Stipe Miocic became the first man to knock out Fabio Maldonado at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 finale in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
That statement is still goofy, isn't it?
If you didn't follow the major injury that caused this fight to happen, you probably have some questions.
"Why is a light heavyweight (Maldonado) facing a heavyweight (Miocic)?"
Or more appropriately: "Why is that light heavyweight fighting that heavyweight?" Miocic is the No. 7-ranked heavyweight in the UFC, and Maldonado is unranked at light heavyweight. What kind of logic does this matchup follow?
I don't know, friends. It just made sense at the time of booking, I suppose. Maldonado is a gamer, and the UFC needed somebody—preferably somebody Brazilian—to step up on short notice to face Miocic after Junior dos Santos dropped off the card with an injury. In retrospect, it was an insanely silly matchup, but at the time, it almost seemed fun and reasonable.
In application, it was not fun and reasonable.
Miocic obliterated Maldonado in just 35 seconds, taking out his foe with ease and exiting the Octagon with his third straight win.
To his credit, Maldonado did not look scared or conservative at any point. He came to fight, and he kicked off the bout's festivities with a wild, charging combination that missed badly and gave Miocic the opportunity to settle in and fire off an effective counter.
A left hook from the natural heavyweight found its mark, and Maldonado staggered against the fence in an attempt to regain his bearings. Instead of swarming, Miocic waited and regrouped before cracking Maldonado with another right hand that turned out the lights for good. The Brazilian crumbled to the canvas, and a few hammerfists later, the night's main event was over.
Now, Miocic will face a legitimate top-10 or possibly top-five heavyweight in his next outing, while Maldonado should drop back to light heavyweight, where he is more comfortable and evenly matched.
Check out the video highlights from Miocic's beatdown of Maldonado above, courtesy of UFC on Fox.