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Round 1: Dan Miragliotta the third man in the cage for this heavyweight encounter. Overeem keeping his distance, not throwing a single strike for the first minute. Blaydes occasionally flicking a jab. Overeem with his hands low, showing lots of lateral movement, but zero offensive output. Two minutes in, neither man has landed a thing. Blaydes with a lunging head kick, catches air. Halfway in and Blaydes gets a takedown off of a missed punch by Overeem. He’s sticking in Overeem’s half guard. Blaydes’s pass is blocked and Overeem looks to defend from butterfly, but Blaydes gets back into half guard. Short punches from top position by Blaydes. He maintains control until the buzzer sounds.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Blaydes.
Round 2: Overeem hurts Blaydes badly with a knee as he wades in for a takedown. A follow-up punch connects, but Blaydes’s chin is holding up. He gets the takedown. Overeem working from bottom position for a leg lock. He turns to crank it, but Blaydes is calm and he slips out. Blaydes with punches from side position as Overeem tries to stand up with Blaydes leaning on him. They’re back in the standup. Overeem ducks a right hand, but gets caught by a glancing uppercut. Blaydes eats another knee en route to a successful takedown. Blaydes in half guard. He’s staying heavy and landing the occasional short punch. Blaydes putting an exclamation point on the round with some big elbows in the last 30 seconds. His wrestling is proving to be the difference so far as many predicted.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Blaydes. Overall 20-18, Blaydes.
Round 3: Blaydes sees a takedown stuffed, but follows up well with a knee to the body and a straight right. He’s starting to loosen up and it looks like he has Overeem hurt during a flurry against the fence. With Overeem covering up, Blaydes ducks in to get an easy takedown. Elbows from half guard for Blaydes. Another leg lock attempt by Overeem goes nowhere and Blaydes just falls into Overeem’s guard. He crushes Overeem with an elbow and then lands several more. Overeem is a bloody, dazed mess and Miragliotta has to call this one off.
Official result: Curtis Blaydes def. Alistair Overeem via TKO (elbows) at 2:56 of Round 3