The UFC’s Stipe Miocic: Is It Any Wonder the World’s Toughest Man is a Firefighter?

Stipe Miocic is the world’s toughest man. Or, as mixed martial arts fans from around the world prefer to call the UFC’s current heavyweight champion: The Baddest Man on the Planet. Does it come as any surprise that he is also a firefighter? That’s right. Miocic, 35, is not only the reigning champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2016 – a fighter increasingly being considered the greatest UFC heavyweight of all time – he is also a paramedic who splits shifts for the Oakwood and Valley View Fire Departments in Ohio. Half his time is spent dismantling people inside the Octagon, the other half he puts them back together outside the steel cage as a devoted and caring, unassuming first responder.

No Challenge Too Big for Record-setting MMA Fighter
Miocic, a native of Euclid, Ohio and born to Croation parents, holds the UFC’s record for the most consecutive heavyweight title defenses with three, his most recent coming in January against a hulking, 6’ 4” 263 lb. challenger. According to the UFC, Francis Naganno had the distinction of having thrown the strongest punch by any human in the history of recorded punches. Miocic made easy work of Naganno, just like he did with Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos before him. And just as he has with 15 other challengers in his impressive 18-2 professional career (13 wins by knockout and another by submission). Miocic, who fights out of Independence, Ohio utilizes a lethal mix of boxing, wrestling and Muay Thai. The latter is a combat sport of Thailand known as “the art of eight limbs” that emphasizes stand-up striking with fists, elbows, knees and shins. Watch any Miocic fight and you’ll see all eight limbs at work.

Humble, Hardworking Midwesterner Lets Others Do the Talking
He is known as a tough, hardworking Midwesterner – a quietly confident, blue-collar soul – who, unlike so many of the sport’s biggest stars, shies away from over-the-top self-promotion. Instead, he trains hard, fights hard and relentlessly breaks opponents down with his muscular 6’4” tall and 245 pound frame, his athleticism, strength, agility, footwork and focus. Miocic is a former Golden Gloves champion who wrestled and played football in high school. He also played baseball at the collegiate level, garnering attention from Major League Baseball.

A Firefighter at Heart Who Loves Helping Others
Miocic has been a firefighter for nine years now. His motivation clearly is not money. According to, in addition to owning his own gym and training facility (Strong Style in Ohio), he also earned $930,000 for three fights in 2016 and $690,000 for just one fight in 2018. And his paydays are only getting larger. Still, Miocic says he’ll likely become a full-time career firefighter after his MMA career is over. “I love what I do,” Miocic says. In addition to keeping him grounded, he says, “I like being there for a person that needs you. No matter if they’re just a little bit sick or if they’re in full cardiac arrest or something. Doing the best you can to get them stable and get them to the hospital…the whole fireman aspect – helping people any time, day or night – I just love it. I love every second of it, just knowing there’s a chance I could help someone.” (Harris, 2018).

Nope, it’s no surprise that the world’s toughest man – The Baddest Man on the Planet – is also a firefighter.

Catch Stipe Miocic’s next UFC title defense against current lightheavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) at the UFC 226 main event this July.


Harris, Scott. (January 19, 2018). UFC Heavyweight Champ Stipe Miocic Balances Life as Fighter and First Responder. Retrieved from

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