UFC Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is taking a well-deserved break from fighting, but expects to make his second title defense early in 2017.
“I was thinking March next year,” he told Fighters Only. “Early spring. I’m not taking a lot of time off – I don’t want to take a year – but I’ll take some time for training, letting my body heal up and all that good stuff.”
“(It was) three fights in eight months. And three-round fights are not like five-round fights. But I was happy to be granted my wish.”
The Ohio native was not concerned about his next opponent, though. Whether it’s Cain Velasquez or a rematch with either Fabricio Werdum or Junior dos Santos, he will welcome any matchup.
“Honestly, I’m like, ‘Who do you want me to fight?’ Whoever I fight, I’ll be confident walking in and ready to go.”
One thing that is for sure, though, is that his next encounter won’t be in Cleveland.
“Oh yeah, 100%. I was thinking of trying different next time because the first time was a little overwhelming – trying to get tickets for everyone, people calling me left and right, now I’ll handle it different,” he admitted.
While he waits to get back in the Octagon, Miocic has been enjoying his time off – particularly watching his Cleveland sports teams’ successes. He was courtside for the Cavaliers NBA Finals success and was one of the lucky few Indians fans to nab tickets for Game 5 and rub shoulders with some celebrities.
“We went to the game on Sunday,” he said. “I never went to Wrigley Field. It was awesome. It was awesome to go there.
“We got amazing seats for the game – sweet tickets. We were the only Indians fans. It was crazy.
“We got to go to a pre-party. I got to meet Lady Gaga, John Travolta and LeBron James in five days (Miocic makes an incredulous face).
“I saw her (Gaga) and she said, ‘Hey, I’m a huge fan.’
“I was like, ‘I’m a huge fan too – Poker Face – da, da, da.’ I was hammered.
“She asked me to sing and I was like, ‘Ya, ya, ya, ya, ya,’ and she just walked away. What did you want me to do? It was great.”