We may be witnessing the age of the newly adored American heavyweight champion and he is of Croatian descent along with being from a city known for its losing sports teams. The 34-year-old Stipe Miocic came off an exciting first title defense, which packed plenty of action in under one round. Besides the TKO victory over the legend, Alistair Overeem, what really stood out was the reception given by the Ohio faithful. Miocic was able to capture the magic in American soil, something we haven’t seen in some time in regards to the UFC heavyweight division.
The part time fire fighter is a relatively young champion at heavyweight and has a plentiful of interesting match ups in the horizon. It also helps that Stipe has been embraced by the vast majority in the MMA circle for being one of the “good guys” in the precarious fight game. Holding victories over names like Mark Hunt, Fabricio Werdum, Roy Nelson, Andrei Arlovski, Gabriel Gonzaga and now Alistair Overeem, Miocic has carved a nice legacy for himself thus far. A close decision loss against former champion, Junior dos Santos could be revisited sooner than later. Then there is Cain Velasquez, who has yet to lock horns with the current champion. First, Velasquez must get by the man who handed him his last defeat in “Vai Cavalo.”
The heavyweight division was more recently headed by a Mexican American in Velasquez, two Brazilians in dos Santos and Werdum, and before that the biggest draw in MMA, and newly Canadian adopted, Brock Lesnar. Miocic has an opportunity to represent the hard working blue collared American who earned the big one in the least likely of places, enemy territory. Now it is his time to celebrate his success on home turf and hopefully relinquish his second gig.