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UFC 203 fight card primer: Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair Overeem

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UFC 203 is headlined by the first title defense for Stipe Miocic, as he takes on Alistair Overeem. All the details are here in our Bloody Elbow primer.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The main event of UFC 203 is a Heavyweight title fight as champion Stipe Miocic (15-2 MMA; 9-2 UFC) faces challenger Alistair Overeem (41-14(1) MMA; 6-3 UFC). The UFC rankings have champion Miocic at #8 on the pound for pound list with Overeem as the #3 contender at Heavyweight. UFC 203: Miocic vs. Overeem airs live from Cleveland, OH this Saturday, September 10. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and 6:30 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

This is Miocic's first title defense, and it's a rare fresh match-up in a Heavyweight title picture that had become somewhat stagnant and rematch-centric. Between these two, they only have one prior UFC title fight, but both bring in great experience and well-rounded skillsets. This fight takes place in Miocic's home of Cleveland, which should make a great atmosphere.

How do these two stack up?

Miocic: 34 years old | 6'4" | 80" reach
Overeem: 36 years old | 6'4" | 80" reach

What have these two done recently?

Miocic: W - Fabricio Werdum (KO) | W - Andrei Arlovski (TKO) | W - Mark Hunt (TKO)
Overeem: W - Andrei Arlovski (TKO) | W - Junior dos Santos (TKO) | W - Roy Nelson (UD)

How did these two get here?

Stipe Miocic was a sizable underdog when he challenged Fabricio Werdum for the UFC Heavyweight title in May, but in less than 3 minutes, he knocked the veteran out and claimed the title. Miocic has a good wrestling base, but has been more known for his hands lately, scoring the big, dramatic KO over Werdum, plus getting a drawn-out beat-down TKO victory over the tough Mark Hunt. Miocic does hold UFC losses to both Junior dos Santos and Stefan Struve, and those victories make some question if he can be a truly dominant champion. He takes a big test here.

The title shot for The Reem has been a long time coming. The former Strikeforce, Dream, and K-1 champion had a huge UFC debut back in 2011, trouncing former champion Brock Lesnar and earning a title shot. But he failed a drug test, lost 3 of his next 4 fights, and looked to be one of the biggest busts in UFC history. He's turned that around in a huge way in the last 2 years, winning 4 straight and showing the high level striking that made him a K-1 champion. Overeem is a Dutch fighter with over 15 years pro experience and one of the most extensive careers of any active fighter today. That journey reaches its culmination in Cleveland.

Why should you care?

This is a very interesting, pick 'em fight, and one that could end in an instant for either man. Should be exciting.