Dos Santos wins controversial decision over Miocic

Published on Tuesday, 12/16/14, at 5:30 p.m. Eastern. 

In three of his last four fights, Junior dos Santos has absorbed a massive amount of punishment in five-round wars. The damage was inflicted by Cain Velasquez in a pair of losses for JDS in two of those bouts.

JDS needed all of his heart and toughness to win a decision over Stipe Miocic.

JDS needed all of his heart and toughness to win a decision over Stipe Miocic.

Although Dos Santos was a bloody mess again after battling for 25 minutes in Saturday’s epic main event in Phoenix for UFC on FOX 13, at least this time he came out with a victory. It came in controversial fashion, however, with the former champ beating Miocic by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46 and 49-46).

Gamblers backing JDS were extremely fortunate to cash ‘chalk’ tickets in the -380 range. The biggest controversy wasn’t that JDS prevailed, but how on earth did two judges score the bout four rounds to one in favor of him?

I’ve watched the fight twice now. After consuming about a half-dozen (and change) Budweisers leading into the fight Saturday, I felt like Miocic got robbed. However, after watching it sober last night for a second time, I can see how some may have given it to JDS — by a 48-47 score, that is!

I thought the first round was close but Miocic landed the heavier strikes, ones that clearly damaged Dos Santos’s face, so I had Round 1 for the Ohio native, who fell to 6-2 in the UFC with the loss. Round 2 was definitely Miocic’s, while JDS clearly took Round 3 as Miocic began to pace himself.

I felt like Rounds 4 and 5 were extremely close. I can understand giving both stanzas to JDS, so I no longer think Miocic got robbed. But the 49-46 cards were Sketch City. I think it comes down to how you scored Rounds 1, 4 and 5, and two of the judges clearly went with JDS in those rounds.

Nevertheless, Miocic come out of the fight looking good. It was his first five-round fight and he clearly tired down the stretch. JDS gets a much-needed victory but there’s only so much punishment a fighter can absorb in his career. And JDS has taken an incredible amount in three of his last four fights, and it isn’t as if he got out of the win over Mark Hunt unscathed. I don’t think he needs to go back into the Octagon for at least another nine months.

In the co-main event, third-ranked lightweight Rafael dos Anjos destroyed former No. 1 contender Nate Diaz by UD (30-26 twice, 30-27) as a -270ish favorite. Dos Anjos was extremely sharp, pounding away at Diaz’s lead leg with vicious kicks that had the Stockton native limping midway through the opening round.

In true Diaz fashion, he showed a tremendous amount of toughness and a great chin. He took his beating like a man, only to show his ass afterward. Nate flicked off everyone with a double-bird stance immediately after the fight ended.

Hours later, he posted a picture to his instagram account showing someone clearly burning a joint. (The face of that someone was obscured). This merely wrapped up a week of Diazisms, as he railed against the UFC for signing CM Punk and entering into the uniform deal with Reebok.

At the post-fight presser, Dana White said Nate needed to get serious about making a title run or retire. He had missed weight by nearly five pounds on Friday, a development that he blamed on injuries from training camp. White also announced that Dos Anjos would face Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis for the 155-pound strap in 2015.

Alistair Overeem improved to 3-3 in the UFC by finishing Stefan ‘Skyscraper’ Struve by first-round KO via ground-and-pound punishment. The ‘Reem scored a takedown about two minutes into the opening stanza and finished Struve with strikes a few minutes later. Overeem cashed tickets for his backers as a -220ish favorite.

In the opening fight on the main card, Matt Mitrione stayed hot by knocking out Gabriel Gonzaga in the first round. He closed as a short favorite in the -125 range.

On the undercard, veterans Jamie Varner and Joe Riggs suffered losses to Drew Dober and Ben Saunders, respectively. Varner, the former WEC champ, announced his retirement in the Octagon afterward.

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