On June 13, 2015, Fabricio Werdum upset Cain Velasquez in front of his Mexican supporters to become the UFC"s heavyweight champion. It was such an emphatic victory that few anticipated a rematch would be horizon for both fighters.
Unfortunately for the other fighters waiting in line for their shot at the gold, that is exactly happened.
Stipe Miocic is one of those fighters awaiting his opportunity. Some expected him to earn the title shot following a TKO victory against Mark Hunt given that he had compiled a 7-2 record inside the Octagon. However, Miocic believes he knows the reason why he was passed over for a title shot.
"That's Joe Silva's job and Dana White's [job]," Miocic explained. "They go off popularity and what the fans want. Apparently the fans didn't want to see me fight.
"[Cain] was a former champ, I guess. I mean, I'm just not popular enough. That's what it is."
Miocic revealed that he spoke to the UFC president once it became clear that Velasquez would get his rematch, and was basically given a similar answer.
"I wasn't popular enough and so it's pretty much, I gotta get popular."
However, Miocic is not quite certain how to grow his popularity other than to "keep beating ass." He is scheduled to face Ben Rothwell next month in Dublin.
"I mean it must be like a High School thing, you know?"