CLEVELAND (WJW) — UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic was named the Professional Athlete of the Year at the 20th Greater Cleveland Sports Awards Wednesday night.
Miocic, a Cleveland native, reclaimed his heavyweight title with a stunning comeback victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 241 last August.
Cormier controlled the early rounds of the match but Miocic, after withstanding three rounds of punishment, was determined and kept coming forward through his opponent’s blows.
Miocic landed several body shots that left Cormier reeling and then connected with a series of big blows to finish him off. This forced referee Herb Dean to stop the fight with 51 seconds left in the fourth round.
This was the first time Cormier was knocked out in a heavyweight fight.
The Greater Cleveland Sports Awards is the premier annual sports fundraiser that supports Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and celebrates Cleveland’s professional, collegiate and high school sports achievements.
Miocic was up against Browns running back Nick Chubb, Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton and Indians catcher Roberto Perez for the Professional Athlete of the Year award.