UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic sent his fellow Cleveland, Ohio residents home happy as he successfully defended his belt against Alistair Overeem at UFC 203 this weekend getting the knockout victory late in the first round. Met with one of the loudest crowds ever Miocic was overwhelmed with the support however hopes his next defence is away from the place locals call ‘Believeland’.
“I would totally rather fight in Brazil,” said Miocic. “It’s a lot easier for me, honestly. The last four months have been crazy. (Overeem) thought I was partying and all that. Fortunately, I was training really, really hard for this fight because I didn’t have a moment to stop. I got married and all that. Now I’m going to take some time to myself, go on a honeymoon with my wife and treat her.”
For now the heavyweight champion looks forward to getting involved as a fan in some NFL crowd participation as the Cleveland Browns begin their 2016/2017 campaign.
“(Cleveland fans) couldn’t be more crazy,” said Miocic. “That’s why I live here. That’s how we do it. We don’t mess around. Wait until next week when I go tailgate at the Browns game. You’re going to see a lot more fights. I’m not going to be in one of them, but I’ll be watching them.”
Meanwhile Overeem not only had to deal with the partisan crowd but also some backlash to some comments he made to Joe Rogan in the post fight interview claiming Miocic tapped to a guillotine choke.
“Stipe was the better man today,” said Overeem. “He’s a great athlete, he’s tough, he always comes to fight. There’s one thing I can say about the fight: I believe when I punched him and he went down, I followed him, I got him in a guillotine choke, and I clearly felt a tap. The ref didn’t see it, the ref didn’t jump in, so the fight continued. But in my opinion, he tapped and it’s a bummer and we’re going to have to go back to the drawing board. I think I’m the better fighter, but not today.”
Joe Rogan then asked the production team to show the replay which showed no tap. With Overeem most likely in state of recovery following the knockout blows at the hands of Miocic, Rogan then took to twitter to explain the post fight interview in more detail and hopes the UFC refrains from interviewing losing fighters who are still in a state of recovery like ‘The Reem’ was.
“I asked the UFC brass if we could please refrain from interviewing fighters after they’ve been KO’ed,” said Rogan. “I don’t think it’s wise nor fair.”
In a back and forth with Tyron Woodley, Rogan said Overeem’s comments forced his hand to ask for the reply.
“I had to play it because I didn’t know if he was right,” said Rogan. “It’s always possible there’s something we didn’t see and he was adamant. Once we showed the first angle he thought in another angle it would be there, so we had to give him a chance.”