Stipe Miocic opened up a lot of fans’ eyes when he closed Alistair Overeem’s at UFC 203. Despite the fact that the Cleveland hero is the reigning, defending UFC champ, winning the title by knocking out Fabricio Werdum with a sneaky punch during a race along the cage, not too many people were respecting him entering the event.
There’s good reason for that, sure. Miocic’s most-watched fight was probably his UFC on Fox 13 fight with Junior dos Santos, which he lost by unanimous decision. His best win? Probably that UFC Fight Pass bout against Mark Hunt that nobody watched because it was in Australia, and was on in the middle of the night in the USA.
That changed at UFC 203, though, when he beat Overeem cleanly. No excuses. No tap outs. No asterisk. No talk of the fight being a fluke.
He won, and looked impressive in the process. And nobody was more impressed than former UFC light heavyweight champion (and maybe current interim light heavyweight champion? We’re still not really sure if they stripped him…) Jon Jones. Ol’ Bones took to Twitter to praise Miocic after his win:
I'm starting to realize the hype is real with that guy. He's legit, I would be the challenge of a lifetime https://t.co/ybke2pAtAC
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) September 12, 2016
That of course led people to jump to start asking questions. Questions like “is Stipe Miocic going to fight Jon Jones next?” Miocic was asked that question by TMZ, and said the following:
“I’ll fight whoever. He’s a great guy, we’ve talked before, very nice guy to me. Hey, listen right now I’m not worried about it. Just going to chill, hang out with the wife, we’re moving into a new house in a couple of weeks. Like I said, I’ll fight whoever they want me to fight. If they want me to fight Jon, I’ll fight Jon or whoever they want me to fight next — Cain (Velasquez) JDS (Junior dos Santos), (Fabricio) Werdum — I don’t care. Right now, I’m just going to let the body heal a little bit. I’m a little tired.”
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