Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is gearing up for what has been deemed his toughest test to date when he attempts to defend his title for a third time against feared knockout artist Francis Ngannou in the main event of this weekend’s (Jan. 20, 2018) UFC 220 from Boston, Massachusetts.
Miocic will be looking to set the record for the most consecutive title defenses made by a heavyweight champion, but as always, he’s remained rather cool, calm and collected in the lead-up to the bout.
The champion has never been one to run his mouth, and with the exact opposite of his style currently prevailing in today’s trash talk-focused MMA landscape, he recently compared the drama in mixed martial arts to a soap opera akin to ‘The Jerry Springer Show’:
“It’s like The Jerry Springer Show, man,” Miocic told MMAFighting.com. ”You know, it’s all about the soap opera.”
Yet while he’s not a fan of the drama, Miocic does admit that he’s improved quite a bit in regards to the media obligations that come with being a UFC champion:
“I hated it [at first],” Miocic said. “I’m more comfortable [now] in this kind of environment. It’s like anything that’s repetitive, the more you do it, the better you get. I don’t know, it’s fun. If it wasn’t for the fans, I wouldn’t be here right now, so I just come out here and have a conversation.”
Ahead of the fight, much of the attention has been focused on Ngannou’s record-breaking punching power, but Miocic is riding a five-fight winning streak of his own that includes four straight first round knockouts.
And despite Ngannou’s recent streak, Miocic said that he’s ‘loose’ and confident heading into the pivotal bout:
“I’m always loose on fight week,” Miocic said. “I don’t know, man, listen, this is a sport, I just want to do my job. If i didn’t love this, I wouldn’t be doing it. If I stop loving this, I’ll be out.”
“I’m going to go out there and do my job,” Miocic said. “He’s a big tough guy who’s strong, hits hard. So do I.”
Who do you expect to walk away with heavyweight gold in Boston?