CLEVELAND — When Stipe Miocic is not fighting in the UFC octagon, he is doing what he can to raise awareness for those who serve their communities as police officers and firefighters.

On the 18th remembrance of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, The Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Miocic took to social media to thank the 343 members of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), 37 Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) servicemen and women and 23 New York Police Department officers who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001.

“To all my first responders, thank you for your service, time and sacrifice,” wrote Miocic, a firefighter in the Cleveland suburbs of Oakwood Village and Valley View. “You constantly put the needs of the people above your own. #NeverForget on this day that we honor all the lives and family members that were lost.”

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When the UFC made its New York City debut at Madison Square Garden in November of 2016, Miocic was one of several fighters who participated in the weeklong schedule of events and made it a point to visit two FDNY firehouses to personally thank the men and women for their efforts.

It was on that visit that Miocic got a greater appreciation for the demands of being a first-responder in New York City.

“It was busy,” Miocic told at the time. “It was definitely humbling because those guys, they put in work. Those guys put in a lot of work. Me, I’m a suburb guy. I put in work, but nowhere near what those guys do. Those guys do so many calls and put up with so much, especially with those small streets and traffic. I give those guys credit.

“I look at them, and I’m like, ‘You guys do the real work. I’m just a little boy compared to you guys.’ Those guys are monsters.”

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In addition to the 343 FDNY members who perished when the Twin Towers collapsed in lower Manhattan, dozens more first-responders are dealing with or have been lost to long-term illnesses in the 18 years since because of the hazardous materials released into the air at Ground Zero.

In order to help in whatever way he could, Miocic used his notoriety from the UFC to help his fellow firefighters by donating $8 from the sale of each of his “Stand For The Fallen” t-shirts to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation over the holiday season in 2016.

Then, this past spring, Miocic participated in a Fight2Win event in Euclid to benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and attended a charity event hosted by well-known actor Denis Leary, who founded the Leary Firefighters Foundation in 2000 after losing his cousin and childhood friend in a warehouse fire in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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