Newly crowned UFC heavyweight king Stipe Miocic will be a VIP guest of his hometown team when the Cleveland Cavaliers face the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night.
According to a report from TMZ, the Cavaliers officials saw Miocic’s post-fight shoutout to the team and asked him to attend the game, which takes place at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Miocic knocked out Fabricio Werdum in the first round of the UFC 198 headliner in Curitiba, Brazil, this past Saturday to claim the heavyweight title. The 33-year-old Cleveland firefighter, who trains with the Strong Style Fight Team, mentioned the city’s long-running professional sports woes during the post-fight press conference. A Cleveland sports franchise has not won a major pro championship since 1964, and the Cavaliers have never won an NBA title.
“I wanted to put an end to the curse,” he said. “I just wanted to go in there and do my job. I didn’t carry the weight of Cleveland on my shoulders but I did want to end the curse.”
Miocic has reportedly accepted the Cavaliers invitation and the team is expected to honor his achievement, although it is unclear whether that will be during a pregame ceremony or at some point during a break in the action.