Croatian president pays a visit to Valley View and spars with UFC champ Stipe Miocic

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic spends time with the heavyweight champ and a local business owner
Published: Sep. 20, 2019 at 6:02 PM EDT
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VALLEY VIEW, Ohio (WOIO) - The leader of Croatia may not need her security detail after her one-on-one coaching session with UFC champ, and local firefighter, Stipe Miocic.

“She hit me with a good right hand. It hurts,” he joked.

“I did learn some excellent moves. I’ve got a campaign coming up. I think some of the moves will help me,” she quipped.

Miocic showed President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic around Strong Style Training Center in Valley View on Friday. It’s where he trains. The heavyweight fighter relished the opportunity to show the political heavyweight how he stays at the top of his game.

“Having her come here, showing her the place, get a little work out in, talking about fitness, what to work on and how to better yourself. I’s amazing. It’s awesome talking to someone like that on the same level,” Miocic said.

“It means the world to us. We’re so proud of every single Croatian who makes it around the world,” the President said.

Grabar-Kitarovic said this visit is important to the work she is doing back in Croatia to promote health and fitness among her people, using Stipe’s success as an example.

“What I’m doing in Croatia is really trying to promote sports. Very important for the health of the nation, for the health of individuals,” Grabar-Kitarovic said.

And she asked Miocic to flex his political muscle to motivate young Croatians.

“Just keep pushing forward, going to get better. I promise. Work hard have fun,” Miocic.

He went on to encourage young people in Croatia to avoid fast food, and eat mom’s home cooking.

“That’s how I got so big,” he said.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic visits Sol restaurant in Willoughby
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic visits Sol restaurant in Willoughby(WOIO)

From Valley View, the President traveled to Sol in Willoughby for lunch, a real honor for the Croatian-American owner, Dave Bartulovic.

“My parents came to American in 1969. You never think that you’re going to meet your president here in America. Awesome that she’d come to our restaurant,” he said.

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