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četvrtak, 19. svibnja 2016.

Photos Of The Day: Stipe Miocic Becomes UFC Heavyweight Champion At UFC 198

Stipe Miocic became the new undidputed UFC Heavyweight Champion at UFC 198. Image:

(The below excerpt regarding Stipe Miocic and the person Billy (a psuedonym representing similar persons) is based on unverified 3rd party information sources and may or may not have happened. The psuedonym "Billy" and related events were added to elaborate on other already included and preexisting text and facts which emphasize the other presented factual information about UFC 198 and the person of Stipe Miocic, which are part of the primary overall central theme and purpose of this post)

I guess I'm going to do one of my these days very rare sports themed posts, but this one goes beyond just sports, because I always like to add the little known and behind the scenes facts to make it more interesting. For those not in the know, UFC mixed martial artist fighter Stipe Miocic, who also just happens to have Croatian descent, just days ago realized his dream and became UFC Heavyweight Champion at UFC 198. I'm not going to get all analytical and add sports commentary about the main event fight, because there's tons of websites and articles out there doing that already.

However, I will just add that there was a lot more extracirrular goings on than just the main fighting event. Soon after the fight was over, Stipe (In Croatian pronounced: "Steep-eh Me-oh-chich" and spelled Stipe Miočić) ended up winning the first major championship by anyone or by any team representing Cleveland since 1964, extending back to when the Cleveland Browns last won a championship before there even was a Superbowl. Since that time no major sports team or sports figure has been able to bring championship silverware back to Cleveland, so that's something worth noting also. (aka the Cleveland sports curse, which is almost like the Buffalo Bills curse, and similar to the Curse of Frank Mahovlich etc) Also of course, he let all the cameras know that besides Cleveland that "Croatia has a Champion" also, which was cool to add in also because it lets people know your descent, which a lot of athletes do these days anyway. (He visited Croatia for the first time twice in 2014, and even met Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipović before his official retirement, his Croatian roots specifically are on the Croatian coast in the Dalmatian island village of Rtina Miočići, a small and sleepy quiet location not far from the city of Zadar, (population about 475), actually the kind of place you'd like to retire in and spend the rest of your days swimming, boating, fishing, drinking wine and šljivovica/rakija (plumb brandy) and having outdoor pečenka and other parties etc. If you're whipping down the highway and blink you'll probably miss it)

Back to the UFC, firstly, going into the fight as the underdog they were screwing up pronouncing his name plenty of times I noticed. It's not all that important or a major issue, but it's just such an easy name to pronounce to begin with. It's really not that hard to pronounce and is an easy grammar actually, lots of people have way more complicated sounding names. Heck, I heard some names being mentioned that were 3 and even 4 names long with tons of syllables like it was nothing, I heard the tv people say names like "Miochik", "Miotich", "Mochik", Miokich" and a couple others. I'll just leave it at that.

Secondly, not only was the main card in Brazil, which is the country of his opponent and the 45,000+ crowd in attendance was completely cheering for his opponent, but he also had to contend with 45,000+ fans yelling "Uh vai morrer!", which translated means "You will die!" This actually may have something to do with the recent warnings of the Brazilian soccer superstar Rivaldo, he's actually encouraging tourists and people to stay away from the Rio Olympics this summer because he says it's too violent and dangerous, plus all the protests there against the "rape culture" going on for years, like over 60,000 rapes a year. (I even came across some television preacher types saying that the Zika virus is a plague from God, so that couldn't be a good thing either probably) Then when you factor in the thousands of Brazil flags, banners and then the death chants, well now that gives a whole new perspective on things and the atmosphere to contend with. He was definitely in enemy territory as the saying goes, in the days leading to the main event and not even being given a chance supposedly, being told it was over before it even started, that he's overrated etc. So basically it was one against over 45,000 and they all wanted him to die even before entering the octagon. (Let that be a lesson for all the boys and girls out there, when you're confronted on all sides, when people want you to fail and even die yelling death chants at you, you can still accomplish your goal or task and walk out a champion, you too can prove them wrong and do what you came to do, just like in the movies), this has been a custom over the years from what I read, Non-Brazilian opponents being greeted by these notorious death chants is commonplace these days supposedly.

But also something else most people probably don't know, is that Stipe Miocic is also a part-tme firefighter and paramedic, which brings me to the next probably little known tidbit. You see, Stipe just a few weeks ago was walking through the hospital, after they put out a fire and helped bring in some patients for precautionary tests. And as he was walking through a corridor on the way out he heard some voices talking in a room, it was Billy and his mom. Billy was on his bed and all sad because the doctors told his mom that the leukemia had spread, they said the various pills and medications weren't working. (the television preachers took the last of their faith seeds but the miracle cure didn't happen like promised, the cancer instead got worse) Well long story short, Stipe told Billy that he was going to become UFC Heavyweight Champion the next month in Brazil, and that if he wins then Billy's cancer is going to go away. He told Billy that he'll get better and be out of the hospital soon only if believes that he'll win in Brazil. Billy then immediately felt better and said, "You mean the cancer might leave if you win against them meanies? Ok then, I'll get better if you say so, if you become the UFC Champ, I promise." Billy's mom hugged Billy and they were hopeful again as Stipe had to get back to the fire station, but before leaving he said "That's right Billy, you're gonna get better soon because I'm the Champ." Well, Stipe did his part of the deal, with 2:13 left in the 1st round and surrounded by death chants and masks too, Stipe accomplished his goal he set out to do and kept his promise with Billy too. In a way, Billy is a UFC Champion now too. I'll just leave it at that, to protect identities, privacy and gossiping etc.

A lot of the comments on sites I came across and read were saying things like it was too bad that he was out like a light before even hitting the mat, wishing he had a chance to throw in a few more strikes before the referee stopped it, really tenderize him for the fans. Also, rumours are already circulating that his very first UFC title defence could even be in his hometown of Cleveland. (which I again am not going to predict about, analyze or comment different scenarios etc), but I think that would be pretty cool if they did. The Cleveland/Ohio area has a sizeable Croatian diaspora population so he would definitely get some extra fan support there and from other parts of North America, insead of death chants and probably a lot less name mispronunciations too, I think so anyway.

Interestingly and lastly, soon after arriving back in Cleveland, Stipe even hit a home run at Cleveland Indians batting practice, just to make things even more interesting afterwards. (There could very well be a career in the Major Leagues after retiring from the octagon ring down the road) The main thing though and point of this whole post, like I said, is when you're confronted on all sides, when people want you to fail and even die and it seems like there's no chance, that you can still accomplish your goal and walk out a champion. Anyway, below are a few pics and the video highlights from UFC 198.


Jason Silva/AGIF VIA AP

Previous related posts: ufc-star-stipe-miocic-croatia-crocop



Celebrating the win with 2:13 left in the 1st round. Good view of his Croatian coat of arms tattoo on his foot, which he didn't get a chance to really use this time. (It may be time for a new celebratory tattoo, a skull wearing a fireman helmet tattoo would look cool, see related tattoos post)

Back towards the dressing room after winning the belt.

"Mission accomplished" and soon after numerous congrats from the various social media sites. (Including from the very first UFC Welterweight Champion and UFC 16 Welterweight Tournament Winner and UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich, who actually helped found and start the whole UFC thing around 1995)

Posing with fiance Ryan Marie Carney and his coaching staff after the win.

Approaching the octagon ring through the thousands of "Uh vai morrer/You will die!" death chants.

Highlights from the UFC 198 Heavyweight Championship belt main event...

...and the post-fight interview.

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