A Championship has finally been brought to Cleveland. Well, there were a few before if you count Ethan Carter III, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, but as it pertains to non-scripted sports, Stipe Miocic finally got the job done for the city at UFC 198 as he captured the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Miocic knocked out former Champion Fabricio Werdum on his way to earning the title. Werdum was chopping away at Miocic early with leg kicks. Miocic did a good job of countering those kicks with solid combinations and hooks, but Werdum got eager and chased down the challenger. Miocic made Werdum pay for chasing him down by knocking him out cold with a beautiful right hook.
Prior to the fight, Werdum had been emulating the 'troll face,' leading many to suspect that he wasn't taking the fight seriously. At 38-years old, Werdum is reaching the age, even for the older skewing heavyweight division, where many fighters hit a wall. It was only the second time in 14 years as a pro that Werdum was stopped.
Miocic is an interesting case, as he's 9-2 in his UFC career, with losses to the elite Junior dos Santos, and the not-so-elite Stefan Struve. Miocic has made giant strides in his career, but the 'hot potato' of the Heavyweight title has shown how unpredictable the division can be. For now, Miocic reigns supreme, and will likely take on Alistair Overeem later this year in his first title defense.
A little footnote, Brock Lesnar retains a share of a UFC record as he's one of the only men to defend the UFC Championship successfully twice in a row.
You can see our full coverage of UFC 198 at this link.