The next time Stipe Miocic walks into the firehouse in Ohio, he will do so as UFC heavyweight champion.
With one perfectly-placed right hand, Miocic (15-2) dropped Fabricio Werdum in the main event of UFC 198 Saturday night.
As Werdum came charging after him, Miocic loaded up and uncorked a strike, dropping the Brazilian face-first into the canvas. The win was the third straight finish by Miocic, adding to wins over Andrei Arlovski and Mark Hunt.
“Cleveland, we got a champion baby,” shouted Miocic. “This is the reason I won the title (pointing to his fiance and coaches). They put the time and effort into me. They wasted a lot of money on me.
“It was all worth it, wasn’t it?”
The two exchanged kicks in the early stages of the first – and only round. But once they started trading strikes, Werdum knew he needed to do something different.
“He was quicker than I thought,” Miocic said. “I got power. It was a good shot (that connected).
“I trained hard. The right hand hit him and he was out for the count.”
Despite being booed early, Miocic still thanked the 45,000 fans that turned out, adding “you are what makes this sport happen.”
With the win, Miocic becomes the 15th undisputed UFC heavyweight champion in history.