Stipe Miocic was expected to face the UFC heavyweight champion Fabrico Werdum, but things didn’t go exactly as planned. Instead of Miocic facing Werdum, the UFC decided to have Werdum defend the title against the former champion Cain Velasquez. However, Miocic has another bout coming up in October. On Oct. 24, Miocic will be stepping into the UFC octagon with Ben Rothwell, according to Fox Sports.
When news broke out about Miocic being passed up at a shot at the UFC heavyweight title, Miocic came out and said he believed he knew exactly what the reason was. Miocic said that he isn’t popular enough.
Miocic said that the UFC goes off of what the fans want to see and they go off popularity. He continued to say that apparently fans didn’t want to see him fight Werdum, and that he needs to get more popular.
The fighter also brought up a great point. Miocic said that if beating top fighters in the division isn’t enough, then he isn’t sure what the answer was.
While giving an interview with Submission Radio, Miocic said:
I mean it must be like a high school thing, you know? I mean it is what it is, man. I mean that’s pretty much what it was. So, I mean, I gotta go out there and keep beating a**.
Miocic isn’t looking past Rothwell, but Miocic does think he is a different kind of beast. He went onto say that Rothwell is a tough fighter, and he has competed with some of the best fighters in the world.
Even though Miocic praised Rothwell, he did say that Rothwell has never fought anybody like him before. Miocic is confident that he will be the dominate fighter throughout the fight, regardless of where the fight goes. He added that he isn’t worried about it and he plans on doing what he has to do. Mioicic is confident that he is going to defeat Rothwell.
It’s not secret that Miocic was excited about potentially getting a title shot and it is obvious that Miocic still wants a shot at the title. Regardless of wanting a crack at the title, Miocic isn’t really placing anymore pressure on himself than he has to. He said if he doesn’t get the nod, then he doesn’t get the nod. However, Miocic did say what his plans were, and that is to keep on beating people and taking their names.
The last time Miocic fought in the octagon was back in May, when he went head-to-head with Mark Hunt. As previously reported by Bloody Elbow, Hunt ended up losing to Miocic. Hunt took a pounding from Miocic for almost 23 minutes. After the fight concluded, Hunt said that Miocic beat him down and that he’d be back to normal again within a few weeks.
Before fighting Hunt, Miocic got into the octagon with former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos. The fight took place on December 13, 2014, and it went the full five rounds. As Fox reported, Miocic vs Dos Santos was a classic, but Miocic wasn’t able to defeat Dos Santos. The former champion ended up winning the fight via unaniomous decision. The scorecards read 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46.
Some of the other fights that Miocic has won includes a win over Fábio Maldonado, as well as Gabriel Gonzaga and Roy Nelson. If Miocic can defeat Rothwell at the end of this month, then he will have an MMA record of 14-2. If Rothwell defeats Miocic, then his record will be 36-9, and Rothwell will be going into the fight with three consecutive wins. Rothwell’s victories include a win over Matt Mitrione and Alistair Overeem. He won both of those fights in the first round. As for whether he will be able to do the same against Miocic, fans will have to wait and see.