Stipe Miocic has promised that there will be “fireworks” when he comes up against Alistair Overeem in UFC 203 on Saturday.
The UFC heavyweight champion will face Overeem in his first title defence at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Miocic, who knocked out Fabricio Werdum in May to capture his title, has revealed his respect for Overeem in what should be a “great fight”.
“He’s an amazing kickboxer, he’s good on the ground and he’s strong,” Miocic told ESPN. “He’s real savvy and a veteran. But I’ve seen a lot of things where he makes mistakes. We all make mistakes and have flaws. But he hasn’t faced someone like me yet.
“There will definitely be fireworks between us. It will be a great fight, but I’m going to walk out [and hear], ‘And still,’ with the belt wrapped around my waist.”
The 34-year-old is still fairly new to the spotlight of becoming a UFC champion and admits he much prefers the nerves of the Octagon than making television appearances.
“Honestly, I just like fighting,” he said. “I honestly don’t like the media and stuff like that. It’s not that you guys are mean or anything, I’m just not that good at talking.
“I talk a lot and talk fast and mumble a lot. I just get real nervous in front of a camera, and I can’t be myself.
“I’m always nervous walking into the cage, but I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s just business,” Miocic added.
“I want to go out there and do my job. I’ve been training for it much too long to go in there scared. I’m nervous and everything, but once the Octagon door closes, it’s game on.”
On the future, the Ohio-born fighter is confident that he has a lot more to give and is determined to prove is potential.
“I think a lot of people underestimate me,” Miocic said. “I think they see me, and they don’t think that I’m that good of a fighter. But then I shut people up, which I’m good at doing.”