Stipe Miocic has done nothing but win since he faced Junior dos Santos. That could be because the fight proved to him he can hang with the game’s best heavyweights. Of course, the fact Miocic’s extremely athletic, has heavy hands and great wrestling, also had something to do with it.
Miocic battled dos Santos back in 2014, and the latter won the thrilling and close fight via decision. Since then, however, Miocic has finished Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem. Last May, the Cleveland fighter bombed out Werdum in the opening round to secure the UFC’s heavyweight crown.
On May 13th, at UFC 211, Miocic will face JDS for a second time. Recently the champ was asked about what he took away from their first encounter, and here’s some of what Miocic had to say (quote via MMA Fighting):
“The lesson I learned, not even really a lesson as much as, just knowing that I belong,” Miocic said. “I belong, that I can hang anyone. I went five rounds with a former champ, a guy who has been a knockout artist and I went five rounds with him, I know I belong. I know that I’m not going anywhere, and look at where I’m at now.”
Yup. Miocic certainly didn’t have any issues rebounding from the defeat, and for good reason. It was a very tight fight, and some folks had him winning. Interestingly enough, before he fought dos Santos previously, Miocic had won three in a row, (following his stoppage loss to Stefan Struve in 2012).
Can JDS reclaim the belt next weekend? He could, but he’ll have to get through a guy who has a ton of momentum behind him.
UFC 211 will go down in Dallas, Texas at the American Airlines Arena.