Heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic on the verge of UFC history

There have been 19 heavyweight champions in the UFC history and only five of them have been able to successfully defend the belt twice.

None have made it any further.

Stipe Miocic joined that group of five with a first-round knockout of Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC 211 on Saturday night in Dallas.

Should he be able to break down the wall and set the record with a third title defense in his next fight, Miocic will force himself into the conversation as one of the best heavyweights to ever compete in the UFC.

He’s not really the type to get caught up in the significance of such debates.

“If I keep winning, I’ll make history,” Miocic said early Sunday morning at American Airlines Center. “But I really don’t care. I just like winning. It’s fun. I especially like being called champ.”

He has been bestowed with that moniker for exactly a year. Miocic won the belt with a first-round knockout of Fabricio Werdum on May 14, 2016. He defended it with a first-round knockout win over Alistair Overeem in September and then made quick work of former champ dos Santos on Saturday to avenge a 2014 loss.

When he finally spoke to the media, it was after midnight. Miocic noted that made his title reign exactly one year old. His three title fights in that time lasted a total of 9:36.

“I think everyone wants that kind of run,” Miocic said. “These are great nights. I don’t care because I’m always in shape to go the whole five rounds, but of course first-round knockouts are nice. They’re real nice.”

UFC president Dana White has certainly taken notice. He said should Stipe win his next fight, he would have to be in the conversation as the best heavyweight to compete in the UFC.

“It would be tough to say he’s not after defending the title three times,” White said. “If he gets beyond that, he’s an amazing Hall of Famer, I guess.

“He’s really come into his own. He’s an unbelievable fighter that has gone on a tear and knocked out everybody, including the last guy who beat him. It’s remarkable.”

As for who the record-breaking opportunity will come against, the picture is quite cloudy. Werdum and Overeem will fight in July and the winner will be in the mix. Former champ Cain Velasquez is recovering from an injury and is a possibility, along with rising superstar Francis Ngannou, who may be just a win away from contention.

Miocic has more pressing concerns. He still works as a firefighter in his native Cleveland and will return to work on Thursday.

He has no plans of giving up his day job and cryptically mentioned on several occasions that he has some issues to address with the UFC before his next fight.

“There’s a lot of things I have to look into,” he said. “We’ll leave it at that.”

When pressed on several occasions, Miocic declined to elaborate.

The 34-year-old former college baseball player is 17-2 in his career with 13 knockouts.

Greener pastures

Former UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson finally broke his silence about his reasons for unexpectedly retiring following his championship loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 in Buffalo, New York, last month.

Johnson indicated at the time he planned to pursue options outside of fighting that he believed could be lucrative.

“My friend Paul is in cannabis and we’re opening up a facility,” Johnson said on former pro wrestler Booker T’s podcast. “It’s for medical uses. We’re getting in that way. We’ve got some good things going on.

“It’s already big. We’re just waiting on that law to pass and whenever it passes, we’re golden. We’re playing our cards right. We’re playing by the books so that way there is no issues. We’re good to go.”

Johnson, 33, said the business opportunity wasn’t the sole reason he chose to walk away from fighting at the top of his game.

“My health, man,” Johnson explained. “You hear about CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and all this other stuff. Head injuries. You’re harming your body playing football and stuff like that, but this stuff can happen just as fast in mixed martial arts as any other sport, because we’re constantly beating on each other.

”I love myself, you know what I’m saying? A lot of guys don’t think about that.”

Silva to be enshrined

UFC officials announced Saturday former matchmaker Joe Silva will be inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame in July.

Silva began working in the UFC in 1995 and was named director of talent relations and chief matchmaker in 2001 when the promotion was purchased by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, along with Dana White.

The induction ceremony will take place during International Fight Week in Las Vegas, which runs from July 5-9.

More MMA: Follow all of our MMA and UFC coverage online at CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Covering The Cage: Rose Namajunas Retains Title
Covering the cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over Rose Namajunas retaining the Women's strawweight title.
Covering The Cage: Changes To UFC 223 Fight Card
Covering The Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill go over changes to the UFC 223 fight card including Khabib Nurmagomedov's new opponent.
Covering The Cage: Conor McGregor Posted $50,000 Bail
Covering The Cage hosts Heidi Fang and Adam Hill go over Conor McGregor in facing three misdemeanor chargers and posting $50,000 bail.
Covering The Cage: Conor McGregor Court Appearance
Covering the Cage host Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over the recent developments of Conor McGregor.
Covering The Cage Facebook Live - March 29,2018
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk UFC 223 live via. SKYPE with Ufc Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson on his main event clash with number 1 contender Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Covering the Cage: UFC 222 recap
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC 222
Covering The Cage: UFC 222 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over the main card fights including Cris Cyborg keeping her title, Bryan Ortega's win over Frankie Edgar and Sean O'Malley fighting through an injury.
UFC 222: Fight Preview
Covering the cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang provide a preview for UFC 222 as well as their predictions.
Covering The Cage: UFC 222 Preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over the top fights to watch for at UFC 222 including Cris Cyborg and Brian Ortega.
Covering The Cage: Live Interview With Elias Theodorou
Covering The Cage host Heidi Fang talks with Elias Theodorou to preview UFC on Fox and becoming a ring boy.
Covering the Cage: Roy Nelson interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about the world of MMA as well as interview heavyweight Roy Nelson.
Covering the Cage: Feb. 6 Facebook Live
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC Fight Night 125 as well as preview UFC 221 and UFC 222.
Covering The Cage: Ronda Rousey joins WWE; UFC on Fox 27 recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss Ronda Rousey’s move to WWE and recap UFC on Fox 27.
Covering the Cage: Jordan Rinaldi, UFC on Fox 27 preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to fighter Jordan Rinaldi about his upcoming fight and preview the rest of UFC on Fox 27.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 220 and Bellator 192 Recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap UFC 220 and Bellator 192.
Life
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like