New UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic will make his first title defense in front of a hometown crowd in Cleveland, Ohio, with the UFC announcing on Wednesday that he’ll meet Alistair Overeem at The Quicken Loans Arena on Sept. 10 in the main event of UFC 203.
Miocic captured the title from Fabricio Werdum earlier this month at UFC 198, knocking Werdum out in the first round in front of 45,000 fans in Curitiba, Brazil. It was the third straight win for the 33-year-old, and his sixth in his last seven fights.
Overeem gets his first shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship off a knockout win over Andrei Arlovski earlier this month in his home country of the Netherlands. That was Overeem’s fourth straight win in the Octagon, and he’ll try to do to Miocic what the new champ did to Werdum in Brazil.
The UFC 203 event is the organization’s first ever fight card in Cleveland, coming two and a half years after their last appearance in the state of Ohio. It’s their first pay-per-view event in the state since UFC 96, which emanated from Columbus in March of 2009.
Penick’s Analysis: This was the right move to make, both in fight and location. Regardless of what else they put on the card – and they do have some other Ohio natives they can book here – the hometown Heavyweight Champ is likely going to sell the live event out himself given the city’s reaction to him thus far. Overeem’s the right challenger as well with former Champ Cain Velasquez still not fighting until July. It’s just the right spot to put this fight in, although the date seems a little close to the August 20 UFC 202 card considering that event’s proximity to both UFC 200 and UFC 201.
[Photo (c) Jason Silva via USA Today Sports]
Attention iPhone/iPad and Android users, if you’ve enjoyed our app in the past and followed us there, or if you’ve never checked it out, make sure to update to the latest version in the Apple store and/or Google Play store. We’ve launched a new look for the app, in line with our recent desktop overhaul. Make sure to check it out!
For current App users, swipe right to view next article, swipe left to view previous article.