Being big is relevant again in fighting. Over the last year or so, both boxing and MMA have seen somewhat of a rebirth from the heavyweight divisions with Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Stipe Miocic rising through the ranks as the best in the world. And with top champions brings out some of the greatest competitors, and on Saturday night in Boston, Miocic will be the first to answer a truly tough test.
The current UFC heavyweight champion is set to take on perhaps the funniest puncher in MMA when he squares off against Francis Ngannou in the primary event at TD Garden. Ngannou (11-1, 7 KOs) has won all five of his fights since joining the company and all coming via KO/TKO with none getting past the next round. His brutal knockout of top competition Alistair Overeem in UFC 218 might have been the most vicious knockout of this year.
But Miocic stays his calm and collected self ahead of his newest challenge. Miocic (17-2, 13 KOs) is also on a five-fight knockout streak and sits only one win short of becoming the longest reigning heavyweight champion in business history.
“I’m so used to it now,” Miocic said during his open work on Wednesday. “I love being the underdog since I shut up everyone. That is what this sport’s all about — it’s like’The Jerry Springer Show’… I am walking ‘and still.’ No one (else) is going to be champion until I depart.
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