Stipe Miocic is about to step into the Octagon with a force that the UFC is hyping more than any other heavyweight since Brock Lesnar. After a devastating knockout of Alistair Overeem, the promotional power seems to be warranted. The UFC has found the beast it has been looking for and they needed it, especially with Cain Velasquez being out and Miocic beating everyone else. Perhaps this is the reason why Miocic just doesn’t seem intimidated by Francis Ngannou. That and the fact he runs into burning buildings when he’s not fighting the Earth’s baddest men.
“This is what I signed up for. Why would I be intimidated by another man? Good for [Francis Ngannou]. Let him get all the hype he wants. I’m going to do what I do and keep winning.” Francis is an amazing fighter. Him starting in so fast. He’s got great power, he’s very athletic. He’s a big heavyweight. He’s definitely showing it and that’s why he’s here. I think everyone [wants to see another knockout by Ngannou] but that ain’t gonna happen. He can do it to someone else, but it ain’t gonna happen to me. I’m the underdog. What do you expect? That’s what the betting line says, right? But I like being underdog because I shut people up.” — Stipe Miocic at the UFC 220 press conference.
“Why would I be intimidated by another man?” @StipeMiocicUFC
— UFC (@ufc) December 29, 2017
“Don’t lie, Stipe [Miocic]. Don’t lie [about not being afraid]. I think he’ll try to survive. First of all, this is the game plan. Survive, then whatever I’m going to try, I’m going to catch you. I’m going to connect it. What happens when I connect? Of course, he’s really intimidated. He knows what’s going to happen. I know he’s just making proud here like, ‘Yes, I’m the champ. I’m this, I’m that,’ but he knows the guy that he’s going to fight. He knows that it’s going to be a fight that he’s never had in his career.” — Francis Ngannou at the UFC 220 press conference.
The confident indifference by Stipe Miocic coming up against the matter-of-fact destruction of Francis Ngannou is a dynamic that is different than the normal trash talk, but still works wonders. This is already the biggest fight booked in 2018 and will be getting a huge marketing push to make sure everyone knows there is a fight in Boston to determine the baddest man on the planet and who the real UFC heavyweight champion is. To top it all off, the co-main event is Daniel Cormier defending his light heavyweight strap against Volkan Oezdemir.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/30/2017.