Saturday, January 25th, 2014, Cleveland’s own Stipe Miocic will return to the octagon for possibly the biggest fight of his career versus Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga. Gonzaga (16-7 MMA, 11-6 UFC) is coming off career resurgence with his 5-1 record since returning to the UFC. The Brazilian born heavyweight has finished all his opponents in his 5 wins since returning to the biggest MMA organization in the world. Gonzaga’s last two victories were first round knockouts of Shawn Jordan and Dave Herman respectively. “Napao” has some of the best finishing ratios in the history of the UFC and most Croatians would remember him from the devastating head kick knock out of Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic.
Miocic (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) on the other hand is coming off a victory in a one sided clinic he put on against top ten ranked Roy”Big Country” Nelson. The Croatian showed big improvements in that fight and showed the world why he is one of the top heavyweight prospects and belongs in the top ten. A win in this fight against a former number 1 heavyweight would cement Miocic’s top ten ranking and a top 5 opponent would most certainly be next. Stipe Miocic is the best Croatian athlete we have seen in combat sports since the emergence of Mirko CroCop in the Pride Fighting Days. Miocic may also have revenge on his mind, as Gonzaga did almost decapitate his idol in Filipovic.
“He’s a tough dude,” Miocic admitted. “He’s fought ‘Cro Cop.’ He fought Couture for the title. He’s a tough guy.”
“Every fight you have to bring it like it’s the biggest fight of your career,” Miocic told MMAjunkie. “I’m excited for it. I’ll be ready.”
UFC.Com Promo Video of the Fight
This fight is very interesting as both combatants are looking to climb the division and possibly earn a title shot in the future. They are also at very different spots in their respective careers. Gonzaga has been to the dance once before losing to Randy Couture in a heavyweight title fight and then later being released by the UFC. The Brazilian has returned and is looking to make one final run to the heavyweight holy grail. Miocic is quite new to the sport but has made quite an impact since arriving. The Croatian was one of the most talked about and talented heavyweight prospects to enter the UFC in a while. The Cleveland native dismantled his first 3 opponents inside the octagon and suffered his first career loss to Stefan Struve before returning with vengeance against Roy “Big Country” Nelson.
The Man with Adriatic blood will need to use his superior athleticism and stand up in this fight. Miocic has better movement inside the cage and is a lot quicker then Gonzaga. The Brazilian does have one punch/kick knockout power standing but if Miocic can use his angles and speed to his advantage he should be able to avoid Gonzaga’s power. The big question mark is if the fight gets to the ground. Gonzaga is a superior BJJ practitioner and is very aggressive with his submission attempts. We have yet to see Miocic on his back against a very good submission grappler and do not know how he would fare on the mat with Gonzaga. Stipe is a more decorated wrestler so if he can work his ground and pound from the top position he may be very successful with that, but being cognizant of the submission attempts by the Brazilian. This fight can go to either combatant Saturday night but one thing for sure is the victor will put the heavyweight division on notice.
The Crippler’s prediction for Saturday night’s bout is that Stipe will use his superior footwork, angles and boxing to frustrate Gonzaga. This would force the Brazilian to chase Miocic around the cage and lead to a unanimous decision for the Croatian over a battered Gonzaga. The Croatian Crippler will be in attendance in Chicago for the event so look for articles and interviews prior to the event.
UFC on Fox 10 from Chicago’s United Center will be broadcasted in the USA on Fox and in Canada on Sportsnet 360.
You can follow me on Twitter @ Crocrippler or on Facebook @ Croatian Crippler.
I follow hockey, wish my canucks the best and hopefully win the cup, but i couldn’t care less bout those guys… i care about croat athletes because they represent “us” in many ways. I follow all our guys in soccer the best I can and big thanks to this site. I want them to do well… they don’t pay my rent nor do I buy their jerseys but I wish them well in their careers, and if that makes me a jock sniffer, bring on the sweaty cups then
beauty of a fight by Stipe, love to see a wonderful technical performance like that, by the end he was toying with Gonzaga!
no need for the “h”
Go to hell chetnik.
well said……haters gonna hate and jock sniffers gonna sniff.
Why do people say he can’t beat a top 5 guy? I am not super into organized back yard fighting or whatever Ziva calls it but for me I do see a guy who is calculated. Being a firefighter while I’m sure some of these guys aren’t the smartest dudes around I’m sure there are tons of procedures that need to be followed
Stipe looks like that… follows the procedure his team makes up for the opponent… during the fight they said he is second in striking percentage or something in heavy weights… didn’t catch if that was all time or what
But still he hits hard and calculated… doesn’t blow you away with trying high leg kicks or super man punches, can get hit hard(looks to me he can take a hit much better then crocop could)
He is quick, I’m only assuming one of the quicker heavy weights.
Ya Gonzaga is pretty good in his own right and everyone says he is a great BJJ guy, but even when Gonzaga was fresh he didn’t even sniff taking Miocic to the ground… Stipe got out of all that stuff with relative ease or at least he made it look that way
I believe in Stipe, he doesn’t seem like a douche, looks like he learns all the time, works hard, is humble and is gifted with more then enough talent having the blood he has.
Maybe he can’t win the title, but he sure as shit will have a shot going the way he is going, and I will support him all the way.
Some of these forums said if Gonzaga was in better shape Stipe wouldn’t have a chance… guess what bitches… its the total package that wins it. If stipe works a normal job and can come in great shape, WTF are some of these guys excuses that do this full time… In my opinion there should be no excuse for coming in less then optimum conditioning for these kinds of sports
Gonzaga could easily have less 20 pounds, like that 20 pounds of beer makes him that much more powerful then a leaner guy like Stipe…
Off my soap box, Ajmo Stipe! Let the haters hate
for all the “haters”…….where have I ever said anything negative about any organized after school fight club participant fighter outside of Deputy Cro Cop. I’ve made fun of Deputy Cro Cop because he is stealing money.
This Miocic dude is a diaspora hrvat, right????? Which by definition alone makes him a better and bigger hrvat than those who live in lipa nasa.
Love the Croatian checkers on Stipes right foot.
What I love that Stipe does is his creates a game plan and sticks with it.
For those who missed the fight like I did, here is a link to the video:
stipe has great boxing, great wrestling, great chin, very athletic for a big man, and quick. You are wrong on your analysis, he was a much better class fighter than gonzaga.
ziva has said before he’s never even been a fan of the UFC and he has the nerve to come to this thread and talk the same shit, once again, about real Croatians.
What a great fight. Stipe make Gabriel Gonfaga look like a fat pig who got lucky with a kick in another fight.
Hey ziva istina, you’re a loser.
Good win by stipe. Nevertheless he wont be able to beat a top 5 guy. He was standing in front of gonzaga too much. He needs to improve. Still proud of him.
does anyone have a linnk to highlights?
STIPE IS DA MAN !!!!
Bravo Stipe. I don’t watch UFC except when a Hrvat is fighting.
Wow if Gonzaga had better cardio he would be incredible nonetheless, congrats to Stipe great fight good takedown defense
now we can all relax that Crocop is avenged
STIPE!!!!!!!!! Solid striker and very fast against a slower opponent. Great win!
Nice fight and solid win for Stipe!
Does anyone know what time will he be fighting roughly?
I want to tune into the fight.
I do agree with you on one thing tho – it’s cool he’s a firefighter
totes respect there
>> no, why would i do that?
umm cos you’re you.
I sometimes wonder if u are actually a serb the way u carry on hating all croats
no, why would i do that?
Dude is a firefighter or EMT. Credit to him. That is a very noble occupation.
Also i expect Ziva to comment about how crap he is and how garbage all croatians are in a tic so be ready for that, lol
here’s a lovely vid about Stipe.. he’s a firefighter, is that right Mike ??
Prdurabo is spot on. Thanks for taking the time to teach that ignorant fool how it happened.
BTW in Los Angeles it will be broadcasted on KTTV Channel 11.
Great report Crippler, nice work!
@Ziva Couture came out of light HW division to fight tim sylvia in the HW division and beat him (because his ground game is 0). He got the strap and a much bigger wrestler (Brock) had the perfect matchup. Brock was a NCAA champ, and had crazy reflexes/speed for being such a big guy. Anyway he beat couture and gets the belt. The HW division in UFC was the weakest of all the divisions until Cain and Dos Antos came into it. Now the division is looking a lot more solid and someone like Brock would not do so well.
I don’t hate ziva either. He seems like a good guy but he needs to chill out with some of his shit
No! I’m someone who stands up for my own…
Well said Starcevic!
Mala Istina is the biggest closeted jock-sniffer around!
I don’t hate Ziva like some, but he DEFINITELY needs some new material!
Why are you such an attention whore? You are calling other people jock sniffers yet you know practically everything about these athletes and their personal lives.
@lika Joey………..I am not insulting them. And what are you, their jock sniffing protectors.
@majstore…………..I’ll try…..But, to be fair, these organized afterschool fight club threads are usually dead. Handful of comments.
I’m not knowcking the guy who writes the updates/articles. They are very informative and he should be applauded for them. But, it is a fringe sport with a loud and devoted, but small following -comparitevly speaking when judging it by the top sports in the US.
I am just laughing at the thought that Saturday’s fight is some sort of revenge for Cro Cop getting his ass kicked by this guy. Do Crop Cop and Miocic have any type of relationship? As far as I know, Cro Cop only cares about two things. Money and himself. Then again, after watching Cro Cop particiapte in this version of organized afterschool fight club, Miocic is probably better off not having any sort of relationship with Cro Cop.
Ziva,you get off on insulting your own people.
You are not funny.
And when you repeat the same shit time after time, in thread after thread you lose any semblance of humour you are trying to convey.
Case in point, literally coming into every single UFC thread that I can remember on here and posting that same stupid fucking line you always do. On what planet is that funny? It seems to me that you suffer from delusions of your own personal grandeur. You are not funny, but rather incredibly annoying.
Try coming up with some new material at least.
Well to be honest, I’ve never even heard of those sites because my life doesn’t consist of message boards like yours might.
I might not know how the internet works, but I know how real life works….and if you’re a “Real Croat” you damn sure shouldn’t be sitting next to me at a sporting event…….in real life.
well, maybe I am.
Me commenting about sports and making some funny comments on cro athletes makes me anti-hrvat? Do you know how the internet works.
Do you ever visit sites like Deadspin, The Big Lead, etc…..
Ya ya you still just don’t get it Ziva.
I repeat, half the time, you’re not providing critique, you’re just insulting.
Take this thread for example, you came in here to discredit the sport that Miocic competes in, then take a shot a Cro cop.
and NOW you’re saying…”Most of the time ‘fellow and real hrvati’ are backstabbers.”
98% of the things you say seem to anti-hrvati. Which earned you the nickname in my eyes as Serb Ziva Istina.
I have no issue with you or anyone commenting on an athlete “under performing” on a msg board. That’s not the issue at all. The issue I find with you is your constant bashing of fellow Hrvati….so you might as well be a Serb.
well said Ziva, so true
naaah, I’ll continue to be a “bitch” as you claim.
So, you think we are supporting hrvati by commenting on their play on a message board? On a message board? Saying something like “Rakitic underperforms for the repka” may not be something you or others like to hear, but its is also the truth. The last thing we should be is blind cheerleaders.
It’s a give and take. We comment on certain things. Some positive, some negative.
By the way, if are to go by history, “fellow and real hrvati” don’t have each others back until war time. Most of the time “fellow and real hrvati” are backstabbers. It’s the reason why our history is soooooo flawed. No leaders or a lack of leadership. But, that is macro picture.
Revenge time on that fucking gorilla gonzaga fellas !
Ya but Ziva…you’re NOT providing comical and staire-like takes on things. Half the time, you’re simply insulting fellow Croats.
You don’t see a difference?
Real Croats are here to support each other. That includes supporting the Athletes.
Not only that but if It came down to it, anytime, anywhere, i’d have the backs of guys like …Miocic, Croatian Crippler, Croboy76, Bee, Allen Steven-Outraged, Poglavnik, majstore, Rob I, lika Joey, Domobrani…
Not because I’ve met them and know them…but because they’re fellow Croats and real Croats got each other backs.
To me, you just seem like a bitch. Change your attitude.
long time viewer, first time commenter
You folks should consider taking it easy on old Ziva. Every time its the same thing: Ziva says something controversial (wearing a jersey=jock sniffing; MMA=backyard fighting; asking for an autograph, etc) and then everyone becomes angry. Instead of talking about controversial shit like the legitimacy of MMA or wearing a jersey with someone’s name on it, maybe we could talk about something less controversial like politics?
Ziva,was bullied as a kid…that’s why he is a drama queen.
Toronto Croatia,this site is ziva’s entire social circle.
@RobI……….can I get that site through godaddy.com?
Friends, there is no need to be bitter.
Back to organized afterschool fight club talk…….Is Brock Lesnar going back or is he completely done. Remember, he became champ in UFC much quicker than he did in WWE, which leads me to believe WWE and professional wrestlin’ is a lot tougher than organized afterschool fight club – and more profitable to the participants.
ziva you should start your own website ‘www.iamadumbfuck.com’
He does make a valid point about Cro Cop wanting more money. Wish he would retire. Other than that, saying that’s it an after school club fight is so old and shows how ignorant Ziva is. Done with the arguments, just ignore him. Let the old baby make the same bad jokes that nobody laughs at. He needs to pleasure himself, when he isn’t getting any from anyone else.
I’m kind of partial to kriva istina or ziva seronja.
I really hope he can get this win some how dont care how and then he will definitely crack the top 5 which would be nice to have. It will be an extremely hard fight against the heavy hitter.
Maybe we should all refer to him as Mala Istina then 🙂
Many of the successful sports blogs and websites have comical and staire-like takes on teams/individuals/issues in sports. Nothing wrong with that.
This is a CROATIAN site and we discuss CROATIAN athletes.
Nothign wrong with some fun at the expense of the Kranjcar’s weight, Raketa’s hair, Livaja’s dirty and stained arms, Corluka STDs, etc.,. All are based in a bit of fun with soem truth to it as well.
Well just don’t be in the stands next to me.
But yea, you’d be there alright….on your laptop, probably on the Croatian sports forum commenting on Rakitic’s or Pranjic’s hair, or Kranjcar’s weight, or Livaja’s tattoos…
I don’t know, seems kinda gay doesn’t it?
Not that theres anything wrong with that.
and I would be in the stand without wearing a jersey with another man’s name on the back. You’ll never see me jock sniffing in the stands.
ma, come on, not true…………Cro Cop is stealing money.
And no, I am not in the stands booing them. I am in the stands trying to access the wi-fi signal.
My problem is you’re still doing the same old shit. Criticizing or insulting Croatian athletes, in every single thread.
The way you talk shit about everyone…..I can picture the Repka walking onto the field and you there in the stands booing them, with your thumbs down.
@Toronto Croatia…………what is your problem? Did I touch a nerve their about my comments (true by the way) regarding Cro Cop.
That loss by Cro Cop to Gonzaga was a bad day for me. I bet on it and it didn’t go so well.
Serb Ziva Istina STFU.
I really want to to see Miocic win this one……firstly, for his own career’s sake and secondly, after remembering what Gonzaga did to Cro Cop…nothing would be sweeter than to see a Hrvat avenge that loss.
Good luck Stipe. Throw everything you got at him.
Speaking of organized afterschool fight club………..Here is Cro Cop shoing that he will fight at any time for any amount of money. http://www.24sata.hr/fight-club/cro-cop-uoci-gloryja-moguce-je-da-ce-opet-biti-mma-borbi-350549
I wonder if he will have the refs in his pocket again this time.
Great read Crippler. You were spot on in the analysis. If Stipe can utilize his reach and keep Gonzaga chasing, then it’s his fight to lose. Don’t get reckless and avoid getting taken down, he’ll be going up the heavyweight ladder.
Can’t count Gonzaga though his power is legit scary.
awesome article, best of luck to Stipe, cant wait for this one
The exclusive cameraman will be in attendance with a new set of spectacles
U boj, U boj, za narod svoj!!! What an unbelievable article! lets go Stipe!,
Hey crippler….. Is your Exclusive camera man going to be there in attendance?