to have one of the best chins in mixed martial arts.