Every week The Fight Voice will bring MMA fans Around the Cage, discussing the latest MMA news from the UFC, previewing fights and breaking down the past weekend’s bouts!

Week: May 4 – 11

Welcome Back MMA Fans!

TheFightVoice crew had a brief reprieve from the UFC world last week and as expected a ton went down both inside and outside of the Octagon. The UFC put on another amazing show in Cincinnati and all of Ohio was buzzing with the addition of Heisman Trophy Winner and decorated collegiate football player Johnny Manziel making his way to my Cleveland Browns. In this special edition of Around the Cage our crew is going to dive into all things Ohio breaking down the fights from UFC Fight Night and checking in with Cleveland native Stipe Miocic to see how preparation for Fabio Maldonado is coming and get his thoughts on Johnny Cleveland.

UFC Fight Night
UFC Fight Night from Cincinnati featured five undercard fights on Fox Sport 1, seven preliminary bouts on Fox Sport 2 and one Main Event as a group of young talented fighters were given a shot at the UFC spotlight.

In the main event Matt Brown and Erick Silva battled hard with highly accurate striking and non-stop action that had the fans on their feet. Social media was buzzing as the first round proved to be one for the ages. Silva was able to control the action in the first round, but Brown made some changes in round two that saw him landing 70% of his punches and regaining some momentum. The start of round three was a continuation of round two as Brown continued to apply the pressure and land huge shots on Silva. Brown, an Ohioan himself and Cincinnati native, continued the onslaught and turned solid striking from his feet into a true ground and pound until Herb Dean was forced to step in and stop the fight.

Brown’s rise through the ranks is something all fight fans should watch out for as his latest performances have been dominating and he has been able to win seven fights in a row. The remainder of the card, which didn’t receive much hype the week leading up the fight proved to be a surprisingly fun night as seven knockouts occurred with six of them coming in round one.

Stipe Miocic prepares for Maldonado
Cleveland native and current heavyweight fighter Stipe Miocic is used to defending his hometown Cleveland Browns against anyone who questions him. And in my opinion you would have to be nuts to ridicule the Browns to Miocic’s face. While many Cleveland sports fans don’t know who Stipe Miocic is real fight fans will tell you that Miocic is one of the rising heavyweight stars and a man who flies the Ohio flag in his corner. As the Cleveland Browns made headlines on Thursday night by picking Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, Miocic was excited to have a little excitement brought to his hometown.

“Johnny football. That’s awesome and I’m excited,” Miocic said on Friday afternoon. “He brings a lot of excitement to the team and the city – he’s the whole package. I think he’s going to be great. … He is a player and he comes to play no matter what. He is always trying, and you don’t ever count him out on a play.”

As Miocic was busy dusting off his Browns jersey and packing for Brazil he was hit with some unfortunate news. After a hand injury to Junior Dos Santos, Miocic was busy wondering if his previously scheduled fight with the Brazilian brawler was still going to happen. Miocic and Dos Santos were scheduled to square off on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil finale in two weeks.
In what would have been a classic boxing match between two guys who pride themselves on their knowledge of the sweet science, Miocic was disappointed to hear that the fight was off. Luckily for UFC fans around the world and especially in Cleveland, Fabio Maldonado stepped up and Dana White informed the world that the fight was still on. This is an interesting fight and while Dos Santos brings more talent to the Octagon, Maldonado proved in his last fight that he can throw some serious leather.

As a diehard Cleveland sports fan I am excited and encouraged to see Stipe Miocic continue his rise to the top. The heavyweight class continues to be very competitive but Miocic will be deserving of a title shot if he continues to win. And hopefully when his shot comes he will have all of Cleveland in his corner.

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