Stipe Miocic looks to land punches on Joey Beltran - Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
The UFC's first-ever Fuel TV event now has a heavyweight bout on the card, with undefeated fighters, Stipe Miocic and Philip De Fries, set to throw down in Omaha on February 15th. The UFC announced the booking today:
"Undefeated heavyweights will collide as verbal agreements are in for 8-0 Phil De Fries versus 7-0 Stipe Miocic on February 15 in Omaha, Nebraska," said UFC President Dana White.
Miocic, a Croatian by heritage but born and raised in Ohio, came into the UFC as a highly-touted prospect given his Golden Gloves boxing credentials and NCAA D-1 wrestling experience at Cleveland State. Although he didn't show the knockout power or crushing leg kicks he had used to finish all his previous opponents when he faced Joey Beltran at UFC 136, Miocic was still able to cruise to a decision win by out-boxing Beltran and using his wrestling to deliver some ground and pound as well.
De Fries, who hails from Sunderland, England, was known for having skills vastly different than those of Miocic when he debuted at UFC 138. The Brit's major strengths are his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills, with a purple belt under Rodrigo Cabral to his credit, and 7 submission wins in 9 career fights. De Fries shifted his training camp to the U.S. prior to his successful UFC debut against Rob Broughton, training at Alliance in San Diego, alongside the likes of Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, and Dominick Cruz.
Stipe Miocic (7-0)
W Joey Beltran (unam. decision) - UFC 136
W Bobby Brents (submission - leg kicks) - NAAFS Fight Night 7
W William Penn (KO) - NAAFS Caged Vengeance 9
Philip De Fries (9-0)
W Rob Broughton (unam. decision) - UFC 138
W Stav Economou (submission - RNC) - UWC 18
W Colin Robinson (submission - armbar) - Supremacy Fight Challenge 2