It’s essentially settled that Daniel Cormier will make his first – and likely only – heavyweight title defense against Brock Lesnar at some point in early 2019.
That, of course, is assuming that Lesnar can make it through the USADA drug testing pool clean, as well as emerge from training camp without any significant injuries. Former champ Stipe Miocic, who set a UFC heavyweight record with three consecutive defenses, recently blasted the potential Cormier-Lesnar booking. Miocic in particular was unhappy with the way things were handled, when Lesnar confronted Cormier in the Octagon after “DC” claimed the heavyweight title by besting the Ohio-based firefighter at UFC 226.
"It was a s--- show and it was disrespectful," Miocic said. "I didn't think that was what the UFC was all about.”
"I thought they were going to interview me [after the fight] and I was going to ask for a rematch," he continued. "When Brock came in, I said, 'I'm out of here, I don't need this circus.' How can you give a guy a title shot who hasn't fought in over two years, is suspended, and his last fight is a no-contest because he was taking PEDs?”
Cormier was on the call when Henry Cejudo upset Demetrious Johnson to claim flyweight gold in the UFC 227 co-headliner at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday night. That ended Johnson’s record streak of 11 consecutive title defense. It also prompted a post-event discussion between Cormier and fellow broadcast mates Joe Rogan and Jon Anik about what should warrant an immediate rematch in the UFC after Cejudo expressed interest in moving up to 135 pounds for a shot at T.J. Dillashaw during his Octagon interview.
“I love Henry and I love his idea that he wants to be a two-weight champ,” Cormier said. “Cool thing to do now. But if anybody deserves a rematch, it’s Demetrious Johnson. Come on, he lost a split decision after 11 title defenses. If Demetrious Johnson doesn’t get a rematch, there is no hope for any of us in the entire world, because that means that nothing you could ever do will warrant getting an immediate title shot.”
Cormier was then asked why Johnson deserves an immediate rematch and Miocic, the most successful heavyweight champion in promotion history, doesn’t. According to “DC,” it’s about length of reign and opportunity. But he also left the door open for Miocic to get that desired rematch if things go awry with Lesnar.
“[Miocic] should [get a rematch], but he went three [defenses]. Three is a lot different than 11,” Cormier said. “And also, if Brock Lesnar was staring at Stipe, that would happen, but I’ll tell you this right now, I’ll tell you this on record: If Brock Lesnar doesn’t make it to the fight for any reason, I’ll fight Stipe again. That is not a problem.
“There is no reason I wouldn’t fight Stipe. I’m only fighting Brock because I’m fighting Brock. But if he doesn’t make it, I’ll fight Stipe again. There you go.”