The UFC’s new heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will attempt to make the first defense of his title on his own home patch, Cleveland, in the main event of UFC 203 on September 10th.
Miocic produced an upset victory over Fabricio Werdum to seize the title at UFC 198 in Brazil just two weeks ago, knocking him out with a single punch in the opening round that silenced the 45,000 fans in attendance.
That improved Miocic’s UFC record to an impressive 9-2, with his other major wins being against the likes of Andrei Arlovski, Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson.
The 33 year-old received a hero’s welcome upon his return to Cleveland, where he also serves as a fireman, and was hailed for breaking a 52 year so-called ‘championship curse’ in the city.
Such was the level of support he’s received, that it quickly became a no-brainer for the UFC to ring the champion’s next fight to his hometown, at the Quicken Loans Arena.
There he will face former Strikeforce, DREAM and K-1 champion Overeem, who also picked up a win earlier this month when he KO’d Andrei Arlovski with a jumping front kick to the face in his native Holland.
That extended his winning streak to four fights, which includes victories over Junior dos Santos and Stefan Struve – the only two fighters to have defeated Miocic in the Octagon – so his confidence is riding high heading into this title opportunity.