No one could ever have questioned the courage of UFC light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado. The blood-and-guts boxing stylist is demonstrating once more just how much heart and belief he has in himself by stepping in on a couple weeks' notice to replace former UFC heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos in a heavyweight main event against Stipe Miocic in Brazil on May 31.
Maldonado fought just a month and a half ago - coming from behind to beat Gan Villante by unanimous decision. Not only will Maldonado fight again with a quick turnaround and at a heavier weight, he'll do so in a five-round fight against a top-ten heavyweight in Miocic.
Speaking with Guilherme Cruz earlier today, Maldonado was characteristically confident in himself and his decision, however. "I just heard about it...and I said ‘Let’s do this,’" he said.
"I’m weighting 223 pounds now, so weight is not an issue. The issue is timing... Miocic is an excellent fighter with a good wrestling and boxing skills. The ideal would be three more weeks of training to prepare myself, but I can’t choose. I take the opportunities they offer me."
As per usual, Maldonado is looking to make the affair a brutal one.
"I will try my best [to knock Miocic out]," he said.
"The only thing I promise the fans is that it’s going to be a bloody, violent fight. I can’t promise the win because anything can happen, but I will do my best."
Do you think Maldonado has a chance in front of his home crowd against Miocic? Let us know who you're picking in the comments section!