It was a banner night for Brazil as the UFC took over Curitiba for one night to showcase the biggest stars and the greatest legends the country has to offer.
And Brazil delivered, racking up nine wins on the night.
But less than three minutes into the heavyweight title main attraction, the 45,000-seat arena went silent as Ohio firefighter and paramedic Stipe Miocic knocked out Brazilian hero Fabricio Werdum to become the new heavyweight champion.
Miocic landed a counter right hand to a charging Werdum that landed directly on the chin, turning the lights out on the former champ and in the arena that had celebrated its biggest event in UFC history all night long.
The sport of mixed martial arts can be cruel and things can change in the blink of an eye. Touted as arguably the best heavyweight of all time coming into the fight, Werdum suffered an all-too familiar fate in a sport where the unbeatable eventually fall.
These are the UFC 198 Talking Points:
More from UFC 198: Results | Postfight bonus recap | Miocic wins heavyweight title | Cyborg makes impact in Octagon debut | Souza, Ruan and Barberena win on main card | Maia, Santos lead Brazil sweep in 198 prelims | Little Nog, Moicano win in Fight Pass prelims | Backstage interviews: Stipe Miocic, Shogun Rua, Jacare Souza, Demian Maia | Octagon interviews: Miocic and Werdum, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira | FIGHT PASS prelims now on-demand | Best pictures from UFC 198 | See it again! Order the PPV
Cyborg reaffirms status as scariest female fighter on planet
It was no secret who would be the main attraction at UFC 198: Cris Cyborg stole the show. From her emotional entrance to her devastating and trademarked TKO finish, she shined brightly in her successful debut.
The Invicta FC featherweight champion made 139 pounds for her 140-pound catchweight fight against Leslie Smith. Current bantamweight champion Miesha Tate tweeted a congratulatory message to Cyborg and mentioned that she’s only four pounds away from the 135-pound limit and a possible fight against the UFC champ.
Fans have been clamoring for the long-anticipated Cyborg-Ronda Rousey showdown that’s been years in the making. Cyborg said after her win that she plans to still defend her 145-pound Invicta title but that she’ll be up for catchweight fights down the road.
“I can continue to do superfights, but I’m going to continue in my weight class,” Cyborg said. “I want the female MMA to grow and I don’t think it’s the right thing to abandon my weight class. … Tonight was my moment.
Miocic puts the city of Cleveland on his back
For a city that hasn’t won a sports championship in 52 years, what’s not to love about Stipe Miocic if you’re Cleveland?
Miocic is now the owner of the UFC heavyweight title, the most prestigious and coveted title in all of combat sports. And he takes Cleveland with him everywhere he goes.
Despite the title drought in The Sixth City, Miocic didn’t feel any additional pressure to bring a title back to Cleveland.
“Tonight on ESPN, for 30-for-30, they had Believeland: a documentary about how Cleveland sports don’t have championships,” Miocic said. “I knew I had to put an end to that. It went well for me tonight.”
Miocic brings his passion for competition with him into the Octagon every time he enters.
After taking out Werdum, an elated Miocic sprinted to his corner to celebrate with his coaches, screaming: “We won it, baby! I’m the world champ. I’m the world champ.”
What do you think, Cleveland? How about a parade for this guy?
Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC