Stipe Miocic entered hostile territory in Brazil to challenge Fabricio Werdum for heavyweight gold in a night mostly dominated by the home team fighters. Werdum landed a couple of early body kicks near the start of the round, but a focused Miocic quickly found his range. Miocic used feints in the early going to set up combinations and successfully checked two of Werdum’s attempted leg kicks.
Near the midpoint of the first round Werdum charged forward with a sloppy flurry of punches that proved to be his undoing. Miocic stepped back, caught Werdum with a stiff right, and toppled the heavyweight champ. In an emotional moment, Miocic celebrated by running around the cage shouting, “I’m a world champion!
With the win Miocic brings the first championship to Cleveland that the city has seen in 52 years. In the process he picked up his 11th career knockout. Werdum drops to 20-6 with the loss.