Last night (Sat., May 31, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight, Stipe Miocic, and Light Heavyweight, Fabio Maldonado, locked horns in the re-worked main event of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" 3 Finale from Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
To watch full Stipe Miocic vs. Fabio Maldonado fight video highlights click here.
No. 7-ranked Miocic came in off of a decision win over Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC on FOX 10. The former NCAA wrestler and Golden Gloves boxing champion also beat Roy Nelson in his previous fight at UFC 161.
After seeing his original opponent Junior dos Santos withdraw from their originally scheduled bout with a hand ailment, Miocic and was looking to build a three-fight win streak by defeating the iron-chinned Maldonado.
Not to be outdone, former undefeated professional boxer (and usual light heavyweight) Maldonado was quickly gaining one of the biggest followings in all of mixed martial arts (MMA) thanks to his fearless, heavy-hitting style. After bludgeoning Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night 38 in March, he stepped in on short notice to take on a tall task in Miocic.
Faced with a sort of lose-lose proposition, Miocic picked up an easy victory to move onto more relevant fights in the Octagon.
The action kicked off fast and furious. Miocic rocked Maldonado with a short left hand early on. Miocic then pressed the pace with a huge straight right, dropping Maldonado to land several ground shots to earn the finish 35 seconds into round one.
Miocic did what he was supposed to in the fashion most predicted of him. He made finishing Maldonado look easy, no small feat considering the Brazilian boxer had only lost to strikes once, a doctor's stoppage against Glover Teixeira at UFC 152.
He clearly had Maldonado overmatched, but now it's time for Miocic to go back to fights that will get him closer to his coveted UFC heavyweight tile shot.
That bout should be the fight he already signed on for, a match-up with dos Santos. "Cigano" won't require surgery on his hand, so he should be ready to fight relatively soon.
And Miocic took literally no damage last night.
If that fight doesn't work out, Miocic would match up well against fighters like Alistair Overeem, Travis Browne, or even Josh Barnett.
His boxing is extremely fast and precise for a heavyweight, and his confidence is through the roof. Unfortunately for him, beating Maldonado doesn't prove much.
Maldonado won't lose much with the loss. He stepped up to save a card by facing a much bigger fighter, and he always comes to fight. That fearlessness is what got him caught tonight, as he rushed in without caution to let Miocic find his chin.
It's a dangerous style that will probably never get him to the top levels of the UFC light heavyweight division, but he has many more entertaining wars left in him.
A fight against the winner of UFC 174's Ryan Bader vs. Rafael Cavalcante match-up would be an absolute slugfest for Maldonado.
Stipe Miocic took care of business by starching Fabio Maldonado in Brazil. Who's next for the up-and-coming heavyweight striker?