The history of comebacks in the UFC goes all the way back to the beginning of the promotion. From Cheick Kongo’s knockout over Pat Berry to Yair Rodriguez’s last-second KO of Chan Sung Jung, and the list goes on. Today we take a look at the top three UFC comebacks of 2019.
Stipe Miocic TKO over Daniel Cormier
On August 17, 2019, at UFC 241 Stipe Miocic scored a TKO win over Daniel Cormier with a minute remaining in the fourth round. This was a rematch, as Miocic lost his belt to Cormier a little over a year prior. The first three rounds of their second fight went a lot like the first fight. Cormier was controlling the striking and landing some big shots in the clinch. Almost randomly in the fourth round, Miocic started to attack the body of Cormier, wearing him down with a ton of power punches to the kidneys. This ultimately led to Miocic finishing Cormier later in that round. Thus completing one of the greatest comebacks in UFC heavyweight title fight history.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik KO Over Alistair Overeem
Jairzinho Rozenstruik fought Alistair Overeem at UFC on ESPN 7 in Washington DC on December 7, 2019. Rozenstruik was stepping in on about a month’s notice for Walt Harris. Overeem outclassed Rozenstruik for a majority of the fight, that is until the final round. Rozenstruik landed a reaching right cross with about 4 seconds left in the fight that ended up knocking out Overeem. It was a key comeback for Rozenstruik who was losing on the scorecards. Two of the three judges had Overeem winning three of the first four rounds. The last judge rewarded all of the first four rounds to Overeem. This knockout added to what was already a very impressive year for the heavyweight division, and for Jairzinho Rozenstruik himself.
Ben Askren Bulldog Choke On Robbie Lawler
This fight took place at UFC 235 on March 2, 2019, at the T-Mobile Arena. Although this fight had a ton of controversy attached to it, the events that transpired place certainly warrant being on this list.
The fight started with Robbie Lawler getting taken down. He responded by lifting Ben Askren over his head and slamming him right on his neck. He then rained down on a ton of heavy shots that many thought should have stopped the fight. Askren was able to survive and continued to try and wrestle his way into a better position. He soon was able to get himself to that better position which ended up being a bulldog choke. At some point referee Herb Dean checked on Lawler, to which Lawler responded by giving him a thumbs up. When he put his thumb down he dropped his hand, which looked like he lost consciousness. That led to Dean waving off the fight, while Lawler quickly protested the stoppage.
Lawler essentially went from feeling like he won the fight via TKO, to the fight actually being stopped without him tapping ultimately declaring him the loser. While you can claim this to be a referee error, it still should be considered a great comeback victory for Askren.