2. Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Stipe Miocic
This shouldn’t surprise many that Stipe Miocic is this high but it might, so here’s why he earned such a high spot. If you’re not familiar with mixed martial arts, or MMA as it’s referred to, you may not know that Stipe Miocic is a great fighter. In the world of MMA, especially in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), fighters at the heavyweight level don’t often have long runs at the top of the division. It takes a special fighter to hold onto a belt at that weight class for as longa s Miocic has done it.
Now a two-time champion, Miocic has the heavyweight record for most title defenses ever, as well as the most title defenses in a row; both of which stand at three. He’s earned many distinctions in the world of MMA and is one of the UFC’s best ever. A future enshrinement into the UFC’s Hall of Fame will be forthcoming when it’s all said and done.
Yet, it’s not just his fighting career that has him in such a vaunted spot. Miocic is also a local-area firefighter and EMT for the Valley View, OH fire department. While just part-time now, Miocic may transition fulltime to it after his career is over.
His career has been an astounding success and has headlined (as of press time) the only UFC event to ever come to Cleveland. No surprise, Miocic not only packed the Rocket Mortage Arena with a sell-out but defeated Alistair Overeem to earn his first-ever defense of the UFC heavyweight title. His popularity in the area is so big, that he joined the Cleveland Monsters (then called Lake Erie Monsters) and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 championship parade that saw the Monsters, Cavs and even Miocic celebrate their respective championship wins.
For a fun little fact, Miocic’s wife, and Mike Mizanin both went to Normandy High School, just at different times. The world is a small place.