UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic worked on his right hand several weeks before landing it on challenger Junior dos Santos at UFC 211. That hit sent the Brazilian tumbling and led to a first round finish which allowed Miocic to retain his belt for a division record-tying second consecutive time.
Miocic joined The Jim Rome Show on Thursday, crediting his coaches for their game plan which he was able to implement quickly.
“Amazing, it means we’re doing something right,” Miocic laughed of his first-round TKO. “It’s why I got the best coaches in the world. It’s the reason where I am at. If it wasn’t for them, their game planning, the things that we do, I wouldn’t be here today.”
With the TKO, Miocic avenged his last loss in the octagon, a unanimous decision to dos Santos in December 2014.
“I think you learn a lot more from a loss than you do from a win,” Miocic said. “That last loss to JDS actually helped me more than ever. It gave me the confidence that I needed, and it showed that I belong in the division. I can hang with anyone and I can be the champ.”
Since winning the title a year ago, Miocic has become quite popular, especially in his home city of Cleveland, but the 34-year-old talked about how he can’t let the spotlight get to his head.
“I have good people around me. My wife is amazing, my family, my friends, my teammates, my co-workers at the fire station, they keep me grounded, and I love where I’m at and the people that support me,” Miocic said.
In fact, Miocic shared the typical reaction from his fellow Valley View and Oakwood Village firefighters when he returns home from a victorious fight.
“I usually walk in, they say congratulations, and they’ll hand me a scrubber and say get to the toilets or something like that. They really don’t care,” Miocic laughed.
Now that he’s better off financially, Miocic was asked if he will quit his day job, the champ so no way.
“I love what I do. My whole life I’ve been helping people, and I’ve been helped so I can give back,” Miocic said. “And plus I worked so hard to get there, to become a firefighter, going to school and paramedic and all that good stuff, and make my mom proud, show my mom that she raised a son that works hard.”