CLEVELAND - Fans are fired up, limousine companies are booked solid and bars are bracing for big crowds Saturday in downtown Cleveland as UFC takes over Quicken Loans Arena.
There is a stacked fight card, including local firefighter and heavyweight champion of the world Stipe Miocic, who will be defending his title.
“Yeah it’s pretty exciting. I mean it’s the UFC’s first time in Cleveland,” said Sean O’Donnell, general manager of Flannery’s Pub on E. 4th St. He says people are expected to begin arriving early Saturday afternoon and then stay late.
“It’s gonna be fun,” said O’Donnell.
Hundreds showed up Friday to see more pre-event action including fighter weigh-ins.
Stipe and his opponent, Alistair Overeem, were professional on stage but another local fighter, Jennifer Eye, got into a scuffle with her opponent.
People have been arriving in Cleveland from Canada and across the country to see this big event, but a strong hometown crowd is expected including Stipe’s family members.
“He’s definitely ready,” said Bojan Miocic, Stipe’s younger brother.
Some fans are hopeful that another victory will kick off additional championship crowns for the Indians and Browns, but even if it doesn’t, there's already a lot to celebrate.
“Finally, we’re winners," said O'Donnell.