Stipe Miocic scorches Fabio Maldonado in just 35 seconds
Stipe Miocic stepped into Brazil in really a no-win situation considering how the past few weeks of his life unfolded.
He was originally slated to face former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos in the main event of the UFC Fight Night card from Brazil in a bout that would have surely made him a title contender if he walked away with a win. Unfortunately, Dos Santos fell out of the fight with a broken hand and with options limited, the UFC opted to place light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado in the matchup against the 6'4" powerhouse from Cleveland.
Anything less than a scorching victory against an overmatched 205-pounder would have been disastrous for Miocic.
Well it only took 35 seconds and eight significant strikes for the Cleveland native to seal his win after knocking Maldonado around the Octagon before finishing him abruptly in the first round.
Miocic hammered Maldonado early and the Brazilian backed up against the cage, but the No. 7 ranked heavyweight didn't rush in to add in more punishment thinking his opponent was trying to bait him into overextending with his shots. Instead, Miocic stayed tactical and when Maldonado opened up again, he landed a single punch with surgical precision that dropped him straight to the mat.
Miocic followed with a few more hammer fists, but everyone in the Sao Paolo arena already knew that this fight was over. All told, the entire fight lasted 35 seconds.
"I was real nervous, that guy's a tank," Miocic said after the win. "Tonight was my night. I just waited for my opportunity and I got him."
Miocic thanked the Brazilian crowd for helping to put on an awesome show in what served as his first trip to the South American country. The Cleveland fighter was asked after his win if he still hoped to face Dos Santos next, but with the former champion's hand still injured, Miocic was hesitant to call for the fight for now.
Either way, Miocic will head back to America with a win bonus and his third straight victory inside the Octagon. Chances are with such a quick victory, UFC matchmakers may take advantage of the situation and try to place Miocic in a bigger fight on one of the upcoming summer cards in need of a top 10 heavyweight showdown.