Fabricio Werdum wasn't the only one caught off guard by Stipe Miocic's right hook.
This past weekend, Miocic surprised quite a few doubters by going into Brazil and knocking out the defending champion Werdum in his own backyard. Heading into the fight some were beginning to argue for Werdum as the greatest heavyweight in MMA history and most expected that were Miocic to win it would have to be by decision. Needless to say that notion was very wrong. Miocic knocked Werdum out cold with a short right hook while backing up, shocking the MMA world including his potential future foe, Alistair Overeem. In an interview on SiriusXM Rush's Toe-2-Toe with Brian Stann, Overeem discussed his surprise at the outcome of the fight.
"When I saw the fight I was actually flabbergasted how easily [Miocic] won. I would never have expected him to knock Fabricio out in the two-minute mark, two and a half minutes. Fairly easy. Not that many significant strikes landed before. Basically it was a right hook and then another right and that was the end of that.
"I definitely would have given Fabricio Werdum the home-field advantage. I mean, this was a soccer stadium filled with 45,000 Brazilians, it's hostile territory for any outsider to fight there. That definitely does give the home fighter an advantage I think but Stipe just went in there and blasted his way to victory in two and a half minutes so congratulations to Stipe. An unexpected win in my book."
Overeem is coming off his own impressive victory, knocking out the sixth-ranked Andrei Arlovski with a leaping front kick and follow up punches in the second round of UFC Fight Night 87 less than two weeks ago. The win marked Overeem's fourth in a row (the longest active win streak in the UFC heavyweight division) and though no official offer has been extended, Overeem believes he is next in line for a title shot.
"I think I'm gonna be next for the championship. I just assume that. You know four wins in a row. Nobody else has better numbers than that. Okay you have Cain Velasquez but he's coming off of a loss. He's ranked No. 2. I don't really get that. He's coming off of a loss and then the other thing is his last win dates from 2013. That's three years ago. It's 2016 now. His last win is 2013. So I don't understand why he's ranked No. 2. But I'm not a numbers guy.
"I just focus on what I need to do and that is train, be healthy, get better, win my fights. I've always had the belief that when you're just doing that it will all turn out fine and the belt will come automatically. So I have no intentions of stopping what I'm doing and I do expect that the championship fight is next. The championship win by the way."
Velasquez and Travis Browne, the No. 2 and No. 7 heavyweights respectively, are scheduled to fight at UFC 200 on July with the winner being the only other heavyweight with a reasonable claim to a title shot. The fight is Velasquez's first since losing the heavyweight championship to Fabricio Werdum in June of last year and, as Overeem notes should Velasquez win it, it would be his first win since October of 2013 when he mauled Junior dos Santos in their rubber match. For reference, Overeem's entire four-fight win streak has come during that time.
Conversely, should Browne win he would only be riding a two fight win streak (his other win being a controversial stoppage of Matt Mitrione involving eye pokes) but he does hold a knock out win over Overeem, funnily enough also via front kick and follow up punches. Still, when comparing recent resumes Overeem seems to have the inside track on a title shot, having decisively beaten four currently ranked heavyweights in a row. And from the sound of it he is already preparing to make it five.
"Immediately the next morning I started my camp for Stipe because I expect to face him next for the UFC heavyweight championship. He's a formidable opponent and I'm looking forward to studying more and becoming a better fighter than I am because of him."
Only time will tell if Overeem is right.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
That's unfortunate. Chris Weidman is out of UFC 199 due to injury.
Baffling. Robbie Lawler vs. Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title is officially set for UFC 201.
What's the catch? Nutritionist George Lockhart believes Cris Cyborg can make 135 lbs. but with a catch.
Matt Brown. Matt Brown explains the cheap shot incident with his ex-coach.
Grappling. Chael Sonnen launches a new grappling series "Submission Underground."
EXTRA CREDIT READING
The Uncrowned King. I dissect the career of Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto and how incredible he was.
Since the fight is now off, might as well look back on their first go around.
Lookin' for a fight episode 5.
Big Nog reflecting on being inducted into the Hall of Fame
Conor McGregor sparring former IBO welterweight champion Chris Van Heerden.
Cowboy rolling around the UFC headquarters.
Serra and Longo are so inspirational they could do their own version of the Rock Clock.
This is going to be a thing forever now isn't it?
Boxing boots. pic.twitter.com/LBI1xo4Hiy— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 17, 2016
Stipe's having a good week. Become heavyweight champ, crush a homer with the Indians, then gets court side seats to watch the Cavs destroy Toronto.
And the title shot sweepstakes begins.
He's going to get the shot isn't he?
I've seen less brittle Pringles than some of these middle weights. #usada— michael (@bisping) May 17, 2016
This is a much better fight and one we didn't already see.
Sounds like Rockhold intends to stay on the card so that's good at least.
He went with Delladova?!?!
Rampage all over again, right down to the custom car.
Will Brooks and Kevin Lee got into it on Twitter.
I remember you, your that guy who got mad when someone said I was a popular fighter to follow on twitter. https://t.co/AgbIlsglZB— Will Brooks (@illwillbrooks86) May 18, 2016
Coker did kind of ruin Brooks's bargaining power.
I remember you, you're* the guy that even BLeague don't even want.Now, stfu,take the lowball from Ufc and lets do it https://t.co/7bNNNol76z— Kevin Lee (@MoTownPhenom) May 18, 2016
Which is which in this scenario?
I bet on the shark in the water and the lion on land! https://t.co/nTpnTacGY3— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) May 16, 2016
That's a lot of really good wrestlers right there.
Rani Yahya (21-8-0) vs. Matthew Lopez (8-0-0); UFC Fight Night 91, July 13.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
1989: The Japanese MMA organization Shooto held its first event at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The event featured 3 of Shooto's future inaugural title holders Yuichi Watanabe (155 lb. champion), Kenichi Tanaka (145 lb. champion), and Kenji Kawaguchi (185 lb. champion).
2008: Kevin Randleman earned the final win of his illustrious MMA career, taking a unanimous decision from Ryo Kawamuraat Sengoku 2.
2013: Future UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold made his promotional debut, getting his face kicked off by a spinning heel kick courtesy of Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC on Fox 8. Ronaldo Souza also made his promotional debut that night, submitting Chris Camozzi with an arm-triangle choke.
1979: Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga.
Think I missed a spot? Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.