According to the curse, UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is due to lose his belt within his next two fights. However, this isn’t the first curse the Cleveland, Ohio native has faced. Before defeating Fabricio Werdum in the first round at UFC 198 to claim the UFC heavyweight title, the city of Cleveland hadn’t won a major sports title in 52 years. Subsequently, the Cleveland Cavaliers successfully won the NBA championship soon after. Now Stipe Miocic is on a quest to break another curse.
No UFC heavyweight champion has successfully defended the title more than twice. No matter how dominant they looked beforehand, not one has successfully defended the title the third time. We have had two decades worth of UFC heavyweight champions and for whatever reason, none of them could own that achievement. For Stipe Miocic a win at UFC 211 will put the third defense in his grasp as defeating Junior Dos Santos will mark his second title defense. While Miocic is no stranger to curse-breaking, Junior Dos Santos has different motivations as he looks to reestablish himself on the top of the heavyweight division.
There was a time when Junior Dos Santos looked absolutely unstoppable. Running through his first nine UFC fights with relative ease, Dos Santos took out Fabrício Werdum, Mirko Cro Cop, and Shane Carwin before defeating Cain Velasquez for the title. Dos Santos followed the big win up with a knockout win over Frank Mir making him 9-0 inside the UFC. Of course, the talks of Dos Santos breaking the heavyweight curse arrived, but it wasn’t meant to be as he lost a unanimous decision to Cain Velasquez at UFC 155. It has been a rather rocky road for the former champion since, going 3-2 over the course of four years.
Despite a recent loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC on Fox 17, the luck of Dos Santos might be turning around. In his lone fight of 2016, Junior Dos Santos looked better than ever using his sharp boxing skills to easily outpoint Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 86. Now after the fallout of Cain Velasquez vs Fabricio Werdum 2, the Caçador, Santa Catarina, Brazil native will get his chance to reclaim his spot on top. Junior Dos Santos and Stipe Miocic met once before in 2014. It was a battle of heavy hands and granite chins that resulted in a unanimous decision win for Junior Dos Santos. Now the two top heavyweights meet again, this time with a title on the line.