Stipe Miocic was pretty disappointed when he got passed over for a UFC heavyweight title shot in favor of former champ Cain Velasquez. Instead, Miocic will take on fellow contender Ben Rothwell on Oct. 24.
When he thinks about it, Miocic believes that he knows exactly why he wasn't chosen to challenge Fabricio Werdum. "I'm just not popular enough. That's what it is," he recently told Submission Radio.
"[The UFC brass] go off popularity and what the fans want. Apparently the fans didn't want to see me fight. ... I need to get more popular."
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Yeah, that sounds kind of sad. Truth be told, the heavyweight doesn't have much of an answer for how he can become more popular.
If beating top heavyweights isn't enough, he isn't sure what the answer is. "I don't know," he admitted.
"I mean it must be like a high school thing, you know? I mean it is what it is, man. I mean that's pretty much what it was. So, I mean, I gotta go out there and keep beating ass."
Miocic has a lot of respect for Rothwell, but he believes that he's a different beast. "He's a tough guy...he's fought the best in the world," he conceded.
"But he hasn't seen anything like me. Anywhere it goes I'm going to be all right, and I'll be the more dominant fighter. So, I'm not worried about it. I just got to do what I do. I'm going to win that fight on Oct. 24."
Despite wanting a title shot badly, and not knowing how to become prom king at UFC High, Miocic insists that he isn't putting extra pressure on his own shoulders to win next month. "If I don't get the nod, I don't get the nod," he said, philosophically.
"I just got to keep beating people and keep taking names."