The original main event of yesterday’s Ultimate Fighter Brazil Finale was a heavyweight battle between former champion, Junior Dos Santos, and #7 ranked heavyweight, Stipe Miocic. With wins over the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga and Roy Nelson, Miocic has been on a roll as of late and a fight with Junior Dos Santos was exactly the thing he needed to boost his career and put him one fight away from a title shot. At heavyweight, the division is not nearly as crowded at the top than other divisions. The UFC’s heavyweight division has always been relatively shallow and, with a few wins in a row, a fighter can find himself knocking on the door to a title shot.
Miocic was ready for the biggest opponent in his career, however, Dos Santos was forced to pull out of the fight, forcing the UFC to find a short-notice opponent for the surging Stipe Miocic. The MMA world found themselves scratching their heads when they saw that Fabio Maldonado was the man for the job. Maldonado, a light heavyweight who looks like he might be able to make it down to middleweight with the right diet, was going to fight the #7 ranked heavyweight fighter in the world? Yes, that is absolutely right.
D-Day came for Maldonado last night when he found himself locked in the Octagon with one of the most athletic fighters in the organization. Everyone has a punchers chance in this sport, and Maldonado is a former professional boxer with 21 knockouts. He, without a doubt, possesses the skills and heart it takes to take out Miocic. Unfortuantley for Maldonado, his skill and heart didn’t keep Miocic’s right fist from rocketing into his jaw. Just 35 seconds into the first round, Maldonado found himself curled up into a ball with is hands over his head. Miocic was too much and the ref was forced to stop the fight less than a minute in.
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