Success has always come to Stipe Miocic, whether it be at the high school level, the college ranks, or as a professional MMA fighter.
Saturday night, Miocic makes his debut with the UFC against Joey Beltran at UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III. The Miocic-Beltran bout will be part of the Facebook live stream.
Miocic (6-0) won eight varsity letters in three sports as a prep before moving on to become a nationally-ranked wrestler and third baseman for Cleveland State University. Along the way, he also won a Cleveland Golden Gloves boxing title and was a national quarterfinalist.
“I just loved competing,” said Miocic, in an interview with UFC.com. “It’s just something fun to do and I’m a competitive person. You gotta do something. It keeps me out of trouble.”
At 29 years old and with five knockouts and one submission to his credit, there is plenty of hype surrounding Miocic. In his last fight with Bobby Brents, he earned a submission after delivering a leg kick.
“The harder you work the better things come out for you and that’s what happened (to me),” Miocic said. “I worked hard in everything I did and I got lucky. I also had good coaches along the way that pedigreed me real well and helped me out as well.”
In Beltran, Miocic will be facing a man with 18 professional fights and a 13-5 record. He has gone 3-2 in his stint with the UFC.
“He’s a hard-nosed dude. Heavy hands, good chin, he likes to keep coming forward, and he’s as tough as they come,” said Miocic, who still works part-time as a firefighter/paramedic. “You gotta do what you gotta do. A W’s a W no matter how I get it. Every fight I go into, I expect it to go three rounds.
FightLine.com will have complete fight coverage from Saturday’s UFC 136, including up-to-the-minute play-by-play results.