Let’s get used to seeing Stipe Miocic (9-0) getting his hand raised in the Octagon.
Miocic’s credentials precede him: He’s a Golden Gloves boxer and he holds Division I wrestling experience. His MMA game verifies those glittering credentials, evidenced by the accurate punches and clever takedowns he used to dispatch Shane del Rosario on Saturday.
In a duel of ascending prospects, Miocic sank Shane del Rosario with a barrage of ground strikes in Round 2, thereby stratifying himself as the UFC’s crowning heavyweight prospect.
In victory, the Ohioan showcased tenacity and sound tactics. Upon eating a steady diet of kicks from SDR, Miocic grounded the Muay Thai master and rendered Shane a mere plaything, a smart gambit indeed. He disarmed Shane’s most threatening weapon.
Stipe’s wrestling grants him that coveted ability: the ability to dictate where his fights take place.
That ability to ground an opponent at will is shared among many dominant fighters; it grants them total control of positioning. As per UFC.com, the Croatian-American has succeeded with six takedowns against being grounded only once.
Against lesser fighters, Stipe won’t need to employ takedowns since his staggering punching power is enough to carry him past most comers. His punches stayed strong on Saturday.
Among his nine victories, the Cro Cop worshipper holds eight (T)KO wins.
Miocic is relatively inexperienced in MMA and he’s already 29, but the newcomer’s impressive credentials testify to his skills. In a division thin on rising prospects, Stipe is the brightest in the division.