Stipe Miocic is certainly a rare breed when it comes to the fight game. A former Golden Gloves champion with Division I wrestling credentials, the Croatian-born fighter is about as hard to find as they come in any weight class in Mixed Martial Arts, much less the UFC's relatively thin Heavyweight Division.
To say Miocic is athletic would be an understatement. Raised in Ohio, the 6'4", 240-pound heavyweight received interest from Major League Baseball clubs before wrestling his college years at Cleveland State University in the 197 lb. division.
Now 29 years old, Miocic boasts an undefeated MMA record, with all of his victories, save his UFC debut, ending via KO or TKO. So far, iron-chinned UFC veteran, Joey Beltran has been the only man to survive 15 minutes in the cage with the Cleveland-area resident.
However, as long as the victories keep coming, Miocic could care less how he gets them.
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"I'm going to get that 'W' no matter how it ends. Decision, submission, knockout, I don't care—just get that 'W,'" stated the Strong Style Fight Team member.
In regards to his 2-0 stint in the UFC, which includes a Knockout of the Night-winning performance against previously unbeaten prospect Phil De Fries, Miocic can only express excitement.
"It's awesome. I really can't say much… it's been great and it keeps getting better. Keep winning. That's the name of the game."
While Miocic is accepting this weekend's bout on short notice, the situation could not be more different for his opponent, Shane del Rosario.
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Also unbeaten thus far in his MMA career, Del Rosario has had a long layoff due to injuries sustained when a drunk-driver struck the Strikeforce veteran's vehicle after his February 2011 bout with current UFC heavyweight, Lavar Johnson, ending in first-round submission.
In order to deny Del Rosario of his thirteenth career victory, Miocic looks to be active right from the opening bell.
"I just started off slowly (in my last fight), I can't do that… I'm looking for a three-round war, and I'm expecting him [Del Rosario] to be tough as nails, but I'm going to get that 'W.'"
Stipe Miocic and Shane Del Rosario's clash to remain undefeated takes place this Saturday, May 26 on UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir's all-heavyweight main card beginning at 10 P.M. EST.
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