Article

Stipe Miocic is American

"Stefan’s a step up in competition. He’s a super tough guy who is great at every aspect of the game and he loves fighting." - Stipe Miocic
UFC heavyweight Stipe MiocicStipe Miocic (9-0) is a man of few words. At six feet, four inches tall and 245 pounds, he never really needed to say much to get his point across. It’s understandable then, with a uniquely Croatian name and an icy Eastern European stare, that people often think he doesn’t speak English.

Even his fellow UFC fighters.

“I walked up to him in Houston after he fought Joey Beltran to get him to sign an autograph for a little kid,” says recently turned light heavyweight Chael Sonnen. “And there I am talking real slow, like ‘c o n g r a t u l a t i o n s, S t i p e,’ meanwhile I’m pronouncing it STIPE, not Stee-pay,” he says, laughing at the memory.

Miocic (pronounced My-Oh-Sitch) remembers the exchange.

“I was going to call him out on that the next time I saw him,” he says, laughing hysterically. “Yeah, he was talking really slow and I was getting checked out by the doctor after my fight and I just nodded and signed the autograph. Chael was one of the first UFC guys I ever met and it was really cool. He’s a great guy.”

As part of the main event attraction on UFC on FUEL TV 5 against heavyweight contender Stefan Struve (28-5) this weekend in Nottingham, England though, it’s safe to say people will know how to pronounce his name and that English is in fact, his first language.

The Cleveland born Croatian-American and two sport collegiate athlete (wrestling and baseball) and part-time firefighter is excited about headlining a UFC event on national television.

“I’m a little nervous, but if I just focus on my gameplan and on my coach’s voice in the corner I won’t get too anxious,” he says. “One thing about being a professional firefighter is learning patience. Sometimes you get calls, and sometimes you don’t. You just have to be comfortable with that or you’ll drive yourself crazy.”

Miocic has been on a tear in his MMA career, but he is in no way an overnight success. After college he took to the amateur circuit and won his first five fights, but then took a year and a half off to focus on boxing, where he won the Golden Gloves in Cleveland.

“I’m really happy for him,” says Team StrongStyle teammate Brian “The Predator” Rogers. “To see the past seven or eight years of hard work paying off is so great. Stipe is one of the nicest guys I know. To call him the Green Giant isn’t a stretch at all. He is always helping guys out in the gym,” he said.

Rogers thinks his friend is going to surprise Struve with not only his footwork and his hand combinations, but also on the ground.

“Stipe is very good at submissions,” he says. “He is unorthodox. Our trainer comes from more a catch wrestling background as opposed to straight jiu-jitsu, so I think Struve is going to be a bit confused on the ground.”

Stipe knows, however, that with Struve, he’s in for a tough night.

“Stefan’s a step up in competition,” he said. “He’s a super tough guy who is great at every aspect of the game and he loves fighting. He’s a guy who’s willing to throw down. I just can’t wait to go out to Nottingham and do this; it’s going to be a great card. I’m ecstatic for the opportunity.”

Miocic’s success in the Octagon has been impressive. He went the distance with the notoriously tough-as-nails Beltran in his UFC debut, taking a unanimous decision in the first fight of that night. There weren’t many people yet inside The Toyota Center in Houston, TX, but as I sat in press row, I noticed there were three very vocal fans supporting him in the stands – his cousins and his girlfriend.

“They come to all my fights,” he said. “They are the most supportive and can get loud. My mother is going to come to England but I know she won’t be able to watch. My father is coming from Croatia so I’m excited about him seeing me fight.”

At nearly seven feet tall, Struve poses unique challenges and is a hard person to emulate in camp, so Stipe visited a former UFC champion for some “height” training.

“I went out to train with Tim Sylvia,” he said. “Tim’s really big so it was good to get some time in with him. Struve is a very good kickboxer and his ground game is outstanding. He is really long and I’m small for heavyweight as it is, but being a heavyweight is fantastic. I love food so it’s great to not have to cut weight. I do eat clean now because about a year ago my coach had an intervention with me. I was enjoying it too much. I do think I need to put on weight, but I need to do it slowly. Sometimes if you gain weight too quickly it will backfire on your speed and conditioning. But I do think if I am going to continue to win at the highest level of the weight class, I’ll need a little more power.”

After taking Beltran to a decision, Miocic next faced Phil De Fries and knocked him out in just 43 seconds of the first round, and then impressively TKOd Shane Del Rosario at UFC 146.

“I’ve learned that I can’t wait too long before letting my hands go,” he said. “I have to get going a lot quicker than I did in my previous fights. These guys at heavyweight are usually twenty five pounds heavier than me and they can end the fight with one good punch, so I can’t wait too long out there.”

Stipe works part time as a firefighter and EMT at two different Cleveland stations, and he says the guys he works with aren’t impressed with his UFC career.

“They bust my balls pretty good,” he says. “They keep me grounded.”

Rogers says Stipe also gets it at the gym. “If he does anything stupid on TV we will destroy him,” says Rogers. “He’s so nice he laughs along. But being the biggest and fastest fighter in the gym, we don’t want him too mad at us.”

Miocic doesn’t need to get mad in order to fight well. In fact, to hear him tell it, it’s not really a big deal at all.

“I just have to out there and get the W. I don’t care if it’s a knockout, a submission or a decision. I need the W against Struve. I’m just going to go out there and do what I do.”

And oh yeah, he’s American folks. No need to speak s l o w l y.

Watch Past Fights

토요일, 9월 5
10PM/7PM
ETPT
Las Vegas, Nevada

미디어

최근
UFC Minute 진행자 리사 포일스가 홀리 홈과 이야기를 나눴다. 그리고 론다 로우지와의 경기가 발표된 후 미샤 테이트와 어떤 이야기를 나눴는지도 공개된다.
2015. 9. 3
메건 올리비가 플라이급 챔피언 드미트리우스 존슨과 자리를 함께 했다. 존슨은 UFC 191 대회에서 7차 타이틀 방어전을 앞두고 있다. 존슨의 체급지배력, 상대인 존 도슨에 대해서 솔직한 이야기가 오갔다. UFC 191 대회는 PPV로 이번 토요일 방송된다.
2015. 9. 2
드미트리우스 존슨과 존 도슨이 1차전 영상을 지켜본 후 상대방의 기술을 어떻게 파악했는지 설명한다. 양 선수는 라스베이거스에서 이번 토요일 열리는 UFC 191 대회에 출전해 2차전을 치른다. 대회는 PPV로 시청할 수 있다.
2015. 9. 2
UFC 191 대회로 향한 길은 프랭크 미어, 페이지 벤전트, 알렉스 챔버스, 드미트리우스 존슨 등의 선수들이 막바지 팀 훈련을 실시하는 장면으로 채워진다. UFC 191 대회는 토요일 라이베이거스에서 열리며 PPV로 감상할 수 있다.
2015. 9. 1