Stipe Miocic did his mother and his Strong Style fight team proud once again.
As soon as his hand was raised after a knockout victory over Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC 211: Miocic vs. Dos Santos 2 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Miocic looked into the camera inside The Octagon and wished his mother, Kathy, a Happy Mother’s Day.
“It’s amazing,” Miocic said in an exclusive interview with WKYC.com after his second straight title defense.
“She was actually crying this time. She was bawling her eyes out. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her because she had me. She gave up so much for me. She’s just an amazing woman. I learned a lot from her. I’m glad she’s my mom. I wouldn’t want any mother but her.”
Saturday’s win over dos Santos marked the second straight year where Miocic celebrated a championship victory around Mother’s Day.
Miocic won the heavyweight championship on Saturday, May 14, 2014 with a knockout of Fabricio Werdum in front of 45,000 fans supporting their fellow countryman at a soccer stadium in Curitiba, Brazil just six days after the Mother’s Day holiday.
In addition to his fighting prowess, Miocic continues to make his mother proud by serving the community, as despite his busy training schedule, he maintains part-time firefighter/paramedic jobs with the Oakwood Village and Valley View fire departments.
“If I wasn’t, she would kill me,” Miocic said in his typical sarcastic manner. “I’m just glad I could make her happy. That’s all I care about. I’ve made her proud, and that’s all I care about. My brother, he’s the same way, a good kid like me. She raised two good boys.”
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Miocic avenged one of only two losses on his professional record with the knockout of dos Santos at the 2:24 mark of the very first round in the main event of UFC 211.
Miocic finished off the victory when he backed up dos Santos against the cage and floored him with a right hand to the head.
When dos Santos fell, Miocic pounced at the opportunity to finish the fight and fired off more than a dozen left-handed punches through the defense that went unanswered, and that forced referee Herb Dean to call a stop to the bout.
Although dos Santos landed 12 strikes early in the round, including leg kicks that caused instant swelling in Miocic’s left shin, the champion withstood the damage and landed 26 of his 56 strikes (46 percent). All 26 of his strikes were considered significant, according to FightMetric.
With the win over dos Santos, Miocic tied the UFC record by successfully defending the heavyweight championship for a second consecutive time. He improved to 17-2 in his professional career, and 11-2 in his 13 bouts under the UFC banner.
Miocic credits the staff at Strong Style, including head coach Marcus Marinelli, striking coach Alex Cooper, grappling coach Steve Kinas, and head grappling/jiu-jitsu coach Pablo Castro, for his successes in The Octagon.
“Strong Style’s the best team in the world,” Miocic said. “Marcus Marinelli, he’s making a dynasty there, and people are finally catching on and understanding that Strong Style is not to be messed with.”