If you didn’t think Stipe Miocic was the real deal, perhaps first first-round knockout win over Junior dos Santos in the headlining act of UFC 211 -- which went down last night (Sat., May 13, 2017) in Dallas, Texas (see it here) — was enough for convince you.
And don’t forget the previous four straight knockout victories the current 265-pound champion racked up on his path to the top of the big man mountain. Indeed, Stipe has violently ran through the heavyweight division, leaving a trail of unconscious bodies behind him, including Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem, defending his belt two times, in the process.
Still, Miocic has plenty of challengers waiting in the wings, eager to knock him off his pedestal. One of his biggest challenges will likely come against former division king, Cain Velasquez. The only problem is, no one knows when exactly Cain will return after undergoing another back procedure last December.
Dubbed the man with the potential to go down as the best heavyweight in the game, Cain’s momentum has often been slowed down by injuries. Still, if and when the time comes, the former champion will prove to be a tough test for Mioci, who is well on his way to making his own case for the best big man of all time.
While there are other rising contenders such as Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis climbing the ranks, they likely won’t get next dibs against Miocic, even if “The Black Beast” happens to get by Mark Hunt in a few months.
Indeed, the best fight to make is one against Velasquez, since Stipe has previously knocked out to other veterans in Werdum and Overeem, who will run it back at UFC 213 later this year.
Should Stipe end up fighting and defeating Velasquez, not only will it be the biggest feather in his cap, but he will become the first man to successfully defend the heavyweight title three straight times.
But it’s not like it will mean much to a stoic Miocic, anyway.
For complete UFC 211: “Miocic vs. dos Santos 2,” including play-by-play updates, click here and here.