Stipe Miocic wants to alter the frequent turnover of the UFC’s heavyweight belt, and embracing the home-venue advantage his predecessor squandered represents an ideal start.
Miocic, 34, makes his first title defense Saturday night in the UFC 203 pay-per-view card from his native Ohio, facing veteran Alistair Overeem at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
No UFC heavyweight champion has ever made more than two consecutive successful title defenses, but Miocic, riding a three-fight knockout streak that included his first-round finish of Brazil’s Fabricio Werdum in May, aims for an extended run.
“It’s amazing that I’m here at home, I don’t have to leave,” Miocic said. “I...