Stipe Miocic is trying to give Daniel Cormier a taste of his own medicine.
Last year, Cormier won the UFC heavyweight title from Miocic with a first-round knockout finish. However, instead of giving Miocic – the winningest heavyweight champion in UFC history – an immediate rematch, Cormier saught a fight with WWE star and ex-UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar. Cormier and Lesnar even had a staredown and shoving match inside the Octagon.
When that fight didn’t materialize right away, Cormier kept busy with a heavyweight title defense over Derrick Lewis, submitting “The Black Beast” inside Madison Square Garden. Cormier promised that, should a fight with Lesnar not happen, he’d grant Miocic a rematch. And so he did.
This time around, however, it was Miocic who stood tall when the dust settled, reclaiming the heavyweight throne with a knockout win of his own. Now, Cormier is calling for a trilogy fight, which will ultimately be the final bout of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career – win or lose. However, now Miocic is trying for a fight with boxing lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, willing to put his trilogy with Cormier on ice, essentially paying “DC” back for the Lesnar drama.
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Cormier explains why Miocic’s attempts are “misguided,” and the situation compared to Cormier’s desire to fight Lesnar, is completely different.
“After all that was done last year when I was going to fight Brock Lesnar and I said, ‘I’ll wait for Lesnar, and if Lesnar can’t go I’ll fight Stipe’,” Cormier told MMA Junkie. “I think it’s kind of the same thing (with him trying to fight Tyson Fury). But reality is, it’s vastly different. I think it’s misguided.
“I had Lesnar in my face. He came into the octagon and all that. I’ve got to be honest with you: The moment they said Brock can’t fight, I said, ‘Then let’s give Stipe his fight.’ The moment they said it, I said, ‘OK, find a date for Stipe and I to fight. He deserves his rematch.’
“I think the idea of the way things happened may have been a little bit misunderstood, but it went exactly as I said. From the moment of the fight I said, ‘If Brock doesn’t fight, I’ll fight Stipe.’ When they said, ‘No Brock.’ I said, ‘OK, let’s do Stipe.’”
UFC president Dana White has since suggested both Miocic and Cormier have verbally agreed to a trilogy bout in 2020. However, with Miocic dealing with an injury and no timetable in sight for his recovery, fight fans might have to wait some time for the next heavyweight title defense.
Do you agree with Cormier’s comments on Miocic’s aspirations to fight Fury?