Following this past weekend’s momentous UFC stadium show in Brazil, we look at a couple of the biggest talking points coming out of UFC 198…
And now his watch begins
Stipe Miocic became the latest in a long list of men to shake up the UFC’s heavyweight division when he conquered the odds to become new heavyweight champion with a KO win over Fabricio Werdum. So now that there is another king sitting on the HW throne, we look to the list of contenders and speculate whether or not the new champ has what it takes to hold the title for a lengthy period.
With the likes of Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos and others rising through the ranks, Miocic will have his work cut out for him if he is to hold onto the belt.
Miocic certainly has good enough skills in both the striking and grappling departments to continue fighting at the highest level of the game for the forseeable future. But, then again, predicting the outcome of a UFC heavyweight bout is a pretty impossible game these days and any night could see any man’s fall from grace – champions being no exception.
Next up for Stipe will most likely be former Dream, K-1 and Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem (unbeaten in his last four bouts) and, with the way things are going, the picture atop the UFC’s 265 weight class will remain unpredictable for some time to come.
Chill out, Brazilian fans
Brazilian MMA fans have earned their reputation as one of the most passionate audiences in the sport, and it’s something which they should largely be commended for. But patriotism can go too far, and go too far it did when Matt Brown was physically assaulted by fans while walking to the Octagon for his bout with Demian Maia – most likely in retaliation after Brown gave booing fans the finger at the official weigh-ins the day before.
As you will see in the above video, Brown struck back after having hands laid on him one too many times. It’s not often you’ll hear myself (or any other MMA industry professional, for that matter) applaud a fighter for lashing out at fans – verbally or physically – but in this case they had it coming.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be a problem that can be solved by a simple increase in security or pre-event public announcement regarding appropriate conduct. It seems some Brazilian fans are simply too aggressive for their own good – perhaps not all that surprising for a nation whose most popular chant is “Uh, vai morrer!” (Translation: “You’re going to die!”)
But by no means should this incident lead to wild generalizations about Brazilian MMA fans. They are, for the most part, nothing more than an especially passionate bunch not dissimilar to Mexican or Irish fans – neither of which have a reputation for violent conduct at UFC events.
All that can be said is, to those fans who felt it necessary to put their hands on a fighter in the most cowardly manner possible, perhaps think twice next time as security might not react in time to save you.