Things in sports as in life are cyclical. At one point the UFC was loaded with champions from the United States. Right now that trend has sung to just one. Stipe Miocic, the Independence Ohio native, the part-time fireman, is that lone champion.
And at the age of 38, although he still is very much sharp, those skills may start to erode sooner than later. And Stipe Miocic will more than have his hands filled in the rematch with Francis Ngannou. Although there are no signed agreements just yet, all fingers point to that fight being next for Miocic.
Stipe Miocic remains as the only American champion in UFC
"The Predator" is a much-improved fighter since that unanimous decision loss to Miocic. Since the back to back losses, Francis Ngannou has four quick 1st round finishes. The deepest water he got put into is 70 seconds with Junior Dos Santos. If you can call that deep.
Dominick Reyes lost out on his shot to join that exclusive club by being finished by the Polish Jan Blachowicz. The next UFC fighter that has a chance is, Justin Gaethje when he hopes to unify the lightweight title against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254.
Yes, the other 11 divisional champions all have tough Americans on their heels. Ten if you subtract the women's featherweight division, which sadly is hardly a division in the first place.
Speaking of the UFC Women's 145 division, it's Brazil at the top of the heap right now with three champions. "The Lioness" Amanda Nunes, right now on maternity leave, owns two straps, and the third is held by Deiveson Figueiredo.
An interesting point of fact, should Stipe Miocic not be able to hold serve against Francis Ngannou, then Nigeria will join Brazil with three champions. With Israel Adesanya looking like he's going to hold the UFC Middleweight Title for a long time, Nigeria can claim that prize too. Due to "The Last Stylebender" claiming both Nigeria, where he was born, and New Zealand, where he resides. Leaving Kamaru Usman as the third.
That's also providing that Amanda Nunes doesn't decide to walk away since her calendar away from the octagon is stacked. Not only is a new mother, but being the lead matchmaker for Invicta.
None of this is bad by the way. It's quite well for the UFC's brand. Yes, the organization is based in the United States, but no matter what, that's where the lion's share of fans come from. With champions from around the globe being so dominant, it spreads the word to the average person, that yes, you can achieve anything with hard work. And a little bit of luck doesn't hurt either.Published 28 Sep 2020, 01:23 IST