In his first statement since losing the UFC heavyweight championship after suffering a brutal knockout loss against Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC 260, Stipe Miocic said the fight was starting to go the way he expected just before the finishing blows landed.
Miocic had survived some heavy punches from Ngannou in the first round of the fight, but a jab sent him reeling back into the cage and a follow up left hook shut out Miocic's lights. As Miocic fell to the canvas unconscious, his left leg was trapped awkwardly under his body. Ngannou also landed one last bomb as Miocic was unconscious on the canvas.
Despite those frightening scenes, Miocic said in his Instagram statement that he was fine following the fight.
"First and foremost, I'm OK," Miocic wrote. "I know that fall wasn't my most graceful fall, but I was unconscious, so it happens. To my family friends and fans, especially Croatia & Cleveland. I love you and I'm sorry. I hate letting you down. To my team, thank you. I know you feel every loss just as much as I do. We win as a family, we lose as a family. Losses aren't fun, they always sting for a while, but that's the beast of this business. You can't win them all, and it's important to understand that losing is just as much a part of sports (and life) as winning. Don't ever forget God will always put you where you're meant to be at that exact moment. You can't dwell on what you should have done better, but you can learn and improve from it and come back more prepared next time."
Miocic went on to explain that he felt the fight was tilting in his favor despite a rocky first round. In Miocic's eyes, Ngannou was starting to fade and the knockout was just a product of abandoning the game plan.
"Unfortunately, I deviated from game plan," he wrote. "I felt great coming into the second round, I saw it was beginning to go as planned. He was getting very winded, and I came in over zealous and unprotected. I wasn't in a good posture to take the hit. He saw the opening, and did what any great fighter would have done.
"That was my error that I accept, it wont happen again. Lastly, I'd like to congratulate Francis Ngannou and his team on a well earned victory. Saturday night was your night, enjoy your victory! For now, I'm going to enjoy the down time, spend some time with my family, and welcome our son into the world this summer... stay tuned, God bless ."