All through the lead up to UFC 220, most of the spotlight was on Stipe Miocic‘s opponent Francis Ngannou. He was built up to be a genetic freak who threatened to take out the reigning and defending UFC heavyweight champion just as fast as he has dispatched of his other competition. No question Ngannou has an incredible story and was someone fresh, but Miocic couldn’t help but feel a little disrespected going into the event. After all, he was on the precipice of making history by breaking the division’s title defense record. After getting past the test, he declared himself the best heavyweight champ of all time, prompting the UFC to ask the fans if this was really true. This caused Miocic’s wife to finally lash out at the organization.
“So disappointing and honestly in shock that you would even write this post. Get behind your Champion. It’s time. Continued disrespect for the blue collar, stand up individual serving his community, and dominating his division. This is a man that goes above and beyond for everyone he meets and does nothing but gracefully display his talent. He is a shining example of a hero, a family man, a role model for kids and everyone else he encounters. You really need to re-evaluate who it is that you choose to stand behind. Very disappointing. But sadly, not surprising.” — Ryan Miocic responding to the UFC on Instagram as reported by WKYC 3.
“I am the Greatest of All-Time.”
— UFC (@ufc) January 22, 2018
“Obviously, for sure. Listen, I feel a little bit disrespected [going into this fight at UFC 220], but I’m not going to dwell on it. [Francis Ngannou]’s got more hype on him I guess. 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. All the pressure is on him, honestly. The best guys he’s faced, I knocked them out two years ago. So, whatever.” — Stipe Miocic speaking to The MMA Hour before UFC 220.
It’s easy to see where Stipe and Ryan Miocic are coming from. However, a Devil’s Advocate approach can argue that the UFC should have promoted the opponent and built him up as bigger than life, that way if or when Stipe Miocic defeated Francis Ngannou, it’d mean that much more. The problem with that though is it doesn’t work if the UFC doesn’t actually capitalize on the win. How can Miocic be the baddest man on the planet if his promotion may not believe he is? The airing of these greivances before and after UFC 220 may have ended up working after all though. It looks like his contract has been renegotiated.
In other contract news, I’m told UFC has already engaged Stipe Miocic on restructuring his deal. Nothing done yet, but conversations taking place. Most dominant UFC heavyweight of all time is looking at a raise.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 26, 2018
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/26/2018.