(Stipe Miocic vs. William Penn, 4/16/11)
Out of the 22 fighters competing on this Saturday’s UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III card, only one will be stepping into the Octagon for the first time. That man is Stipe Miocic, an undefeated 29-year-old Croatian-American from Ohio who will be facing Joey Beltran during the prelims. So how does a guy with just six fights, who’s beaten nobody you’ve ever heard of, get an invitation to the big show? By being one of the most decorated blue-chip prospects the UFC heavyweight division has seen since Cain Velasquez. Seriously. Just check out his credentials…
While attending Cleveland State University, Miocic was an athletic phenom, earning a national rank as a Division I wrestler at 197 pounds and attracting the MLB’s attention due to his talents as a third baseman. Following college he pursued boxing, picked up a Golden Gloves title, and also went 5-0 as an amateur MMA fighter.
Miocic made his professional MMA debut in February 2010, and went on to win his first five pro fights by KO/TKO within two rounds. He won the NAAFS heavyweight title in June by leg-kicking Bobby Brents into submission, and landed a UFC contract less than two weeks later.
Miocic currently trains with Ohio’s Strong Style Fight Team, which includes Chris Lozano, Forrest Petz, and Jessica Eye. He spits a lot. Check out his knockout reel below, and let us know how you think he’ll do against the more-seasoned Mexicutioner this weekend.