Stipe Miocic and Shane del Rosario face off at the UFC 146 press conference on Thursday afternoon at the MGM Grand lobby in Las Vegas. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
As part of the UFC 146 Heavyweight PPV card, Shane del Rosario (11-0; UFC Debut) faces Stipe Miocic (8-0; 2-0 UFC). This is the second fight on the main card. Neither man is currently ranked in the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings, though I would expect the winner to move in to the top 25. The PPV card begins Saturday, May 26 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Yet again, this is a change from the originally scheduled line-up. Del Rosario was set to make his promotional debut against Gabriel Gonzaga, however the departure of Alistair Overeem caused Gonzaga to be moved up and Miocic to step in. Both of these men are solid and exciting prospects in the UFC Heavyweight division, though neither one has yet to make a real impact at the sport's higher level. This is a great chance for one to win in exciting fashion and establish himself as a new contender. It's also a battle between undefeated fighters, which is always fun.
How do these two stack up?
Del Rosario: 28 years old | 6'4" | 79" reach
Miocic: 29 years old | 6'4" | 80" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Shane del Rosario comes to the UFC via the Strikeforce Heavyweight division. There, he was 3-0 with 3 first round stoppage victories, including a win over fellow UFC 146 fighter Lavar Johnson. Since that fight in February 2011, del Rosario has been sidelined due to injuries from a car accident. This is his first fight back since that injury, and it will be very interesting to see how he does. Before the accident, del Rosario was establishing himself as a serious prospect, with an undefeated record, all wins coming via stoppage, and only one making it to the 2nd round. He has high level Muay Thai experience, and a strong submission game.
Stipe Miocic is also undefeated, with 7 of his 8 wins coming via stoppage. His lone decision win came in his UFC debut against the tough Joey Beltran. Though born in the US, Miocic emphasizes his Croatian heritage, wearing the Mirko Cro Cop style Croatian checkered shorts to the ring. Stylistically, he is both a boxer and a wrestler, with NCAA Division I wrestling experience. He looked great in that Beltran win, but is waiting for his big break-out UFC performance.
Why should you care?
Two hot prospects, both very talented, both undefeated. That's a recipe for a great fight, and a chance for someone to make a huge impression. It's also a very tough fight to pick a winner, which adds to the excitement.
More UFC 146 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.