Newly crowned heavyweight champion of the world Stipe Miocic will return to a heroes welcome when he makes the first defense of his UFC crown in Cleveland, Ohio at UFC 203 on September 10th. The event will be the first time the UFC has visited the city and a capacity 20,000+ crowd is expected at the Quickens Loans Arena.
Miocic, 33, who is a firefighter by day and cage fighter by night, claimed the biggest prize in fight sports just 12 days ago when he knocked out Fabricio Werdum in Curitiba, Brazil courtesy of a perfectly timed right hand midway through the opening round. The speed of the victory is what has allowed the UFC to put him straight back in for a quick defense.
In the opposing corner will be former K-1 Grand Prix and Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem, who will be looking to become the first heavyweight in history to hold all of MMA’s major titles. Following his own dramatic TKO of leading contender Andrei Arlovski in Rotterdam, Holland earlier this month, Overeem stated he would be next for a shot at the title. Yet his initial thoughts of a title shot at UFC 205 in New York City in November proved inaccurate.
With both heavyweights unscathed from their latest wins the UFC have handed Miocic the perfect homecoming parade, at the home of his beloved Cleveland Cavaliers. Announcing the fight last night, Micioc said: “Hey Cavs fans, have I got some news for you. I’m pumped to let you know that my first title defense is going to be right here. That’s right, UFC is com in to Cleveland for the first time ever and I will be defending my title against Alistair Overeem.”
Further information regarding a full undercard and ticket details will be announced soon.