Although thousands of fans around the world were hoping to see Mark Hunt take a step back into the title shot race last night at UFC Fight Night 65, Stipe Miocic and his well rounded game had other plans.
Heading into the fight, Miocic reminded observers of the fact that he’s much more than a talented striker, and hinted that he may look to put the feared slugger on his back. For example, Miocic argued that he has better boxing, wrestling and grappling than Hunt, and last night, he certainly made that case for at least the latter two.
If you saw the fight, then you know Hunt valiantly attempted to stay in the scrap, but he took a vicious beating via Miocic’s top game. The fight was finally stopped in round five, but many people were outraged it wasn’t halted earlier.
Now, that debate aside, there’s no question it was an impressive win for Miocic, who was coming off a tightly contested, decision loss to Junior dos Santos. Following the victory, here is some of what Miocic had to say about his wrestling to UFC.com, and the role it played in the victory.
“He kept lunging hard man, saw the leg, so said ‘screw it’ take him down,” said Miocic. “It was easier than I thought. We had an 85% take down ratio. I felt good taking him down .”
“I mean it wasn’t easy. He’s a big boy, but I just kept pushing, pushing my pace, you know, and I think I have good cardio for a heavyweight. I’m getting better and better every fight.”
It will be interesting to see if the win earns Miocic a bout with the winner of the June 13th scrap between champion Cain Velasquez and interim champ, Fabricio Werdum. Miocic is currently ranked #4, and his loss to JDS was viewed as controversial to some. But, it’s still a loss, and the UFC might want Miocic to score another win in the interim.
Ultimately, it could depend on what happens with Velasquez-Werdum. The #3 ranked Travis Browne is booked to fight Andrei Arlovski at UFC 187, but he was defeated by Werdum not long ago.
UFC FN 65 went down in Adelaide, Australia.