Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic owns a pair of UFC records, but the only record that matters to him is the one that counts wins and losses.
Miocic equaled a UFC record with the second consecutive defense of the UFC Heavyweight Championship with a first-round knockout of Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC 211 at American Airlines Center in Dallas Saturday night. But more importantly to Miocic, the win was one of redemption as dos Santos handed him just one of his two professional MMA losses.
“If I keep winning, I’ll break history. Big deal,” Miocic said. “I’m just going to keep winning. I like winning. It’s fun. I like being called ‘Champ,’ especially.
“I’m the champ. There’s a reason I’m the champ. I’ve worked my (butt) off to get where I’m at. If it wasn’t for my coaches, my wife, my family, my teammates, my friends and everyone backing me up, my city having my back, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. It’s a Midwest thing. You know how it is.”
PHOTOS: Stipe Miocic retains UFC Heavyweight Championship with KO of Junior dos Santos
Miocic finished off the victory when he backed up dos Santos against the cage and floored him with a right hand to the head.
After dos Santos fell to the canvas, Miocic pounced on the opportunity to finish the fight and fired off more than a dozen left-handed punches through his opponent's defense that went unanswered, which 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 Miocic's strikes were considered significant, according to FightMetric.
“I caught him with a good right, he fell and he wasn’t moving, so that’s why I looked at the ref, but JDS is super tough,” Miocic said. “Look what he did last time, we went 25 (minutes) of just hell, so I knew what the ref was doing, but he wasn’t moving. I didn’t want to inflict any more pain than I had to, but it’s a fight. He would’ve been doing the same thing to me.”
Including the knockout of dos Santos, Miocic has won five straight bouts. All five of those victories have come by knockout or TKO, and the last four were achieved in the very first round of competition. Now, Miocic is 17-2 in his professional career, and 11-2 in his 13 bouts under the UFC banner.
Additionally, Miocic has gotten four straight Performance or Fight of the Night bonuses and eight in his career.
“I think everyone wants that kind of run,” Miocic said. “Those are great nights. No matter if it’s a three-rounder or a five-rounder, I’ll go the whole distance, I don’t care. I’m in shape to go the whole distance, but first-round knockouts are nice. They’re really nice, especially when you get bonuses.”