Stipe Miocic would like nothing more than to accept a fight and move closer to competing for the UFC heavyweight title.
After finishing Fabio Maldonado this past May for his third straight win, Miocic (12-1) has been recovering from issues with his back. That, though, appears to be healing well and the 32-year-old is anxious to compete again.
“I had a few back issues, but I’ve been taking care of those and I’m back in the gym now training, waiting for the next thing to come around,” said Miocic, during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “If they give me a fight, I’ll be ready. I’ve fought with (the back injury) before, so it’s no big deal.”
Miocic worked himself into a scheduled fight with former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos earlier this year, but “Cigano” had to pull out with an injury of his own. His only career loss came in 2012 to Stefan Struve in his first UFC main event.
The loss to Struve remains one that Miocic thinks about to this day. He believes there was a simple reason for the loss.
“I was too much into the hype and everything,” he said. “Listen, Struve beat me, there’s no question about it. He was the better man that night, I just don’t like that feeling. I hate that feeling. It was terrible.
“I don’t want to ever have that feeling again.”
Unlike most of the top contenders in the UFC, Miocic still has a “day job” as a firefighter in Ohio. He balances training with 12-hour shifts during the week.
“I work about twice a week,” he said. “Sometimes it’s three times. Every night (shift), I train early in the morning or in the evening and then go to work, and vice versa. During the day, I workout super early and I workout right after.”
Miocic was asked the craziest situation he’s been part of on the scene as a firefighter.
“Craziest thing? I had a lady, I was by myself in the back of the squad car just going to the hospital and she pretty much flat-lined on me,” he said. “She died on us. We brought her back though, which is the best part.”