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World MMA Heavyweight Scouting Report: #5 - Stipe Miocic

Former Golden Gloves champion and NCAA Division I wrestler Stipe Miocic (4-0) breaks our top 5 on the 2011 World MMA Scouting Report as one of the most heavy-handed punchers on our countdown. The 28-year-old dual sport collegiate athlete has turned heads in the Ohio regional scene, knocking out every single opponent he's faced in the amateur ranks and in his four-fight professional career. Utilizing an effective strategy of sprawling and brawling with opponents, Miocic may be on the verge of taking his exciting style of fighting to the Octagon soon.

Offensive Skills: Devastating knockout power, quick hands, solid wrestling ability, and a natural athleticism combine to make Miocic an overpowering force inside the cage. The amateur boxer and proven NCAA wrestler combines those skills to force opponents to wade through his heavy-handed strikes, sprawling and brawling his way to victory. Similarly to the strategy that Ryan Bader has used in the UFC, Miocic may have more upside as he's proven to be a more versatile striker and counter puncher.

Defensive Skills: Defensively, Miocic could improve on the feet. He leaves his hands down often, relying on his speedy footwork and accurate counter attacks to batter opponents as they move forward. It works wonderfully against the lesser strikers in the regional scene, but more seasoned punchers could take advantage.

On the plus side, Miocic's takedown defense, a product of great wrestling and quick feet, is one of his best attributes. As he continues to hone his technical striking skills, his sprawl will become an important part of his success against better competition.

Progression: It's difficult to see any major improvements in his technique, mainly due to the fact that his opposition hasn't been able to push him past the second round. His striking ability has improved slightly, taking advantage of his speedy footwork more often than trying to stand toe-to-toe with his opponents. He's also mixed in kicks more frequently, adding another layer of danger for his opponents to wade through. It could leave him open for takedowns, but I wouldn't mind seeing someone challenging his ground skills to see how effective he is off his back.

Environment: Miocic trains out of Strong Style Fight Team in Ohio. The team houses UFC veteran Forrest Petz and Bellator's Chris Lozano among other rising prospects in the local scene. The camp has a strong relationship with local promotions, giving many of their fighters, including Miocic, a proving ground to continue their progression.

Bantamweight Featherweight Lightweight
#1 - Eduardo Dantas
#2 - Farkhad Sharipov
#3 - Jimmie Rivera
#4 - Yusup Saadulaev
#5 - John Lineker
#6 - Adrian Wooley
#7 - Rodrigo Lima
#8 - Tommy Vargas
#9 - Mike Easton
#10 - Denis Puric
#1 - Antonio Carvalho
#2 - Taiki Tsuchiya
#3 - Mark Adams
#4 - Alan Omer
#5 - Koichiro Matsumoto
#6 - Tom Niinimaki
#7 - Marcos Vinicius
#8 - Matt Fiordirosa
#9 - Isaac DeJesus
#10 - Michel Gagnon
#1 - Thiago Michel
#2 - Ricardo Tirloni
#3 - Magno Almeida
#4 - Ui Cheol Nam
#5 - Henrique Mello
#6 - Reza Madadi
#7 - Alexander Sarnavskiy
#8 - Ole Laursen
#9 - Guillaume DeLorenzi
#10 - Al Iaquinta
Welterweight Middleweight Light Heavyweight Heavyweight
#1 - Yuri Villefort
#2 - Alex Garcia
#3 - Erick Silva
#4 - Douglas Lima
#5 - Luis "Sapo" Santos
#6 - Jesse Juarez
#7 - Gunnar Nelson
#8 - Quinn Mulhern
#9 - Alberto Mina
#10 - Joe Ray
#1 - Papy Abedi
#2 - Chris Weidman
#3 - Vitor Vianna
#4 - Vyacheslav Vasilevsky
#5 - Bruno Santos
#6 - Costantinos Philippou
#7 - Jordan Smith
#8 - Uriah Hall
#9 - Victor O'Donnell
#10 - Assan Njie
#1 - Marcos Pezao
#2 - Gian Villante
#3 - Jimi Manuwa
#4 - Glover Teixeira
#5 - Jan Blachowicz
#6 - Yoel Romero
#7 - Ryan Jimmo
#8 - Nik Fekete
#9 - Marcus Vanttinen
#10 - Ronny Markes
#5 - Stipe Miocic
#6 - Jared Rosholt
#7 - Vitaly Minakov
#8 - Konstantin Gluhov
#9 - Nick Gaston
#10 - Mark Potter


Potential: Miocic is an athletically gifted talent. He garnered interest from Major League Baseball teams during his collegiate years and ranked nationally in wrestling at 197 lbs. alongside such names as Nik Fekete, Ryan Bader, and Muhammed Lawal. He achieved both of these feats while performing as a dual sport athlete, entering the baseball season midway through due to his obligations to wrestling. I can't say that there are many athletes capable of that are such a young age.

Weight is a concern. From what I've read, Miocic can bulk up to around 240 lbs., and he looks very muscular in that build. That bodes well for his future, but it doesn't eliminate the possibility that Miocic will have major problems against the monsters awaiting him in the UFC. His skill-set does present interesting threats to those types of fighters however.

The 28-year-old Ohio native's next fight will take place on April 16th at Cage Vengeance IX in Canton, Ohio against former UFC fighter Chase Gormley, who is filling in for Mike Wessel. This will be Miocic's ticket to the show. If he can impressively finish off Gormley, rest assured that the UFC will come calling this year.


Stipe Miocic Highlights
Stipe Miocic vs Nick Turco

Stipe Miocic vs Corey Mullis