UFC 203:
Miocic vs. Overeem

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

This will be the first UFC event in Cleveland.

The event is expected to be headlined by a UFC Heavyweight Championship match with current champion Stipe Miocic defending the title against 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix winner and former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem.

The professional debut of former professional wrestler and two-time WWE Champion CM Punk is scheduled to take place at this event. Punk, who signed with the UFC in December 2014, had a delayed debut due to past injuries from professional wrestling that needed treatment, and also due to Punk's need for training time. He will make his debut against Mickey Gall in a welterweight bout.

Ben Rothwell was expected to face former heavyweight champion Fabrício Werdum at this event. However on August 11, Rothwell pulled out due to injury. A team representative said he may have suffered a torn meniscus and could have an ACL injury. He was replaced by Travis Browne. This will be a rematch as Werdum defeated Browne via unanimous decision at UFC on Fox: Werdum vs. Browne in 2014.
A lightweight bout between Erik Koch and Drew Dober was originally booked for UFC 195, but Koch pulled out due to an injury and the bout was scrapped. The fight was later rescheduled for this event, until Koch pulled out again due to injury and was replaced by promotional newcomer Jason Gonzalez.

Stipe Miocic will make his first title defense next month at UFC 203 vs. Alistair Overeem.

But Miocic isn’t really feeling the love of being called UFC heavyweight champion.

“I think I’m definitely underestimated. I mean, it is what it is, man. I’m not worried about it. Keep underestimating me,” he said. “I don’t care. I’m gonna shut you up real quick because that’s what I do.”

Earlier this year, the Ohio-native went into Brazil and dethroned Fabricio Werdum, winning the belt. He’ll try to become the first UFC heavyweight to defend it three times starting first with Overeem.

“Oh of course. I will be,” he said. “Now my goal is, I’m gonna keep this belt for a long time. I wanna be the known heavyweight, you know, someone who held the belt longer than two times.

“I’m gonna be champ for a long time and he’s just another guy front of me.”


Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair Overeem

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CLEVELAND – The UFC heavyweight title is staying in Cleveland after hometown champion Stipe Miocic survived Alistair Overeem’s early onslaught to win by knockout.

Miocic, the No. 1 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, picks up his fourth straight win and second consecutive knockout while No. 5 Overeem’s four-fight streak comes to an abrupt end.

Stipe Miocic shuts out Alistair Overeem's lights with brutal fists in title defense.

Miocic (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) capitalized on a slip by Overeem (41-15 MMA, 6-4 UFC) late in the first round to “turn the motherboard off” – in his words – with several well-placed right hands, notching his first title defense at the 4:27 mark of the opening round.

Fabricio Werdum vs. Travis Browne

Fabricio Werdum beats Travis Browne in odd one – then corners nearly brawl after bell.

Heavyweight fights in MMA have a reputation for occasionally getting a little weird. But when Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne met in the cage, things got downright bizarre.

After a fight that technically should have ended with an injury TKO in the first round, Werdum (21-6-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) eventually defeated Browne (18-5-1 MMA, 9-5-1 UFC) via unanimous decision victory. Then a fight nearly erupted after the fight, and this time it involved more than just the planned participants.

Finally, with both corners ejected from the octagon, order was restored and the scores could be read. They named Werdum the winner, but not without one last oddity. The scores that came in after what was essentially three one-sided rounds? They had it for Werdum by a count of 29-28, 29-27, and 30-27.

Werdum’s win is his first since losing the UFC heavyweight title to Stipe Miocic in May. Browne has now lost two straight.

CM Punk vs. Mickey Gall

Mickey Gall mauls CM Punk with ease, chokes out ex-WWE champ in first.

It was a moral victory that Phil “CM Punk” Brooks made it to the octagon. But a real one didn’t come close to happening – not by a long shot.

As many MMA fans expected, Mickey Gall (3-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) ran through Punk (0-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), schooling him on the ground before forcing him to tap to a rear-naked choke in just over two minutes.

Quite the rude awakening, indeed. But from the sound of it, we haven’t seen the last of Punk.

“I did want to show off the striking with him, but he came in hot so I took him down,” Gall said. “I wasn’t surprised he got through those early chokes because I was only half committing, almost playing a game with it in a way. I hope they give me Sage. I think everyone wants to see that fight.”

Urijah Faber vs. Jimmie Rivera

Despite eye poke, Jimmie Rivera sweeps Urijah Faber for unanimous decision.

In a non-title, three-round bout against a man who simply doesn’t lose those kinds of fights, Jimmie Rivera not only won, but pulled off a clean sweep on the scorecards to defeat Urijah Faber.

With a steady, workmanlike effort, Rivera (20-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) downed Faber (33-10 MMA, 9-6 UFC) via unanimous decision, clocking in with scores of 30-27 across the board.

The lone scare for Rivera came midway through the final round, when a slap from Faber resulted in an eye poke that Rivera would later admit had impaired his vision for the latter half of the round. Still, his efforts to that point were clearly good enough for the judges, all three of whom had him winning every round.

With the victory, Rivera has won four straight in the UFC, with his last loss coming nearly eight years ago. For Faber, the defeat marks the first time he has lost a non-title, three-round bout since coming to the UFC.

Jessica Andrade vs. Joanne Calderwood

Jessica Andrade tears through Joanne Calderwood for first-round submission.

Joanne Calderwood might have had four inches on Jessica Andrade, but Andrade made it clear from the get-go she was the stronger fighter.

Andrade (15-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) muscled Calderwood (11-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) to the canvas just one minute into their meeting and proceeded to have her way with the “TUF 20” vet, setting up a submission in the first round.

As Calderwood finally managed to get back to her feet, Andrade dropped for the guillotine choke. After a brief struggle, there was no choice but to tap. Andrade has now won two straight at 115 pounds, while Calderwood goes back to the drawing board after a one-off win at flyweight against Valerie Letourneau and a decision at strawweight over Cortney Casey.

“The main goal going in was to stay standing and get the knockout like I had been talking about all week,” Andrade said. “However, I knew that if I got her in the clinch or on the ground I would have the advantage. I just want to stay focused and keep training right now. If the UFC wants me to fight in Brazil, Japan or wherever tomorrow, I would. If they give me the title shot, I’m ready for that, too.”

*Fights labeled as "may not be broadcast" are scheduled to take place before the live broadcast begins. These pre-recorded fights are inserted into the broadcast if time permits. However, due to broadcast time constraints some of these undercard bouts may not be seen on a broadcast. These additional bout can be found as bonus footage on the event DVD.