Currently #3 ranked UFC Heavyweight Stipe Miocic (13-2) has won 4 of his last 5 in the division but is in the outside looking in when it comes to competing for the biggest prize in the industry. The current champion is Fabricio Werdum and he’s already got his date set for his next opponent, a rematch with former champion Cain Velasquez. Stipe already has an opponent set too in Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 76.
Stipe believes it’s a mixture of the fans and Joe Silva on why he isn’t or hasn’t competed for the UFC gold as of yet.
“It is what it is, you know,” Miocic began. “I guess they have different plans for me. There’s nothing I can do about it. Just gotta go out there October 24th and do more work.(Werdum) was a former champ, I guess. I mean, I’m just not popular enough. That’s what it is. Listen, that’s not my job. That’s Joe Silva’s job and Dana White’s. They go off popularity and what the fans want. Apparently the fans didn’t want to see me fight.”
Miocic said he had a chat with UFC president Dana White about increasing his popularity.
“Yea. Yup. I need to get more popular,” he said. “No I mean, I wasn’t popular enough and so it’s pretty much, I gotta get popular.”
How would he go about it?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I mean it must be like a High School thing, you know?”
“I mean it is what it is man. I mean that’s pretty much what it was. So I mean, I gotta go out there and keep beating ass.”
Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos fight at UFC on FOX 17 on Dec 19, with the winner likely to get a title shot.
“It is (frustrating), but like I said, those guys are popular,” conceded Miocic. “I’m not.”
Miocic will be fighting Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 76 on October 24, 2015 at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. Dustin Poirrier vs. Joseph Duffy is the main event. The even airs on UFC Fight Pass.
“(Rothwell’s) a tough guy, like you said, he’s a veteran, he’s fought the best in the world, but he hasn’t seen anything like me,” said Miocic. “But anywhere it goes I’m gonna be alright and I’ll be the more dominant fighter, so I’m not worried about it. I just gotta do what I do. I’m gonna win that fight on October 24th.”
“He’s good at (showy entrances). Me, I’m just a guy that wants to go fight. I’m not a great talker. I go in the octagon and put in work. So does he, but he’s good at doing what he does. I’m not gonna take it away from him. I don’t really care what he’s going to do on fight night. All I really know is I’m gonna get that win.”
Stipe was asked if Ben Rothwell’s laugh will intimidate him.
“Nah, not at all. I’m good, man (laughs). I’m good.”
“I’m not really worried about it. It’s good for him. He’s got a good laugh, it’s got a nice sound. I’ll be alright.”