Even as UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic has maintained his gig as a part-time firefighter in Ohio.
As the country ramps up safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Miocic is focused more than ever on those duties. In fact, being a firefighter takes precedent over Miocic’s highly-anticipated UFC return. He is expected to face Daniel Cormier in a trilogy bout once he is fully recovered from eye surgery and the promotion can resume its schedule as planned.
“It’s looking like summer, but with this [coronavirus] going on right now, honestly I’m not even worried about that,” Miocic said of his next fight in an interview with UFC reporter Megan Olivi. “I’m worried about firefighting, and the paramedics out there and I got to do what I got to do. That’s my go-to now. There’s so many people out there that need help. There’s people that are going to stay at home and some of them might get sick. I’m putting myself in harm’s way and I’m OK with that, but I’ve got to make sure when I’m home at the end of the day my family is OK.”
Thus far, Miocic says he hasn’t noticed any significant changes on the job in his home state. However, he expects that could change in the near future. Regardless, there are already numerous safety precautions in place with his line of work. As of Tuesday, Ohio had more than 500 cases and eight deaths reported.
“We already have precautions – goggles, masks, we always wear gloves. I think dispatch asks the caller if they have any flu-like symptoms….so we know what we’re expecting when we show up,” Miocic said.
The social-distancing measures taken by local governments have resulted in the closing of many non-essential businesses, including gyms. Miocic is doing what he can to stay fit in a difficult time.
“I haven’t been doing a lot. I’m still healing up but I’ve been doing things here and there just to keep my body right,” he said. “Try and get in better shape, like running and stuff, biking. Stuff like that. It’s tough, my gym is closed down, all the gyms in Ohio (are closed). All the schools, restaurants. Pretty much everything is closed besides supermarkets and stuff like that.”
Miocic last appeared at UFC 241 this past August, when he reclaimed the heavyweight throne with a fourth-round TKO of Daniel Cormier. The 37-year-old holds the promotion record for most consecutive heavyweight title defenses.