Miocic Not Happy With UFC 220 Focus
With a victory over Francis Ngannou on January 20th in Boston at UFC 220, Stipe Miocic will become the first fighter to defend the UFC heavyweight title three consecutive times.
And even though he is so close to the record, the push for UFC 220 has been focused on challenger, not champion, as Francis Ngannou has been the focus.
When Miocic joined Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, when asked whether he feels the UFC wants Ngannou to win their main event bout, the usually unflappable Miocic answered vigorously in the affirmative.
“Obviously, for sure,” Miocic said. “Listen, I feel a little bit disrespected, but I’m not going to dwell on it.”
Miocic is in no way a trash talker, and understands that the UFC needs to find a way to hype the heavyweight title fight which is what they did with a promo package focusing on Ngannou’s knockout of Alistair Overeem at UFC 218, but it doesn’t mean he likes it.
“He’s got more hype on him I guess,” Miocic said. “The guy hits super hard. We’re making a big thing about it. I’ve fought some good guys, you know? That’s how we are. I’m not much of a trash talker I just like to fight, that’s what I do.”
If anything, the champ believes that the promotion and hype shifts the pressure away from himself and more on Ngannou as the next big star.
“All the pressure is on him, honestly. … The best guys he’s faced, I knocked them out two years ago. So, whatever.”
For most of 2016, Miocic openly complained about his contract with the UFC, noting that Overeem was paid more at UFC 203 than Miocic made to defend the belt against him. The champ, who has not fought since his finish of former titleholder Junior dos Santos at UFC 211, says his contract situation has been addressed, but was mum on any real details on the deal.
“I won’t dwell on that,” Miocic said. “They took care of it. They did take care of it. Yeah, next question.”
Miocic, who is taking two weeks away from his day job as a Cleveland-area firefighter, is ready to battle in Boston, and knows that the perception may be that he is the underdog, but knows hype isn’t everything.
“He definitely has the hype behind him,” Miocic said. “He definitely has the punching power behind him. So, we’ll see on January 20th how things go.”