When Stipe Miocic knocked out Alistair Overeem at the Quicken Loans Arena in his hometown of Cleveland to defend his UFC heavyweight title in 2016, he headed downtown after the fight to party with the local Croatian community.
Miocic joined a large number of Croatians who had gathered at a local bar to celebrate the title defence.
On Saturday night the Croatian community in Miocic’s hometown of Cleveland was out partying again to support their local hero.
Around 200 Croatians in Cleveland headed to down to the Happy Moose bar to cheer on their man. The large contingent was in full-voice as they celebrated Miocic’s history-making victory over Francis Ngannou.
With the fight taking place in Boston, Miocic could not join the fans this time at the bar, but those were there stayed until the bar shut to celebrate the champion.
Miocic does not hide his love for his Croatian ancestry and for the 50,000-strong Croatian community in Cleveland, where he often takes part in events.
There is a large Croatian community in Cleveland and whenever Miocic is fighting there are at least 3 bars in town organising events for Croatians to gather to support him.
Cleveland also has two active Croatian soccer teams – Croatia Cleveland and Zrinski Cleveland. There is also a Croatian Church, a couple restaurants and a hall used for weddings and concerts.
Cleveland’s Croatian community will have a chance no doubt soon to congratulate their hometown boy in person.