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After knocking out Fabricio Werdum with one punch at UFC 198, newly crowned UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic put together yet another scintillating knockout performance on Tuesday afternoon. However, instead of an Octagon, Miocic took his talents to the baseball diamond.
Upon returning home to a hero’s welcome from his hometown of Cleveland, which has been starving for over 50 years to see a championship brought home, Miocic was invited to take part in batting practice with the Cleveland Indians. Similar to his walk-off performance on Saturday night in Brazil, Miocic sent a pitch from Indians bench coach Brad Mills soaring over the wall in left field in his final swing.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) May 17, 2016
Yes, another knockout performance.
The 33-year-old, who played baseball for Eastlake North High School and at Cleveland State, was never a threat to become a professional baseball player. But on this day, he was the biggest star in an Indians uniform as a handful of players filmed his final at bat on their smartphones and cheered loudly when the ball cleared the 19-foot high wall in left field at Progressive Field.
It’s certainly been a whirlwind of events for the man who splits his time between fighting in the UFC and saving lives as a firefighter and a paramedic in Ohio. He left Ohio as an underdog to take on Fabricio Werdum in the champion’s backyard and his knockout of the Brazilian was met with stunned silence. But this time, his one-hit smash was met with cheers and laughter.
"It's still surreal, honestly," Miocic said when asked by Cleveland.com about how his life has changed over the weekend. "It's never going to sink in. I think when I'm tired, old and fat, that's when I'm really going to appreciate it."
Miocic is also scheduled to attend the Cleveland Cavaliers' home opener in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night as LeBron James and Co. continue their own pursuit of a championship.