On paper, it appears fans can expect this weekend’s heavyweight tilt at UFC 161 between Roy Nelson and Stipe Miocic to end before scorecards come into play. Nelson has finished 17 of the 19 opponents he’s beaten while all but one of Miocic’s wins have involved a TKO/submission. However, the 9-1 Miocic isn’t so sure a stoppage will occur in their outing.
“I just expect the unexpected; that’s what MMA is. You go in there to keep it on the feet, and next thing you know, you’re on the ground,” said Miocic in a recent interview with the UFC’s website. “How many fights have you seen that it has gone like that – two guys who are very good on their feet go to the ground?
“I’m expecting a three round war. I’m not going to be trying for a knockout. If it happens it happens, awesome, but if it’s a three round war, I just want to win,” he concluded.
The match-up will also mark Miocic’s first appearance since falling to Stefan Struve last September. Though he’d never lost prior to the pairing, Miocic actually feels he’s in a far better place now than he was as an unbeaten contender.
“It has motivated me a lot more as a fighter, and pushed me to grow a lot more. I think you always grow, no matter what. Coming off that loss, I’ve grown a lot I think, and been working every day at what I need to get better,” the 30-year old explained.
Miocic owns three wins in the Octagon including success against Joey Beltran and Shane Del Rosario. His bout with “Big Country” will serve as the co-headlining clash at UFC 161.