6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) / 234 lb (106 kg; 16 st 10 lb) / Heavyweight
Early MMA and Background
The most accomplished UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic is without a doubt an all-time great. It is a shame that Miocic is not that popular among casuals considering he is not only a former heavyweight champion, but he is also an active firefighter. If there is a fighter to look up to, it is Stipe.
Stipe Miocic has a background in wrestling and was an accomplished Golden Gloves boxing champion. Hence his key to success was his well-roundedness to either take his opponent down or knock them out. That is why Miocic was successful in his MMA run.
Prior to entering the UFC, Miocic started at his own Ohio’s own, NAAFS. He went on to become the NAAFS Champion and then decided to fight at the gold standard of MMA which is the UFC.
In his UFC debut, he fought Joey Beltran at UFC 136. Miocic won via unanimous decision. He had his first impressive KO at his second fight when he knocked out Philip De Fries which also was the knockout of the night.
At UFC 136, he faced Shane Del Rosario where he showcased his well-roundedness, he proved that he could also win with the use of his high-level wrestling. Once he took Del Rosario down in the second round, he won via TKO elbow strikes.
First MMA loss
Unfortunately, Miocic suffered his first MMA loss at the hands of Stefan Struve. Although was a controversy with how the fight ended. Struve landed an eye poke that led to the knockout loss, the referee did not stop the fight despite Miocic couldn’t see well but Miocic also credits this as a learning lesson and improved a lot afterward.
Miocic then went on to win three straight fights against Roy Nelson, Gabriel Gonzales, and Fabio Maldonado before suffering his second loss against former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos. It was a close fight and also the first time that Miocic went to a full five-round fight.
Obviously, a loss is a setback for Miocic but he just needed a few more wins before fighting for the title. That is certainly what he got, he finished a tough and durable, Mark Hunt and former UFC champion, Andrei Arlovski. He demanded Dana White to grant him a title shot.
Becoming the UFC Heavyweight Champion
The UFC did grant him a title shot but it was at the home country of the champion which was Brazil. The crowd was cheering for Werdum and chanting “Uh Vai Morrer” at Stipe which means you are going to die. Although it seems like Miocic was not fazed by the pressure and even embraced the boos of the crowd.
At the fight, it was even but then Werdum decided to strike with Miocic aggressively which is not the best idea. Miocic clipped him but he still went to get back, it was at that moment that Miocic landed a counter strike that put Werdum to sleep. Stipe immediately ran to his corner saying “I’m a world champ!”
First Defense at OHIO
His first title defense was in his own hometown, Cleveland Ohio and it was against Alistair Overeem. Now, Overeem was cautious of Miocic’s power and made Miocic chase him. Overeem was waiting for the moment and it did land, knocking Miocic down. Overeem immediately locked in a guillotine choke but Miocic was able to survive and escape.
Although Miocic was still wobbly, he was able to change levels and took Overeem down. It took a few good punches to knock Overeem out cold.
His next defense was a rematch to his last loss, against Junior Dos Santos. This time, Miocic knocked Dos Santos out. Miocic improved a lot since their first encounter, his confidence and pressure were just something different. JDS also had the tendency to put his back on the corner which Miocic capitalized on.
Breaking the record against “The Predator”
One more defense and Miocic will break the record for most consecutive title defenses in UFC heavyweight history. The scary part was Ngannou was coming off a brutal knockout against Overeem.
The hype with Ngannou was through the roof, even the UFC marketed him more than the current champion. Who can blame them? Ngannou was the most powerful striker in UFC history and was compared with a prime Mike Tyson. Ngannou was a scary opponent to anyone.
Although Miocic was not even intimated and was willing to take up the challenge. In the fight, Miocic was aware of Ngannou’s power hence he tried his best not to engage more and take his time.
Miocic showed high-level head movement, mixed up wrestling but he got clipped many times in the first round. Ngannou was powerful and scary but once Miocic weathered the storm, Miocic won all rounds. He took Ngannou under deep waters and made him carry their weight. Miocic won all rounds but he had a busted face.
On that night Miocic made history, not only did he give Ngannou his first UFC loss, he also cemented himself as the greatest UFC heavyweight champion by breaking the consecutive title defenses.
Miocic vs Cormier Rivalry
UFC gave Daniel Cormier a shot at the heavyweight crown. Miocic was ready to face the light heavyweight champion at that time. In the buildup, Cormier has said that their team saw Miocic’s defensive flaw and will likely exploit it at fight night.
The fight was even, both landed strikes of their own but then Cormier saw Miocic’s tendency which was getting out of a clinch. Cormier capitalized on it and knocked out Miocic.
Miocic demanded an immediate rematch but the UFC did not give it to him. There was a possibility of Brock Lesnar returning and also Derrick Lewis fought for Cormier’s first title defense.
Miocic avenges his loss against Cormier
Then the Brock Lesnar ship sailed, so the UFC had no choice but to grant Miocic what he deserved in the first place.
At the fight, Cormier dominated Miocic all throughout the first half of the fight. It was like Miocic was gonna lose either by a one-sided decision or was gonna get knocked out again but Miocic adjusted and focused more on body shots which paid dividends. It led to Cormier not respecting the shots which he later regretted because it led to his downfall.
This time, Cormier demanded a trilogy since it is 1-1 so the UFC booked it. The fight was much closer than the last two but Miocic was the clear-cut winner. All three judges gave it to Miocic as the winner.
Miocic vs Ngannou 2
Meanwhile, Ngannou was knocking out all the top rising contenders. The rematch was later booked but Ngannou improved tremendously. Miocic may have been caught off guard with the newly improved Francis Ngannou. It was clear that Miocic needed to take Ngannou down in order to win but Ngannou managed to not only defend it but outwrestle Miocic. Ngannou knocked Miocic out in the second round. Since then, Miocic has not fought.