Closing out the UFC 136 Facebook prelims, Croatian heavyweight prospect Stipe Miocic picked up a unanimous decision victory over Joey Beltran in his Octagon debut.
A former Golden Gloves boxer and NCAA Division I wrestler out of Cleveland State University, Miocic did an excellent job of controlling the pace of the bout against a very tough, hard-nosed opponent in Beltran.
In the first round, Beltran utilized a ton of movement but was unable to land any significant strikes on the UFC newcomer. Miocic was relaxed in his approach and effectively neutralized and bloodied Beltran in what turned out to be a somewhat slow-paced opening round.
Beltran came out aggressively in the second and even managed to bring the All-American wrestler to the ground, but Miocic quickly stood up and continued controlling Beltran with slick wrestling and crisp striking.
Coming into the third round, Beltran kept moving forward despite an extremely bloody nose—but to no avail, as Miocic took Beltran down and kept him there until the end of the fight to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Now 7-0, Miocic has plowed his way through the regional scene with six consecutive finishes to get to the big leagues; it now looks like the heavyweight division has a new threat on the horizon.
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