Stipe Miocic did what everyone expected him to: knock out Fabio Maldonado with ease. He looked good in the fight, but it is hard to say that the win will catapult him up the rankings, because it doesn’t. Miocic fought that fight to get a paycheck and a little more exposure. Certainly, a win is a win and it only adds to his winning streak, but Miocic needs a serious test and a quick turnaround.
Miocic should fight Junior Dos Santos next, because that was the fight that was supposed to happen. With Cain Velasquez set to fight Fabricio Werdum next, the heavyweight division is a little bare for contenders right now. Miocic could be the next contender — and future champion — but he has yet to have that fight that proves that point. Since Dos Santos will not get a title shot any time soon, let’s pit these two killers against each other.
Worst case scenario, Dos Santos easily wins and goes on to fight someone else; no big deal. Miocic will probably take the loss as a huge learning experience and come back twice as strong. If Miocic wins though, the Heavyweight division could start to get exciting again. With fighters like Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva still getting huge fights, it would not be crazy to see Miocic have to go through one of them to get to a title shot. But none of this matters unless Miocic does not get a quick turnaround. Miocics’ name is already in the papers and the UFC could ride that wave of exposure to get another quick, but big, fight. Let’s see if Miocic has what it takes to be a contender.