In the heavyweight division, all it takes is one punch.
That's all it took in the UFC 198 main event live from Curitiba, Brazil on Saturday night when Stipe Miocic captured the UFC heavyweight championship with a devastating first-round knockout over Fabricio Werdum. Both fighters exchanged strikes in the first few minutes, but after Werdum became over-aggressive, literally running towards Miocic, the new champ was able to land a huge bomb, and that was that.
What was the highlight of the fight?
In a fight that ends as early as Miocic vs. Werdum did, there's only one highlight -- the ending of the fight. Therefore, the highlight of the fight was absolutely Miocic's crisp overhand right, capitalizing on the Brazilian's mistake by running in without protecting his chin. The finish was similar to Conor McGregor's knockout win over Jose Aldo this past December, as Aldo rushed in, leaving his chin wide open. Miocic has been criticized for his lack of power considering his size in the past, but after this impressive finish, all of the critics have disappeared. Once again, Miocic proved that a fight can instantly change in a matter of seconds and with only one punch.
Where do these two go from here?
Miocic's near future is a pretty clear one, to say the least. With Alistair Overeem recently knocking out Andrei Arlovski, Overeem is definitely the No. 1 contender at heavyweight. Miocic will likely defend his title for the first time against The Reem closer to the end of this year, but with a first-round finish on Saturday, the champion is likely looking to get back into action sooner rather than later.
Werdum's near future is not so clear, in my opinion. There are numerous fights he can take and nothing stands out to me as a fight that has to happen, honestly. A rematch with Junior Dos Santos makes sense and would either act as a rebound fight for Werdum or get Dos Santos back into title contention. I also wouldn't be opposed to matchups with Arlovski or Ben Rothwell. It'll be interesting to see how Werdum returns, however, because at 38-years-old, I wouldn't be shocked if he never returns to championship caliber.
Watch now, later, or never?
Stipe Miocic just won the UFC heavyweight championship. You decide for yourself, but here's my suggestion: watch now.