In the immediate aftermath of his loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 226, Stipe Miocic was more concerned about getting home to Ohio to be with his pregnant wife than analyzing anything that had happened at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas that night.
After Cormier became a two-division champion with his first-round knockout of Miocic, ex-UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar entered the cage to confront “DC.” A shoving match ensued between the two men, setting the stage for a future bout. UFC President Dana White confirmed that Cormier vs. Lesnar was the fight to make.
After having some time to digest everything, the whole post-fight scene left a bitter taste in Miocic’s mouth.
"It was a s--- show and it was disrespectful," Miocic told ESPN.com. "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?”
Lesnar’s last official UFC triumph came in July 2010, when he defended his heavyweight crown with a second-round submission of Shane Carwin at UFC 116. A decision victory against Mark Hunt at UFC 200 was overturned to a no contest after Lesnar failed two drug tests in relation to the event. Lesnar must complete the final six months of his USADA-mandated suspension and isn’t eligible to compete until January 2019.
Miocic, meanwhile, is coming off the must successful heavyweight title reign in UFC history, with a record three consecutive defenses. Overall, the Strong Style Fight Team representative had won six straight bouts prior to the Cormier defeat. As a result of that resume, Miocic believes he deserves an immediate rematch.
"I want a title shot. I deserve it," Miocic said. "[Lesnar] hasn't fought in how long? For him to get a title shot, as I get thrown to the side? It just seems like they are desperate for pay-per-views.
"I cleaned out the division. I defended it more than anyone, and you're gonna tell me I don't deserve a chance to get it back? Get out of here. Kiss my ass if you don't think I deserve that.”
Miocic also claims that an accidental eye poke from Cormier in the first round before the knockout affected him in the bout. The fight was paused momentarily, and Cormier finished Miocic shortly thereafter.
"That hurt and it definitely f---ed me up a little bit," Miocic said. "I didn't realize the referee was warning him about it until after, when my coaches told me. They were all pissed. No excuses, but that s--- hurt. And it's not like it was just a little poke, it was knuckle deep.”