Stipe Miocic reclaimed the UFC heavyweight title for the US at UFC 198 this past weekend by beating Brazilian Fabricio Werdum on the defending champ’s home turf.
Though it was a first-round KO win for Miocic, the new champ admitted Werdum was still a tougher challenge than he anticipated.
“He’s a lot quicker than I thought. I was hitting him with some shots,” Miocic said of Werdum after being crowned champ. “He started chasing me and I hit him with the right hand and he didn’t like it very much. He started chasing me and I caught him with a good right hand. I have power.”
“I was working on the checks all camp. He kicks hard,” he added. “I hit him with the first right hand, and I thought I hurt him and he started chasing me and knew I was going to get it.”
The odds appeared stacked against Miocic heading into his shot at the UFC heavyweight title, not only in facing a Brazilian who has looked almost unbeatable in recent years, but also taking the fight in his opponent’s native land. But it seems it never looked that way for the American.
“I’m here for business. When I go in there it’s me against another guy,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if he’s at home or if I’m at home.”
Miocic will now most likely face Alistair Overeem or the winner of UFC 200’s Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne bout in his first title defense. But regardless of who the first challenger is, Stipe won’t be giving the belt up easily.
“Now I’ve got to keep it. I want to hold it for a while.”