Newly crowned UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will get a chance to defend his title in front of his hometown fans. It was announced on Wednesday that Miocic will face challenger Alistair Overeem at UFC 203 which will be held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Miocic (15-2), a native of Ohio, claimed the UFC heavyweight title from Fabricio Werdum via a highlight reel knockout at UFC 198 earlier this month. The win pushed his UFC record to 9-2 and his current win streak to 3 in a row. During his post fight interview Miocic screamed “Cleveland, we got a champion, baby!” This was in references to Cleveland’s long drought of sports championships. Now the fans in Cleveland will get to see one of their own walkout and hopefully defend his championship on their own turf.
Miocic’s opponent, Alistair Overeem (41-14) is a veteran of over 50 professional MMA bouts and is a former Strikeforce, DREAM, and K-1 champion. After a rocking start to his UFC career that saw him lose two of his first 3 fights, Overeem has gone 5-1 since 2014. During that time he as racked up knockout wins over Stefan Struve, Junior Dos Santos, and most recently Andrei Arlovski.
UFC 203 is scheduled to take place on September 10th. Surprisingly this will be the first time the world’s largest mixed martial arts organization will hold an event in Cleveland.