CLEVELAND — UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is working on lining up his next fight, but it very well might not be inside the octagon.

A record-setting two-time heavyweight champion, Miocic has his sights set on a super-fight crossover boxing match with lineal champion Tyson Fury instead of the UFC’s preferred option of a trilogy fight with Daniel Cormier after the two split their first two fights with knockout victories over the other.

“Tyson Fury is coming in the mix now, I hear,” Miocic said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show Monday. “I like a new challenge. I’d love to box him. He’s a great fighter. He’s a good dude, and I think we’d put on a good show.”

UFC 211 Mixed Martial Arts

Stipe Miocic, lands a right against Junior Dos Santos in a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 211 for the UFC heavyweight championship, Saturday, May 13, 2017, in Dallas. Miocic retained his heavyweight title with a win in the first round. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

AP

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A Cleveland native and graduate of Eastlake North High School, Miocic took a lot of strikes to the face on his way back to the UFC heavyweight championship, but he withstood the barrages of heavy-handed punches from Cormier in the first three rounds and used a flurry of his own to reclaim the belt.

Miocic landed nearly 100 fewer strikes than Cormier, including 60 fewer significant ones, but when it counted, he finished with a whirlwind offense and reclaimed the heavyweight title with a technical knockout victory in the main event of UFC 241 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California on August 17.

After struggling to find his range in the first three rounds, Miocic picked his spots during the fourth frame and was sticking and moving, engaging with punches, including several left hooks to Cormier’s ribs, and getting out of the pocket before the defending champion could respond.

Then, after a lead hook to the body, Miocic landed a straight right hand to Cormier’s chin. That wobbled Cormier and Miocic moved in for the finish. Miocic landed three right hands before connecting on three short lefts while putting Cormier against the cage.

Stipe Miocic MMA UFC 203

Stipe Miocic celebrates while being interviewed by Joe Rogan after defeating Alistair Overeem during a heavyweight title bout at UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday, September 10, 2016.

David Dermer

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As Cormier slumped to the canvas, Miocic alternated right and left-handed punches and forced the referee’s stoppage with 52 seconds remaining in the fourth round.

The record-holder for the most consecutive successful defenses of the UFC heavyweight championship, Miocic improved to 19-3-0 in his professional career with the victory over Cormier, including a 13-3 mark since joining the UFC in 2011.

The 6-foot-9 Fury is undefeated in 30 professional bouts with 29 wins, 20 of which by knockout, and one draw against Deontay Wilder. Currently, Fury is contractually obligated to have a rematch with Wilder, which is expected to take place early in 2020.

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