CLEVELAND — Third-year Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl defensive end Myles Garrett spent part of the offseason training alongside UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at Strong Style MMA Gym in Independence.
In addition to diversifying an impressive arsenal of athleticism and pass rushing moves, Garrett formed a friendship with Miocic, a two-time heavyweight champion who regained his belt with a come-from-behind victory over Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC 241 in Anaheim, California on August 17.
That friendship was on full display during the Browns’ 23-3 victory over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Monday Night Football, as Miocic was at the game, where Garrett registered three sacks.
“Iron sharpens iron!!!” Miocic posted on Instagram. “Cleveland Browns bringing home the W on Monday Night Football!!! My man, @flash_garrett with five sacks this season already. #SM #FlashMob #ClevelandAgainstTheWorld.”
Miocic and his manager, Jim Walter, posed for a photo with Garrett after the Browns earned a victory over the Jets, and prior to the game, the championship fighter and standout pass rusher shared a moment on the sideline.
Garrett got down in a four-point stance, but Miocic quickly waved off any kind of showdown.
After some laughs, Garrett and Miocic shared a handshake and an embrace in the latest show of support among friends.
As a nod to Miocic regaining the UFC heavyweight championship with a fourth-round technical knockout victory over Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC 241 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California last Saturday night, Garrett did so prior to the Browns’ third preseason game Friday.
While walking into Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Garrett donned a “Stipe Miocic” rematch t-shirt with the brief caption: “Baddest man on the planet.”
Donning a shirt while walking into the preseason game was just the latest show of support from Garrett toward Miocic.
While in Indianapolis for a Week 2 preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, Garrett took a few seconds to send video well wishes to Miocic ahead of his heavyweight championship rematch with Cormier.
“Man, the time for talk is over,” Garrett said in the brief Twitter video. “Stipe vs. DC. Cleveland vs. The World.
“Man, it’s time to go get that belt, bring it back to the city, bring it back to ‘The Land.’ I’m so excited for you. I know you’re going to win that championship belt, bring it back, and we’re all going to be rooting for you, brother.”
Miocic made Garrett’s words prophetic with a stunning come-from-behind victory against Cormier.
After struggling to find his range in the first three rounds, Miocic picked his spots during the fourth frame and was sticking and moving, engaging with punches, including several left hooks to Cormier’s ribs, and getting out of the pocket before the defending champion could respond.
Then, after a lead hook to the body, Miocic landed a straight right hand to Cormier’s chin. That wobbled Cormier and Miocic moved in for the finish. Miocic landed three right hands before connecting on three short lefts while putting Cormier against the cage.
As Cormier slumped to the canvas, Miocic alternated right and left-handed punches and forced the referee’s stoppage with 52 seconds remaining in the fourth round.
It was the first time in Cormier’s career that he was knocked out in a heavyweight fight, and Miocic’s comeback victory earned him a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.
The record-holder for the most consecutive successful defenses of the UFC heavyweight championship, Miocic improved to 19-3-0 in his professional career with the victory over Cormier, including a 13-3 mark since joining the UFC in 2011.