With a background as a Golden Gloves boxer and NCAA Division-1 wrestler, Stipe Miocic made his UFC debut riding a considerable wave of hype. He stepped into the Octagon for the first time last Saturday, October 8, on the preliminary card of UFC 136 against hard-headed bruiser Joey Beltran.
Miocic may not have looked like a world-beater in earning a unanimous decision over Beltran, but he did look like a promising prospect with real potential to develop into a threat in the heavyweight division. Anyway, the 29-year-old Ohioan got past a big hurdle by earning his first UFC victory against a tough fighter in Beltran and he told UFC.com afterward that that’s enough for right now.
“I’m just happy I got the W and did whatever it took to win,” said Miocic. “A couple of times I slipped up and got into brawls I didn’t need to get into, but that’s alright, I got a good chin I think. I wish I could’ve done better, but against a guy like that, that guy’s tough as nails. That guy’s been through battles and I’m happy to be part of one of them.”
Though he appeared the picture of a cool customer on his big stage debut, Miocic admitted that he may never have been so nervous before a fight.
“I was nervous, don’t get me mixed up,” he said. “I was really nervous for that fight. But, what are you gonna do? It’s just you and another guy fighting in a cage. All you can do is put your skills to the test and hope they work out.”
Miocic improved his record to a perfect 7-0 and now finds himself in the deep waters of the UFC heavyweight division, readying himself for his next test.