The 22nd and final fight of the UFC’s day-night doubleheader ended in a matter of moments, as Stipe Miocic finished Fabio Maldonado in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale from Sao Paulo.
Originally scheduled to meet former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, Miocic made sure there would be no upset. He picked off Maldonado right off the bat, finishing him with a nasty punch and adding some quick round-and-pound.
“I was real nervous,” Miocic said. “The guy is a tank and he keeps coming forward, he doesn’t stop. I had to get my shots in and I got in a good punch. (Saturday) was my night.”
Miocic (12-1) has now won three straight, adding to wins over Gabriel Gonzaga and Roy Nelson. Overall, he’s 6-1 in the UFC, with the lone loss coming to Stefan Struve.
As for dos Santos, Miocic was asked if that is a fight he would like to have re-booked. “Cigano” suffered a hand injury just weeks before the planned bout and had to pull out.
“Yeah, it would be great to fight Junior,” Miocic said. “But he’s hurt. I hope he gets better and I will just keep training.”
Maldonado (21-7) was moving up from light heavyweight to make his main event debut inside the Octagon. The loss snapped a three-fight win streak for the Brazilian, who is now 4-4 in eight UFC appearances.
Front-Page Photo Credit: David Banks