Stipe Miocic can arguably be called the best heavyweight fighter in UFC history. The 38-year-old has defended his title four times during two title reigns, doing so against some of the toughest contenders in the sport of MMA.
In the process, he has set a record for the most successful heavyweight title defences (three) in UFC history. Miocic also holds the record for the most fight-night bonus awards (nine) in the UFC's heavyweight division history.
After making his UFC debut a decade ago in 2011, Stipe Miocic (20-3-0) has won 15 of his professional fights through knockouts, which suggests that he is one of the hardest and most clinical strikers in the sport.
On that note, let's take a look at the five best knockouts by Stipe Miocic in his UFC career.
#5 Stipe Miocic vs Andrei Arlovski (2016)
Stipe Miocic took longer to talk about his fight against Andrei Arlovski at the UFC 195 pre-fight press conference than he did to knockout Arlovski in the fight.
With two quick right hands, Stipe Miocic knocked down Arlovski before following up with at least half a dozen punches to seal the deal after just 54 seconds in the first round.
The knockout win was swift and brutal for Stipe Miocic, who also earned the Performance of the Night award for his performance. Miocic first connected his right hand to Arlovski's left ear, followed by a quick right-left combo that saw the former heavyweight UFC champion drop down to the floor.
It was this fight that catapulted Stipe Miocic into the limelight. Following the TKO stoppage, Miocic claimed that he deserved a title shot for the heavyweight championship, saying:
"I just really want to have my shot, and I know I deserve it. I think that win was impressive enough, and I’m very emotional and jacked about the way it ended up. This is what I signed up for. He’s (Arlovski) a former champ and a super tough guy, a really nice guy. He can always get stung and come back, so I knew I had to put him away and put a stamp on my title shot."
The TKO win by Stipe Miocic also snapped Andrei Arlovski’s six-match win streak.
#4 Stipe Miocic vs Junior Dos Santos II (2017)
Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos first met in 2014, where both fighters landed lethal blows on each other for five rounds. After what was a rather bloodied affair that saw Miocic land more significant strikes, the decision went in favour of Dos Santos, though.
At UFC 211, three years later, it was time for revenge for Stipe Miocic, who was aiming for his second consecutive title defence this time around.
Staying true to his usual style, Dos Santos was willing to take the risk by backing up against the cage in an attempt to dodge Stipe Miocic's big shots before countering and slipping out of range.
However, as Stipe Miocic kept up the pressure, Dos Santos got caught with a big right hand at the 2:22 mark in the very first round. Just as the no. 5 ranked heavyweight dropped down to the mat, Stipe Miocic dealt a few more punches, all of them going unanswered.
Referee Herb Dean immediately called off the fight as Stipe Miocic earned yet another Performance of the Night award.
#3 Stipe Miocic vs Fabricio Werdum (2016)
The knockout win against Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198 was one of the most notable ones of Stipe Miocic's career, as it made him the heavyweight champion for the first time. The win was decided by just one crucial punch that Stipe Miocic dealt in a rather cinematic fashion while backing up.
Werdum was defending his heavyweight title after winning it against Cain Velasquez just a year ago. While Werdum was dealing in punches, Stipe Miocic was responding with kicks.
The crucial moment in the fight had come when Werdum tried a single-leg takedown on Stipe Miocic. But Miocic defended that perfectly to continue the fight.
Ahead of the bout, it was believed that Stipe Miocic's best chance to win the fight would depend on his prowess with his feet. And that is what he proved that day.
Midway through the first round, just as Werdum tried to land a combination on his opponent, Stipe Miocic landed a right hand while backing up, which immediately dropped the champion out cold on the ground.
As Werdum showed no movement, Stipe Miocic sat over the top of the octagon and screamed:
"I’m a world champion! I’m a world champion!"
#2 Stipe Miocic vs Alistair Overeem (2016)
The fight against former K-1 kickboxing champion Alistair Overeem at UFC 203 marked Stipe Miocic's first title defence. As announced by the commentator Joe Rogan, Overeem was one of the most decorated UFC fighters, having TKO'd the likes of Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos.
The bout started off with Overeem maintaining a safe distance from the newly-crowned champion. Overeem knocked Stipe Miocic down with a smooth right hand. Just as Miocic went down to the ground, Overeem went for a strong yet unsuccessful guillotine attempt.
After managing to get back on his feet, Stipe Miocic took advantage of a weird leg kick by Overeem to take him to the ground. What followed was a decisive ground-and-pound pin-point attack by the heavyweight champion, which knocked Overeem unconscious.
The referee stopped the fight announcing Stipe Miocic, the winner with over 30 seconds sill left in the first round. Although the decision was later contested by Overeem, who claimed that Miocic had tapped out during the earlier guillotine choke, the replays showed otherwise.
#1 Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier II
The rematch between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier at UFC 241 was arguably the most important fight in Miocic's career because of two reasons.
Firstly, Daniel Cormier was widely considered one of the best heavyweight fighters in UFC with a high IQ in striking as well as wrestling. Secondly, Cormier had snatched the heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic over a year ago in 2018 with a shock first-round knockout.
Considering the way the fight started off, Stipe Miocic's victory could be considered even more impressive. Cormier started punishing Miocic early on, hitting him with good knuckle and elbow combinations and taking him down in an exciting display of strength.
Up until the third round, Daniel Cormier was dominating the fight, landing way more significant strikes than Miocic. He had 28, 41 and 29 strikes landing in the first three rounds compared to Stipe Miocic's tally of 7, 30 and 22.
However, things changed from the fourth round onwards, as Miocic started dealing deadly combinations on Cormier.
With more than a minute remaining, Miocic cornered Daniel Cormier to the cage and dealt three clean right hands, followed by a few more upper-cuts to finish him off. In the process, the heavyweight stalwart earned back his championship belt.
He would then go on to defend his title a year later in Miocic vs Cormier III at UFC 252.