The UFC heads to Stipe Miocic’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio for his first heavyweight title defense against legendary veteran Alistair Overeem. Overeem has been on this quest for a title shot for five years and now he finally has his chance. Miocic wants a long title reign, but this is a tough task especially when your first challenge is against a well-decorated fighter.
There’s no doubt both fighters are hungry. Miocic is coming off a big victory over Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198 where he snatched the title from Werdum’s hands. Prior to, he had a handful of victories with only two losses to Junior dos Santos in a five-round bout in December 2014 and to Stefan Struve via a second-round knockout in September 2012. On the other hand, Overeem is coming off a four-win streak with a deep history of success and a few losses in the mix.
Back in May, Junior dos Santos had a few things to say about the then-potential matchup:
"If it happens, I'm going to give the advantage to Miocic again over Overeem," dos Santos predicted on The MMA Hour. "I don't think Overeem has what it takes to beat Miocic. Miocic is really hard. Do you remember my fight against him, against Miocic? It was one of the toughest fights I've ever had. He hits very hard. He's got really heavy hands, so I think when I watch Miocic fight and Overeem fight, I think Miocic is way better than him."
Oddly enough, dos Santos handed over a win to Overeem via second-round TKO in 2015. But to this day, he’s wondering how he even lost to the guy.
This matchup between Miocic and Overeem is certainly fascinating when it comes to the style of the two fighters. Miocic brings an impressive level of athleticism and boxing ability whereas Overeem brings experience and highly-praised kickboxing skills.
Let’s break down a few of their stats.
Wins: 15 (11 KO/TKO,
1 Submission, 3 Decisions)
Losses: 2 (1 KO/TKO,
50% successful (566 for 1,130)
4.93 significant strikes landed per minute
62% total strikes avoided
34% successful (16 for 47)
2.09 average takedowns landed per 15 minutes
73% total takedowns avoided
Wins: 41 (18 KO/TKO, 19 Submissions, 4 Decisions)
Losses: 14 (9 KO/TKO, 2 Submissions, 3 Decisions)
75% successful (327 for 438)
3.81 significant strikes landed per minute
64% total strikes avoided
33% successful (3 for 9)
1.65 average takedowns landed per 15 minutes
78% total takedowns avoided
Our UFC® 203 Prediction
I highly doubt we will see this fight be taken to the ground. We will likely see plenty of hard punches thrown from both directions – we’ll just be waiting for the one that knocks Overeem out. Yes, we’re predicting this fight to favor Miocic and end via knockout in either the second or third round. I think Overeem has the ability to make it to the third, but at the same time, we wouldn’t be surprised if Miocic ends it in the second. They are both complete beasts of fighters, but our odds favor Miocic to successfully defend his title.
Be There as a UFC VIP!
Don’t miss this exciting bout in Miocic’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio! Experience UFC 203 as a VIP – get premium seating, meet fighters, take photos with the championship belt and more. The crowd is going to be wild and the arena will be electric. Will we see you there?