Stipe Miocic on Fabio Maldonado: ‘There are no easy fights, especially in the UFC’

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

UFC heavyweight Stipe Miocic discusses his upcoming main event against Fabio Maldonado.

Stipe Miocic is glad that "stubborn" Fabio Maldonado accepted the fight against him later this month.

The UFC heavyweight was originally scheduled to meet former champion Junior dos Santos in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 Finale in Sao Paulo, but the Brazilian was forced to withdraw from the event after he broke his hand last week.

Soon afterwards, the UFC would announce that light-heavyweight competitor Fabio Maldonado would be stepping out of his weight class to face Miocic in the main event.

While Maldonado belongs in a weight division below Miocic, he is currently riding a three-fight winning streak and was likely the only opponent the UFC could conjure up on short notice.

"I watched his fights," Miocic told MMAFighting.com. "He's a good boxer and he's a super, super tough guy. He's a stubborn [laughs]. It's a fight, anything can happen in a fight. It is what it is. I'm going down to Brazil and fight in his country."

Miocic was in a position where he was going to challenge the division's No. 2 ranked fighter but is not sour about his sudden twist of fate.

"Fighting Junior, he's a heavyweight, but it's a fight no matter what, rankings or not. Fabio Maldonado is a super tough guy and I'm just glad he took the fight. I'm excited he took the fight. I'm glad he stepped up so I can do what I love."

Although Maldonado is a light-heavyweight, Miocic is taking the Brazilian as seriously as any other fighter in his own division, and stated that there is no such thing as an easy fight in the UFC.

"First and foremost, I think about getting the win," he said. "About a good show, I'm here for the ‘W.' It's not going to be easy. There are no easy fights, especially in the UFC. I'm going out there to do my job."

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 Finale takes place May 31, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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