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The Case for Ohio’s Stipe Miocic as the UFC’s Greatest Heavyweight

Mitchell South

by Mitchell South in Mixed Martial Arts News

Updated Dec 16, 2022 · 11:50 AM PST

Stipe Miocic arms up celebrating sitting on UFC Octagon cage
August 17, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Stipe Miocic celebrates his championship victory by TKO against Daniel Cormier during UFC 241 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
  • Stipe Miocic holds the record for most consecutive UFC Heavyweight title defenses
  • Miocic has wins over some of the biggest names in the sport with many fans anticipating a return
  • Born and raised in Ohio, is Stipe Miocic the greatest UFC Heavyweight fighter?

Earning a moniker like “The Baddest Man on the Planet” is no easy task. Holding that title against successive challengers is even more difficult.

Ohio’s Stipe Miocic has climbed to the top of the UFC’s Heavyweight gauntlet multiple times, defeating impressive opponents and setting records for consecutive title defenses. Born and raised in the Buckeye State, Miocic remains an integral part of his community, serving as a firefighter and always representing OH any chance he gets.

Despite rumors of a potential comeback against Jon Jones in 2022, Miocic hasn’t entered the Octagon since he lost the UFC Heavyweight title to Francis Ngannou in March 2021.

Nonetheless, there’s a strong case to be made for Stipe’s status as Heavyweight GOAT, even with the long layoff.

Resilient Champion Has Set Records and Overcome Adversity

Holding wins over some of the most notable Heavyweights in UFC history, the record for most consecutive title defenses, and an impressive ability to come back after defeat to exact revenge, Stipe Miocic’s performances are hard to argue with.

Stipe Miocic first captured the UFC title in 2016 with a win over Fabricio Werdum, followed by three consecutive title defenses against Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, and Francis Ngannou.

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The Heavyweight division is a difficult weight class to stay on top of with most fighters possessing one-punch power, yet Stipe found a way to set the record for consecutive defenses against these strong challengers.

Here are some of Stipe’s top accomplishments:

  • Most consecutive UFC Heavyweight title defenses (three)
  • Most total UFC Heavyweight title defenses (four)
  • Most post-fight bonuses in UFC Heavyweight history (nine)
  • Two-time UFC Heavyweight champion (2016-2018, 2019-2021)
  • UFC Honors 2019 Comeback of the Year (vs. Daniel Cormier)

After losing his title to Daniel Cormier, who would become just the second fighter to hold titles in two divisions, Stipe earned his revenge by defeating Cormier in 2019 before capping their trilogy with another victory over “DC” in 2020. Miocic would get a taste of his own medicine when Francis Ngannou defeated him in their 2021 rematch, and we have yet to see Miocic return to the Octagon since.

While Miocic has remained inactive since, the future of the Heavyweight division is uncertain, as current champion Ngannou hasn’t defended his title in nearly a full year. Until Ngannou cements his place atop the division, or another contender surpasses some of these accomplishments, Stipe’s dominance cannot be questioned.

Recognized Across the Buckeye State and Beyond

Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, Stipe Miocic remains a valuable member of his community.  Serving as a firefighter in suburban Cleveland for over a decade while balancing his greatness as a UFC Heavyweight champion, Stipe’s commitment to his hometown is admirable.

His performances inside the Octagon have caught the attention of notable Ohio natives like LeBron James and Machine Gun Kelly, the artist behind Stipe’s walkout song “Till I Die.”

His performance against Alistair Overeem at UFC 203 in Cleveland sent shockwaves through the crowd, and Stipe is always representing OH any chance he gets. Sports bettors in the Buckeye State are undoubtedly hoping for a return once Ohio sports betting has launched on Jan. 1, 2023.

Beyond Ohio, the consensus seems to be that Stipe Miocic is in fact the Greatest UFC Heavyweight of all time, thanks to his impressive track record.

Stipe Miocic Is the UFC’s Greatest Heavyweight (For Now)

The UFC’s Heavyweight division is clouded with uncertainty right now. Current champ Francis Ngannou hasn’t fought in nearly a year and could be headed to free agency, rumors of Jon Jones moving up to Heavyweight continue to swirl, and who knows if Stipe Miocic will ever fight again.

Thanks to his undeniable records and overall achievements, Stipe Miocic is undoubtedly the UFC’s greatest Heavyweight, for now.

Continued success in the division could cement his legacy, but with a phenom like Francis Ngannou and other contenders like Cyril Gane waiting in the wings, that might not last forever.

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