Stipe Miocic is Now a Two-Time Heavyweight Champion of the World… But Can He Truly be Called the Greatest Heavyweight of All-Time? And if Not… Then Who is?
It was a stunning comeback, not least because Stipe Miocic got pieced up for three rounds before knocking out Daniel Cormier in Anaheim, California. Why DC was fighting with his hands down we do not know, but he got complacent and he paid for it. Meanwhile, Stipe made the most important adjustment of his career, targeting Cormier’s body, before flooring him with a devastating barrage.
Now he’s the UFC heavyweight champion for the second time. His first spell as champion saw him defend the belt an unprecedented three times. The turnover rate is fast in the most glamorous division in combat sports, with a single punch capable of knocking the other man out.
Can Miocic truly be regarded as the best to ever do it, now that he’s got the belt back again? There’s a strong case to make that he is. Keep reading to find out why.
Blame Jon Jones for putting these thoughts in our heads. The UFC light-heavyweight champion was quick to comment on Miocic’s win. He was delighted that his nemesis, Cormier, got beaten and jeered at his comments about earning more from one fight than Jones has made all year. He tweeted:
“Stipe is hands down the greatest heavyweight of all time. I have nothing else to say.”
“Now can we stop playing games with these pound for pound rankings already.”
Take a look at Miocic’s record and he’s literally cleared out almost all of the division. He shut down the most devastating striker in modern MMA – Francis Ngannou. Mark Hunt, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Roy Nelson… these are all big names. And he avenged his two biggest losses against Junior Dos Santos and Daniel Cormier, knocking both men out in rematches.
Not only does he win, but he does it in style. 6 out of his last 7 wins have come by KO/TKO. Miocic brings fireworks to every fight. He can push the pace or fight going backwards – as his knockout in the Dos Santos rematch showed.
We’ve seen his fight IQ and toughness on display too. Is he the most technically gifted UFC champion ever? No way. But he knows how to follow a game plan as we saw against Ngannou, and his smushing of Cormier’s body was brilliant.
STIPE MIOCIC GOD DAMN pic.twitter.com/feg55kYjBo
— Dylan (@Dylangonzalez21) August 18, 2019
If it’s not Miocic who can it be? Don’t say Fedor Emelianenko. He’s never done it in the UFC so while he’ll always carry that mystique, there’s always going to be a question mark about how good he really was. It can’t be DC. Not with just one title defence on his books and so much of his career spent at 205lbs.
You could make an argument that two-time champion Cain Velasquez was the greatest, but then again, he never managed to defend his title more than twice either. Curiously, Velasquez and Miocic have never fought and they probably never will now. At this point, it’s fair to say that yes, Stipe is the greatest heavyweight the sport has seen in its short history.