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A look back at the best fights of Stipe Miocic, the heavyweight GOAT of the UFC

Miocic Vs Werdum at UFC 198
Miocic Vs Werdum at UFC 198
Apratim Banerjee

Stipe Miocic solidified his status as the greatest heavyweight in UFC history after he beat Daniel Cormier at UFC 252 via unanimous decision. Miocic now holds 2 wins over Cormier as they completed the trilogy on Saturday Night.

With the heavyweight title on the line, the main event of UFC the 252 PPV produced an intriguing fight between two of the best fighters ever to enter the octagon.

Miocic started the fight well in round 1 but Cormier managed to hurt him at the end of the round with a heavy shot. Miocic survived the adversity and had his moment at the end of round 2, as he knocked "DC" down with a crisp combination. Cormier was saved by the bell just as the fight looked to be finished.

Miocic looked in firm control of the rest of the fight in what was a very evenly matched contest and eventually went on to win a unanimous (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) decision.

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Stipe Miocic has now defended his belt 4 times in his two terms as the champion of the UFC heavyweight division, which is a record for most successful heavyweight title defenses. His fight record now stands at 20 wins and 3 losses.

Miocic holds wins over heavyweight mainstays and former champions like Junior Dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum, Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, as well as Francis Ngannou, and of course Daniel Cormier (twice). He put his name in the debate of the best heavyweight of all time, a long time ago. After coming out as the winner of his trilogy against Cormier, he just cemented his legacy as the greatest UFC heavyweight of all time.

Here we take a look back at some of the best performances of the heavyweight champion, inside the octagon. Here are the top 5 fights of Stipe Miocic's career.

1. Miocic vs Weredum (UFC 198)

Stipe Miocic got his first shot at heavyweight gold at UFC 198, against then champion Fabricio Werdum, in his opponent's home country of Brazil. Werdum is known for his high-level BJJ game and submission skills. He was the first man to beat "The Last Emperor" Fedor Emelianenko for almost 10 years.

Miocic, known for his range control and boxing ability kept the fight standing. He knocked out Werdum with a short right hand while moving backwards. It was like a scene from a movie.

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The Cleveland born firefighter tasted UFC gold for the first time at this very moment in 2016. He completely silenced the pro-Werdum home crowd.

The fight showed how good of a boxer Miocic is and the kind of knockout power he possesses.

It also marked the start of a new era in UFC heavyweight history. Stipe Miocic went on to become the most dominant champ of the division.

2.Miocic vs Overeem

At UFC 203 in 2016, Stipe Miocic was set for his first title defense against former K-1 kickboxing champion and MMA legend Alistair Overeem. Overeem is a true veteran of the fight game and holds stoppage wins over the likes of Brock Lesnar, Junior Dos Santos, and many more.

Miocic defended his belt successfully in an eventful one-round fight. Alistair Overeem, known for his striking prowess, managed to drop Miocic as he caught the champion with a well-timed punch. He also got Miocic locked up in a guillotine choke but Miocic managed to get out of the submission attempt. Although Overeem claimed he felt a tap from Miocic, replays and live accounts disproved this.

UFC 203: Miocic v Overeem
UFC 203: Miocic v Overeem

Miocic managed to get Overeem, who was fighting from the outside throwing wild shots, with his own shots in the exchanges and got him to the ground. Then he managed to finish the fight via ground and pound, registering a first-round TKO victory on his record.

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It was the first successful title defense of Stipe Miocic's career. Combating adversity against a fighter like Overeem obviously puts this fight in his top 5 career wins.

3.Miocic vs Junior Dos Santos 2 (UFC 211)

At the main event of UFC 211, Stipe Miocic was set to face former UFC heavyweight champion and the legendary "Cigano" Junior Dos Santos. It was Miocic's second title defense of his career.

The two men had fought before, with JDS coming out as the winner via decision, in a razor-close fight.

It was Miocic's chance for redemption. The firefighter started out strongly against "Cigano".

UFC 211: Miocic v Dos Santos 2
UFC 211: Miocic v Dos Santos 2

It was quite evident from the start of the fight that Miocic, even by his previous high standards, had evolved greatly since their first fight and was a much more dangerous fighter on the feet.

Junior Dos Santos has been known for his awesome footwork, brilliant boxing, and highlight reel knockouts through out his career. His trilogy against Cain Velasquez is one of the greatest rivalries ever in MMA.

Miocic though, a boxer in his own part, started to pressure Dos Santos from the start of the fight and managed to push his opponent up against the fence. Then he caught "Cigano" with a clean right hand. It ended the fight much sooner than many might have expected. Miocic earned a knockout victory within 2:30 minutes of the fight.

It was one of the finest wins of Stipe Miocic's career, all the more impressive because it was against a fighter like Junior Dos Santos, who is also considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.

This fight against a former champion certainly makes it into Stipe Miocic's top 5 career wins.

4. Miocic vs Ngannou (UFC 220)

Francis "The Predator" Ngannou came into the UFC and took the heavyweight division by storm. Ngannou is tremendously powerful and has scored some scary knockout finishes since his arrival to the promotion. Curtis Blaydes, Alistair Overeem, and Andrei Arlovski were notable victims of Ngannou's power before UFC 220.

He was no doubt the scariest power puncher to have ever stepped inside the octagon. Many people including experts like Joe Rogan touted him as the next heavyweight champion coming into this fight.

The UFC 220 showdown against Ngannou was Stipe Miocic's 3rd title defense. Suprisingly, he was the underdog going into this fight.

The world was in awe of Ngannou's ability to hit hard and even UFC president Dana White went on to compare Ngannou's punching power to a head-on collision with a Ford Escort in full motion.

UFC 220: Miocic v Ngannou
UFC 220: Miocic v Ngannou

Coming into his first shot at a world title, Ngannou started the fight well and even hit Miocic with some good shots.

Stipe though took those shots well and imposed his gameplan on the scary power puncher. He clinched with Ngannou and tried to take him to the ground. Ngannou gassed out early and Miocic hit him with some brilliant combinations of his own. Eventually, he took Ngannou down and controlled him there for the rest of the fight.

Ngannou was fatigued and almost got manhandled by Stipe for 5 rounds.

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It was a commanding performance from Stipe against one of the scariest human beings on the planet. Miocic almost bullied him for 5 rounds and retained his title via unanimous decision.

This fight shows his versatility and complete skillset as an MMA fighter. Considering Ngannou's recent tear in the heavyweight division, this performance was no doubt one of the very best of Stipe Miocic's career.

Many counted out the champ coming into this fight which was very disrespectful considering Miocic's dominance in the division. Stipe showed in this fight that he may not be the scariest fighter, but he certainly is the baddest fighter in the division.

5. Miocic vs Cormier 2 (UFC 241)

Stipe Miocic lost his belt to light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 226, as the latter knocked him out inside the first round. It was a surprising outcome, especially considering how quickly Miocic went out. He is known for his endurance and durability, but Cormier caught him with a supremely timed shot and it was over

Miocic was very frustrated at the loss and wanted to get a rematch against Cormier to reclaim his belt. After over a year of waiting, the former champion finally got his shot at redemption in 2019, at UFC 241.

UFC 241 Cormier v Miocic 2
UFC 241 Cormier v Miocic 2

Once again Cormier started the fight strong, controlling the exchanges and landing a slam takedown in the first round. Round 2 was the same, as Cormier controlled most of the round.

Miocic looked out of sorts inexplicably. But by the end of round 3, he was looking a bit more like himself, as he managed to score a takedown of his own.

Miocic started to turn things around in round 4. As he was looking sharp and fluid on the feet and was starting to catch DC with combinations, he applied a master gameplan and started attacking Cormier's body.

Over 15 body shots later, Cormier couldn't withstand the punishment anymore and eventually got caught by a right hand straight to the temple and was subsequently finished.

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It was a masterful display from Stipe Miocic, showing his experience and fight IQ. He overcame early adversity and adjusted accordingly to get the finish against a veteran like Cormier. Miocic was visibly happy to reclaim his throne and get his revenge.

Which was Stipe Miocic's best performance in the octagon to date? Let us know your picks in the comments.

Edited by Ritwik Kumar

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