Miocic says scoring takedown against DC gave him confidence to win the fight

Stipe Miocic was able to avenge his championship loss to Daniel Cormier in the UFC 241 main event, but the 37-year-old didn’t get off to the best start.

“Oh 100 percent, it was terrible. It was absolutely terrible,” Miocic said of his first round against ‘DC’ in a recent interview with Chael Sonnen (h/t BJPenn.com).

Miocic, who was outboxed and outgrappled by Cormier in the early rounds of the fight, showcased the heart of a champion by rallying back from adversity to KO his heavyweight rival in the fourth round.

The part-time firefighter attributes his success to a gruelling training camp and a takedown he scored in the third round, which Miocic says was the turning point of the fight. Sure enough, in the following round, Miocic wilted Cormier with a series of ripping left hooks to the body and finished the Olympian with a barrage of ground-and-pound against the fence.

“Yeah man, I have the best coaches in the world, dude,” Miocic said. “They put me through hell. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I’m at today, honestly. I’m very lucky. You know, you just gotta weather the storm man. It’s a five-round fight. It’s not just five minutes, it’s 25 minutes.”

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“Oh it definitely was [a confidence-booster],” he said of the takedown. “It was just tough man. At that point we were both tired and he was real sweaty so it’s hard to hold onto him. I hit him a little bit and then he got up and just kinda squeaked out. You know it is what it is, but points-wise that was good for me.”

The win over Cormier cemented Miocic’s status as the greatest heavyweight in UFC history and a spot in the UFC’s official top-five pound-for-pound rankings.

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