UFC

Daniel Cormier hopes to lift up Gilroy community with win at UFC 241

Daniel Cormier hopes to lift up Gilroy community with win at UFC 241

When Daniel Cormier enters the Octagon on Saturday to face Stipe Miocic in their much-anticipated rematch at UFC 241, he'll be fighting for more than just his chance to retain the heavyweight belt.

Cormier, who trains at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, also is the wrestling coach at Gilroy High School. Tragedy recently hit the Gilroy community when a gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28, killing four people and wounding 13 others.

So Cormier not only will be fighting for the belt Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, but also to represent his community.

"With my attachment to the community, and being the guy that's probably -- you know I talk about all the fighters from the city, but I'm the guy at the forefront as the champion," Cormier told NBC Sports Bay Area. "The opportunity to represent the community on such a massive stage is a huge honor for me. It hasn't been long since the shooting happened, and to be in such a big spot and to carry the flag of the town of Gilroy means a ton to me. 

"People will be watching. They will be rooting and cheering. I know that on Saturday, I'm going to show and prove how strong people from Gilroy are and make them proud."

[RELATED: Cormier offers advice to McGregor after bar punch video]

Cormier defeated Miocic via first-round knockout at UFC 226 last July,

He hopes to lift a belt and a community Saturday with another victory over Miocic on Saturday.

UFC Fight Night Sacramento: Performance of the Night bonuses handed out

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UFC Fight Night Sacramento: Performance of the Night bonuses handed out

History was made Saturday at Golden 1 Center. UFC Fight Night Sacramento now holds the record for the shortest amount of combined fight time in a main and co-main event. 

But only one of those winners, Urijah Faber, earned a $50,000 bonus. Four fighters -- Faber, Josh Emmett, Andre Fili and Jonathan Martinez -- received the $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus. Germaine de Randamie, who handed Aspen Ladd her first loss with a 16-second knockout, did not receive the bonus. 

Faber came out of retirement and put on a show for the home crowd. "The California Kid" knocked out Ricky Simon in 46 seconds, and quickly went home to celebrate with his daughter, Cali. 

Emmett, another member of Team Alpha Male fighting out of Sacramento, gave the crowd plenty to cheer about before Faber entered the octagon. The 34-year-old caught Mirsad Bektic with a right jab and knocked him out in the final minute of the first round.

Fili was the feel-good story of the night. Another Team Alpha Male fighter to go home victorious had someone special watching him in the crowd. The Sacramento native's father had been in prison for 17 years, and the first time he saw his son since, Fili knocked out Sheymon Moraes in the first round.

[RELATED: UFC Fight Night Sacramento: Results, video highlights]

Martinez handed Team Alpha Male, which went 4-2 on the night, their first loss of the event. In the third round, he caught Pingyuan Liu with a violent knee to his head to knock him out. 

Saturday night was jam-packed out memorable moments in Sacramento, and four fighters' bank accounts prove it.

Germaine de Randamie knocks out Aspen Ladd at UFC Fight Night Sacramento

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Germaine de Randamie knocks out Aspen Ladd at UFC Fight Night Sacramento

If you thought a 46-second fight was fast, that's nothing compared to only 16 seconds. That's all Germaine de Randamie needed to hand Aspen Ladd (8-1-0) her first career loss. 

De Randamie (9-3-0) landed a right-hand punch to Ladd's jaw just 16 seconds into the first round of the co-main event Saturday at UFC Fight Night in Golden 1 Center.

The decision for referee Herb Dean to stop the fight came with controversy, though. 

Though she understands why the crowd might be frustrated, de Randamie believes the right call was made. 

https://twitter.com/UFCNews/status/1150233590141054976

While some might question Dean's decision, de Randamie landed a clean punch on Ladd that knocked her to the mat. A scary scene at Friday's weigh in could have played a role in the early stoppage, too. 

Ladd didn't look like she was in shape to drive to the arena, let alone compete in a fight. She was seen shaking to make 135 pounds as a bantamweight and could barely flex her muscles for pictures. 

[RELATED: Watch Urijah Faber knock out Ricky Simon]

No matter your thoughts on the decision, de Randamie made history in Sacramento. Her 16-second win tied Ronda Rousey for the fastest knockout in UFC bantamweight history. 

On a night full of fireworks, the flames went out with a quick but loud bang in the two main events.