Stipe Miocic: I Belong in the Top 10 Heavyweights

June 15, 2013; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Stipe Miocic (blue shorts) celebrates his victory against Roy Nelson (not pictured) during UFC 161 at the MTS Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

UFC heavyweight Stipe Miocic was coming off of the first loss of his career and entered UFC 161′s co-main event against Roy Nelson as a huge underdog, but he was able to put it all together and pull off the upset with the best performance of his career in the biggest fight he has had to date.

Miocic talked about the fight and how he was just looking to put on a show and now worry about living up to any pressure from the fans or analysts.

“I caught him a few times. I think I wobbled him in the beginning, and I knew I belonged here,” said Miocic, via MMA.tv. “He caught me with one good punch, but I felt fine. I knew exactly what was going on, so i just spun around and was good to go. I was being smart. I knew he was going to go for the kill. I was up two rounds to none, so I knew he was going to come take my head off.

“I had a fall last time, but it’s okay. It was a little trip. No big deal. I think everyone [changes their mindset], after their first loss, or any kind of loss – ‘don’t [try to] live up to the hype… just fight.’”

Now that he got win, Miocic has a strong feeling that he deserves a shot in the top ten.

He said, “I know how good I am. I know I can do in this division. I believe I belong in the top 10, and I showed it tonight.”

With Antonio Minotauro Nogueira and Mark Hunt dropping their most recent bouts, the No. 9 and No. 10 spots in the rankings are open, so there is no reason Miocic shouldn’t jump up after taking down the previously No. 5 ranked Nelson.

An interesting fight for Miocic would be Antonio Silva, who is coming off of a title loss or potentially the winner of Frank Mir vs. Josh Barnett later this summer.

Whatever the UFC has in store for Miocic, fans will be interested in tuning in to see how he follows up on his dominating performance of Big Country.

Who do you think Miocic should get matched up with next? Sound off in the comments section and play a little matchmaker.

Topics: Stipe Miocic, UFC, UFC 161

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