Some of you may not have known, but we got our first taste a Cleveland Championship Saturday night. Stipe Miocic, from Cleveland, is a heavyweight fighter in the UFC and captured the heavyweight title by knocking out the champion, Fabricio Werdum, in the first round. The champion rushed in on the heavy-handed Stipe and woke up ten seconds later asking: what happened? Stipe simply threw a short right hand, which caught Werdum on the chin, and down he went. Fabricio was out on his feet and fell face down against the cage, sleeping.
Stipe was so excited, it seemed he did not know how to react to becoming champion. He ran across the octagon leaped over the fence to his corner and hugged screaming out “I’m a world champ!!”. The reaction was complete euphoria and extremely emotional, showing the fans that these men are not monsters, and even though they are the toughest people on the planet, they are just like everyone else.
Stipe Miocic is a child of Croatian immigrants and was raised in Cleveland. He has been fighting in the UFC for years now and has been a top heavyweight for the past two years. Some still doubted if he could hang with the top of the division, but with all the injuries in the division, Stipe found himself getting his title shot coming off of consecutive knockout wins over Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski. He screamed for a title shot, he got one, and he capitalized on it.
After the fight he looked into the camera and screamed “Cleveland you got a champion!”. I know Cleveland has their eyes on the Cavs right now, but hopefully they take a minute to recognize one of their own capturing the title as “baddest man on the planet” by becoming Heavyweight Champion of the UFC. Congrats Stipe!