Wednesday, October 28, 2020

What is next for Stipe Miocic?

Stipe Miocic is once again the baddest man on the planet, regaining the crown by knocking out Daniel Cormier in their main event matchup at UFC 241. 

For the first two rounds it seemed as though we were headed towards another Cormier victory, however throughout the third and fourth he began to ignore the instructions of his corner and throw all logic out of the window. Walking down the bigger man, his hands by his sides, Cormier seemed overconfident and disinterested in Miocic. It was this that would be his undoing, as Miocic began to rip into his body, before dropping him and finishing the fight in the fourth round. 

Now that he has taken down his foe, and regained his title following a 13 month layoff, what’s next for the newly minted heavyweight champion? Check out what he thought in his post fight interview – if you can speak Stipe

Trilogy?

One of the first questions asked by fans following Stipe’s victory on Saturday night, was whether or not we would see a rubber match between the Ohio native and DC. It’s a fight that interests a lot of fans, and could make or break both fighters legacies. 

It all depends on whether or not DC decides to call it a day. If he wants the rematch, I would be shocked if the UFC didn’t give it to him. He is one of the biggest names they have, he’s been a company man for almost his entire career and looks to be a part of the company going forwards. Though there are a couple of top contenders that could claim their right to a title fight, I don’t think many fans would be opposed to seeing these two go at it once more. If DC can recapture the focus that has made him one of the greatest fighters of all time, we could get yet another thriller from these two amazing fighters. Just check out the stats from the fight at UFC 241.

Stipe Miocic

I think the biggest question mark towards this fight, other than whether or not DC will return to the Octagon, is if Stipe would be open to offering the rematch. It makes sense to him from a financial standpoint, I can’t think of many other fights that would bring him a bigger paycheck. It also makes sense when you consider Cormier’s age, as he’s no longer in his prime and his abilities in the Octagon are likely to be on the decline. However Stipe had to fight and claw for his rematch, and I would be surprised if he didn’t want to make DC do the same. 

Francis Ngannou

Could we see a rematch between these two monsters, two years after their original fight? Following his loss to Miocic in 2018, Ngannou has fought a total of four times. The less said about his comeback fight against Derrick Lewis, the better, however after that loss he has put together an impressive three fight winning streak. Over the past 12 months, Ngannou has knocked out Curtis Blayes (who at the time was seen as a rising star in the division), a returning Cain Velasquez, and the resurgent Junior Dos Santos. Meanwhile, he has only clocked a total of 2:22 in the Octagon. It doesn’t get more impressive than that. 

While the fact that he has knocked out three opponents in under three minutes is an amazing feat, it also means we haven’t been able to see if he has dealt with any of the flaws that were exposed in his first fight with Stipe. His complete lack of a ground game was the fatal flaw for him, however. It was also evident that he had little to no cardio, and once the fight came out of the first round he began to struggle. Is Ngannou still just all power? Or has he refined his game in other areas? Is he good enough to take on Miocic and beat him on merit? Or would he just be hoping to connect with an absolute bomb?

Jon Jones

The third potential fight I could see happening, though it’s probably the most unlikely, is a bout against Jon Jones. 

MMA fans can’t stop talking about the possibility of Bones moving up to the heavyweight division, as he continues to clean out what is left of the baron light heavyweight group. Though Jones himself has continued to explain that he doesn’t plan on moving beyond 205 any time soon, it is a move that he’s hoping to make eventually. But, with DC now out of the way, could it be the right time for JJ to move up and challenge the new champion?

It would certainly be a fascinating matchup. While DC has always been a wrestling specialist with a good stand up game, Jon Jones is a complete fighter. He can wrestle with the best in the world, and he can stand with some of the best punchers and kickboxers in the world. It would be interesting to see how he would cope up at the higher weight, against stronger fighters.

For Miocic, it’s probably the fight that would make him the most money, but it’s also the fight that comes with the biggest risk. He’s already proven that he can beat DC and Ngannou, but could he be the first man to beat Jon Jones?

If he could, it would cement his legacy as the greatest heavyweight of all time (that’s if you think he isn’t already), but it would also assert him as potentially one of the greatest fighters of all time. Up with Anderson Silva and GSP. 

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