Stipe Miococ consecutively defended the UFC heavyweight championship more times than anyone in history (3), successfully defended the title more times than anyone in history (4), and holds the division record for performance bonuses (9). And he lost the belt in dramatic fashion to Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC 260 on Saturday night. Now Miococ has released a graceful statement on his social network.
First and foremost, I’m ok. I know that fall wasn’t my most graceful fall, but I was unconscious, so it happens.
To my family friends and fans, especially Croatia & Cleveland...
I love you and I’m sorry. I hate letting you down. To my team, thank you. I know you feel every loss just as much as I do. We win as a family, we lose as a family. Losses aren’t fun, they always sting for a while, but that’s the beast of this business. You can’t win them all, and it’s important to understand that losing is just as much a part of sports (and life) as winning. Don’t ever forget God will always put you where you’re meant to be at that exact moment. You can’t dwell on what you should have done better, but you can learn and improve from it and come back more prepared next time.
Unfortunately, I deviated from game plan. I felt great coming into the second round, I saw it was beginning to go as planned. He was getting very winded, and I came in overzealous and unprotected. I wasn’t in a good posture to take the hit. He saw the opening, and did what any great fighter would have done.
That was my error that I accept, it won't happen again. Lastly, I’d like to congratulate Francis Ngannou and his team on a well-earned victory. Saturday night was your night, enjoy your victory! For now, I’m going to enjoy the downtime, spend some time with my family, and welcome our son into the world this summer... stay tuned, God bless.
UG, what do you think is next for Stipe?