After a couple days of interviews, flex-offs, portrait-drawing, barbecue competitions, and the occasional dance move, the challenger and former heavyweight champion Dos Santos reposted a sweet message that Ryan Marie Miocic wrote for her champion husband, adding a respectful message of his own.
“It’s gonna be an honor to compete with a true champion like your husband,” said Dos Santos (via Instagram).
It’s gonna be a honor to compete with a true champion like your husband. | #Repost @mrs_miocic ・・・ Being a champion isn’t about boasting, bragging, insults, or useless banter. Being a champion is about courage, honor, and respect. Respect for everyone you encounter. Respect for your opponents, their teams, and families. Respect for your art. Respect for hard work, always conducting yourself like the professional, positive, role model you are both inside and outside of the octagon. Being a champion is about setting a positive example for kids, who are the future of your sport. True champions are those who lead by example using their actions, not their words. Sometimes the most proud moments I have of you @stipemiocicufc are the ones that have nothing to do with fighting. #ufc211 #teammiocic #andstill #andforever
While in Texas to promote UFC 211 on May 13 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, which airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, Miocic (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Dos Santos (18-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) attended a Dallas Mavericks-Los Angeles Clippers game, where they – competitively, of course – showed off their guns (via Instagram).
The champ and challenger also put their artistic chops to the test as they drew very true-to-life portraits of each other (via Instagram).
And, in a luxury not always afforded during the camps of fighters in lower weight classes, the two also engaged in a barbecue-eating contest (full video below) – which, thanks to Miocic’s ham fixation, Dos Santos took by a small 3-2 margin.
One can almost forget these two have actually battered each other in the octagon before. While Dos Santos came out victorious of their 2014 encounter at UFC on FOX 13, Miocic bounced back with a pair of wins that earned him a title shot against Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198. He’s since defended the belt once, in the UFC 203 main event against Alistair Overeem last September.
Ex-champ Dos Santos returned from the decision win over Miocic to a TKO loss to Overeem at UFC on FOX 17. But, after an impressive display over Ben Rothwell at last April’s UFC Fight Night 86, and a cancelled headlining scrap against Stefan Struve, he was able to secure a new shot at the belt.