Stipe Miocic: I Belong in the Heavyweight Top 10

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Heavyweights Stipe Miocic and Roy Nelson were a late pairing at UFC 161, with Nelson being a big favorite (-250). However, Miocic took a clear decision, landing an unprecedented number of strikes on the durable Nelson.

Miocic was coming off a loss to Stefan Struve in September of 2012, but that was his first loss as an amateur or a pro, and his confidence is entirely unshaken, as expressed in an interview with FOX sports after the fight.

“I caught him a few times. I think I wobbled him in the beginning, and I knew I belonged here,” said Miocic. “He caught me with one good punch, but I felt fine. I knew exactly what was going on, so i just spun around and was good to go.”

“I was being smart. I knew he was going to go for the kill. I was up two rounds to none, so I knew he was going to come take my head off.”

“I had a fall last time, but it’s okay. It was a little trip. No big deal. I think everyone [changes their mindset], after their first loss, or any kind of loss – ‘don’t [try to] live up to the hype… just fight.'”

“I know how good I am. I know I can do in this division. I believe I belong in the top 10, and I showed it tonight.”

The official UFC fighter rankings for heavyweight do not reflect Saturday’s fights:
Champion: Cain Velasquez
1. Junior dos Santos
2. Daniel Cormier
3. Fabricio Werdum
4. Antonio Silva
5. Roy Nelson
6. Alistair Overeem
7. Frank Mir
8. Travis Browne
9. Mark Hunt
10. Minotauro Nogueira

Where do you see Miocic in the rankings now?