October 8th will be the one year anniversary for Stipe Miočić in the UFC. His first fight was a unanimous decision against Joey Beltran. His second fight came in February when he knocked out Phil De Fries. We picked up the story of the Cleveland-raised fighter prior to his third fight against Shane del Rosario in May when he TKO’d him with elbows. I was with Miočić’s friends and firefighting family in Independence that night and became hooked on the story. I’d been a UFC fan prior to that fight, but the love and energy in the room watching Miočić’s friends cheer him on was special. Despite Miočić dropping his first fight in the UFC over the weekend to Stefan Struve, that feeling of love obviously remains, but so does the excitement.
The fight earned “Fight of the Night” honors from Dana White which meant bonus cash for Miočić even in a loss. That’s probably of little consolation to the Cleveland fighter with dreams of a UFC heavyweight championship run. I haven’t spoken with him, but from talking to his close friends, Stipe Miočić is taking this fight in stride and hoping it will serve as a learning experience. Any fight fans know that it is pretty much impossible to go undefeated in the UFC. Even the fighters who get chances at the belt and ultimately put it around their waist usually take some losses along the way. That’s not to say you’d ever prefer to have a loss, just that a loss doesn’t necessarily spell the end of a run at the title.
Miočić must at least feel he had the fight in his grasp as he won the first round handily. Miočić spent the entire first round peppering the giant seven-foot tall Struve with body shots and overhand rights. He seemed to be playing a game plan out perfectly as he took his customary standing (never seated) break between rounds. [Read more...]