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UFC 198 Results/Highlights: Miocic Shocks the World, Souza Breezes Past Belfort, Cyborg Savages Smith + More

(“Hey Fabricio, it’s me Dan. I know this probably isn’t the time to tell you this, but you really dun f*cked up, kid.”via Getty)

Fabricio Werdum may have only been a -185 favorite heading into his UFC 198 title tilt with Stipe Miocic on Saturday, but the consensus across the board seemed to be that he would either utilize his vastly-improved striking skills to put away his Cleveland-born opponent on the feet or take him to the mat and submit him using his world-renowned Jiu Jitsu. This was the man who defeated Cain Velasquez, after all, and was hoping to kickstart his legacy as “the greatest heavyweight of all time” with a big win in front of 45,000 Brazilian fans.

The Fabricio Werdum that actually showed up at UFC 198, however, could not have looked further from the greatness he so desired. Chalk it up to blind confidence or whatever you will, but “Vai Cavalo” — a man who has not only submitted 3 of the greatest heavyweights of all time, but dominated the likes of Mark Hunt and Travis Browne in recent appearances — appeared to temporarily lose complete control of both his body and mind on Saturday night. It was quite possibly the most mind-blowingly stupid performance since Koji Oishi tried to block Nick Diaz’s punches with punches, and the result was a new champion who was all but handed the belt on a silver platter.

It cannot be understated how surreal it was to see a fighter with Werdum’s technical prowess literally charge face first into the fists of his opponent while throwing the kind of telegraphed 1-2 punches usually found on an episode of Cops. He didn’t even cut off the cage, for Christ’s sake! THIS IS DAY ONE STUFF, FABRICIO.

In the end, it’s hard not to see Werdum’s performance at UFC 198 as anything but reckless. He’s asking for a quick rematch at UFC 200, because of course he is, and given the way in which the UFC operates these days, it’s very likely that he’ll receive it. Until that day comes, however, there won’t be enough “happy face” masks in the world to suppress his sadness.

Rather than focus on Vitor Belfort‘s nearly-as-stupid decision to pull guard against Ronaldo Souza and get immediately TKO’d in last weekend’s co-main event, we figured it would be nice to highlight some of the positive takeaways from UFC 198. First up on that list, obviously, would have to be Cris Cyborg‘s long-awaited UFC debut. Paired up against self-admitted journeyman Leslie Smith, the current Invicta featherweight champion looked faster, more dynamic, and more technical with her strikes than ever before… a scary notion if you’re, say, the one woman who has been needling her for what feels like a decade now. The end result of Cyborg’s time away from the octagon, in any case, was an absolutely savage ass-kicking.

Smith may be protesting the stoppage to anyone who will listen, but really, referee Eduardo Herdy was only putting a stop to the inevitable before it got out of hand. The fact is that Smith landed maybe 2 punches in 80 seconds and was caught between a rock and a hard place (which, conveniently, are the names Cyborg has bestowed upon her fists) before the fight was stopped, so let’s just credit her for having the guts to take the fight in the first place and move on to figuring out how Cyborg can make the cut to 135, because that shit needs to happen.

Can we talk about Matt Brown for a second? What a week it has been for this poor guy. Paired up against Demian Maia in the featured prelim of the evening, “The Immortal” knew he would be entering hostile territory, but decided that the best course of action to combat this would be to flip off the Curitiba crowd during Friday’s weigh-ins. This…..did not seem like a strong move, in retrospect.

You can check out the highlights from Brown’s third round submission loss to Maia here, but basically, it looked like every performance that we’ve come to expect from Maia 2.0. More interesting, however, were the assaults Brown was forced to deal with both before and after the fight. The first you can check out above, wherein Brown is hit no less than three times on the way to the ring before giving the final assailant a once-in-a-lifetime souvenir.

Crazy, right? Well that doesn’t hold a candle to what happened in the hotel lobby after the fight. According to MiddleEasy, Brown was then sucker-punched by his former coach, Rodrigo Botti, in the hotel that he was staying in. The video above captures Brown’s friend, Vinicius “Pequeno” Lemos, laying some good old fashioned street justice on Botti while waiting for the police to arrive. Brazilians, man, they’re f*cking crazy.

The full results for UFC 198 are below.

Main card
Stipe Miocic def. Fabricio Werdum via first-round KO (2:47)
Jacare Souza def. Vitor Belfort via first-round TKO (4:38)
Cris Cyborg def. Leslie Smith via first-round TKO (1:21)
Mauricio Rua def. Corey Anderson via split decision
Bryan Barberena def. Warlley Alves via unanimous decision

Demian Maia def. Matt Brown via submission (rear-naked choke) (R3, 4:31)
Thiago Santos def. Nate Marquardt via first-round KO (3:39)
Francisco Trinaldo def. Yancy Medeiros via unanimous decision
John Lineker def. Rob Font via unanimous decision
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Patrick Cummins via first-round TKO (4:52)
Sergio Moraes vs. Luan Chagas ruled a draw
Renato Moicano def. Zubaira Tukhugov via split decision

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