WATCH: Stipe Miocic MERKS Junior dos Santos In First Round Destruction
The headliner of an absolutely stacked UFC 211 card saw Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos do battle once more in a fight for the heavyweight crown.
The pair originally squared off back in December of 2014 and in a closely fought five-round encounter, dos Santos walked away with the unanimous decision.
Since then, Miocic has won his last four fights; he beat Mark Hunt and then Andrei Arlovski before winning the heavyweight crown from Fabrício Werdum and defending it against Alistair Overeem. Now, he was facing the last man to beat him inside the Octagon and the Ohio native was determined to make amends for that defeat.
“I’ve got something to prove against him after that loss,” Miocic said. “I had never gone five rounds before that fight and I wasn’t ready for it.
“But, after going five rounds with him I was good. I knew I could hang with anyone after that. I’m ready to go five rounds this time but I definitely want to stop it early. It won’t be like last time. I’m motivated by that loss and I don’t want it to happen again.”
— Shihab Uddin (@shihabuddin2443) May 14, 2017
Despite his confidence, the 34-year-old was not taking his opponent lightly:
“He hits super hard. He has knockout power. You have to be smart. I hit way harder than I did when we last me and he’s in for a surprise…big time!”
Good luck to the champ @stipemiocicufc tonight! 👊🏼
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 13, 2017
Not surprisingly, Dos Santos saw the fight going differently.
“I’m coming to take that belt from Miocic,” he said. “I’m a more mature fighter these days. I’m facing the man I believe is best heavyweight right now and I’m very excited about that because I like big challenges like this one.”
Dos Santos became the heavyweight champ back in November 2011, knocking out Cain Velasquez in just over a minute. But after a successful title defence against Frank Muir, he lost it to Velasquez in their rematch and failed to regain it in their trilogy fight.
Now he’s confident that he can become a two-time heavyweight champion.
“I knew I could get another chance to fight for the title. All the guys from heavyweight division know I’m the real deal here. I’m not playing here. I’m taking this very seriously and I have enough skills to be the No.1 again.”
Stipe Miocic spent the entirety of the fight pushing on the front foot and although Dos Santos landed a number of heavy kicks, the champion found a home for his right hand at last and Herb Dean called off the aggressor.
Rather than call out his next foe, the heavyweight champ used his post-fight speech to give a mother’s day shoutout while looking forward to kitchen renovations back home.
WATCH THE FINISH ON THE PLAYER BELOW
— '02 Donald Hayes (@fearthe_beard11) May 14, 2017