CLEVELAND’S STIPE MIOCIC
by: Mario GoLuza
When you think “CHAMPION FIGHTER” who comes to mind: Ali, Sugar Ray, Tyson, Liddell, Fedor, Anderson Silva? Recently a new UFC Champion has been crowned and it’s not solely fighting ability that makes him a “GREAT CHAMPION.”
Cleveland native Stipe Miocic, a former collegiate baseball player, wrestler and Golden Glove boxer, decided to dedicate his time to MMA despite having multiple MLB teams showing interest. This decision soon proved to be the right one after winning his first five MMA fights by KO and claiming the NAAFS heavyweight title shortly thereafter.
Fast-forward to May 2016. Stipe wipes Fabricio Werdum’s “trademark smile” off his face via 1st round KO at UFC 198 to attain the Heavyweight Championship. Miocic waited years for his title shot and finally got his opportunity after calling out Dana White following his win over former champion Andre Arlovski at UFC 195.
But what makes Stipe Miocic different?
Unlike most UFC fighters whose full-time jobs entail training at the gym, Stipe devotes his time to saving lives and giving back to the community as a Firefighter/Paramedic. Alongside his numerous social media posts stating “Bringing a Title Back to Cleveland”, Miocic’s motivating story has been nothing short of a fairy-tale of a fighter who the UFC once coined as “Not having the look of a Champion.” Sorry to break it to you Dana White, you were wrong again.
Cleveland, a city that hasn’t seen a Championship in 52 years (1964 NFL title before the Super Bowl even existed) has finally ended its drought, and with Lebron and the healthy Cavs still in the NBA playoffs, they may be seeing two in 2016.
Moral of the Story…”Never give up and give back because the choices you make today you will have to live with tomorrow.”