A Brief History
On January 21, 2018, in the earliest hours of the day, suburban Cleveland native Stipe Miocic successfully defended his UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) mixed martial arts (MMA) title for the third consecutive time, the first MMA heavyweight to accomplish this feat. At the UFC 220 event held in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20, 2018 (spilling over past midnight), Miocic faced the fearsome puncher Francis Ngannou in the main event.
Miocic, a Croatian-American from Euclid, Ohio, works part-time as an EMT and firefighter for a couple Cleveland suburbs. A clean cut and popular champion, he first commandeered the heavyweight belt when he defeated Fabricio Werdum on May 14, 2016 at UFC 198. Stipe successfully defended his title against Alistair Overeem and then again against former champion Junior Dos Santos. In facing Ngannou, Miocic was looking at the hardest punching man in the history of the world, at least as far as scientific measurements can tell us. In fact, Ngannou punches so hard, 129,161 units, he is way out ahead of the second hardest puncher ever tested, Tyrone Spong who posted a punching power of 114,000 units.
Miocic weathered Ngannou’s hardest punches and gave back plenty of his own, as well as taking down the 263 pound fighter from Cameroon 6 times during the 5 round fight. (Miocic weighs 246 pounds and is 6 feet 4 inches tall.) All 3 judges scored Miocic as the winner of all 5 rounds, 50-44, with the fight progressing increasingly in Miocic’s favor as it went along, a testament to his incredible conditioning.
So ferocious and intimidating is Ngannou, that Ngannou was the favorite in the contest despite being the challenger. Miocic, now with a record of 18-2, has beaten the best heavyweights of this era and stands alone as having defended his title 3 times. Incredibly, he (at least for now) refuses to quit his day jobs and plans on staying in the business of saving other peoples’ lives when he is not fighting!
Congratulations, Stipe Miocic, and best wishes for continued success. In this day of bad news about our athletic heroes testing positive for banned substances and behaving badly, it is wonderful to be able to root for a genuine hero like Stipe Miocic.
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For more information, please see…
Gerbasi, Thomas. UFC Encyclopedia. BRADY GAMES , 2011.