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UFC 203: Stipe Miocic talks ‘tough’ Alistair Overeem, reveals loss he plans to avenge

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Contrary to popular belief, Stipe Miocic is fully focused on the upcoming task at hand as he prepares to defend his heavyweight title for the first time against Alistair Overeem at UFC 203 this weekend (Sat., Sept. 10, 2016) in Cleveland, Ohio.

While the 265-pound kingpin knows just what kind of threat "The Reem" poses, he’s highly confident in the gameplan he and his team have set forth to assure his title reign isn’t simply one and done.

"Overeem is a tough guy," Miocic told the UFC "Unfiltered" podcast (via Flo Combat).

"He's a K-1 champ, he's a good grappler, strong guy and just a good veteran. I've trained harder than I ever have before though and I have great coaches. We have a big game plan walking in so come Saturday I'm going to be walking out the champion with the belt still wrapped around my waist."

For Miocic and Co., not letting Alistair find his groove is crucial. That, and not allowing the hard-hitting striker pop off his knockout-producing shots.

"I'm not going to let him dictate what he wants to do. I'm going to do what I want to, and I'm not going to give him the opportunity to make me feel uncomfortable in the fight and make me make bad decisions," he said. "I'm going to have a great game plan," he added. "I'm going to keep my hands up and stay away from his big shots. I'm going to do what I want to do."

Winner of six of seven, including three straight, Stipe’s lone loss in that span came at the hands of Junior dos Santos via unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 13 two years ago.

And while he now sits at the top of the mountain, it’s a loss he would like to avenge down the road.

"Yeah, of course, who doesn't," Miocic said of avenging the defeat. "I don't like losing man. I think Junior is a great guy and a great fighter. I think if we were to do it again it would be a great fight again. It would probably be another five-round war."

Should he retain his title in Cleveland, Stipe can likely write his own ticket as to who he faces next. Junior, though, is still healing from a shoulder injury, so a showdown between those two combatants is highly-unlikely in the immediate future.

One against this former champion, however, is more likely.

First things first, as Miocic has to successfully defend his strap against a man who is determined to put the cherry on top of his combat sports career by adding the industry's most-coveted title to his mantle.

For more on UFC 203 click here.

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