Stipe Miocic’s management has indicated that when the UFC heavyweight champion is ready to return, he’d prefer something different than a trilogy bout with Daniel Cormier. Not surprisingly, that doesn’t sit well with “DC.”
"After his health is cleared, we hope to have Stipe back in competition this year in a fight that makes sense and against an opponent that Stipe has not beaten before," Miocic’s agent, Jim Walter, recently told ESPN. "He is more than willing to defend his belt. If an opportunity presents itself outside the UFC, Tyson Fury and Stipe spoke face-to-face in Las Vegas at the Conor McGregor fight."
Following the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards ceremony last week, Miocic revealed that he had been medically cleared after suffering a retina injury in a win over Cormier at UFC 241 last August. However, Walter told ESPN that a second surgery could be necessary. Both Miocic and Walter said there is not a set timetable for the champion’s UFC return at this point in time.
In recent months, it appeared that the UFC was targeting a Miocic-Cormier trilogy. Cormier seemed to be aware of Walter’s comments when he addressed the situation while serving as an analyst on the UFC Raleigh broadcast Saturday night. “DC” was clearly a little irritated with the change in course.
“I mean Stipe and I are going to fight next. That’s exactly what’s supposed to happen. It’s what’s gonna happen,” Cormier said. “I know they’re saying they want something new — well hell, I wanted something new after I beat him and I gave him a rematch.
“So it’s only right to do the right thing. You’re honorable, right Stipe? You’re a fireman, you save lives. You do the right thing all the time, right? Do the right thing and give me my rematch.”
Cormier, of course, initially was holding out for a blockbuster bout with Brock Lesnar after knocking out Miocic in their first meeting at UFC 226. When Lesnar was unable to come to terms with the promotion, Cormier granted Miocic a rematch and lost the belt via fourth-round TKO.
Stipe Miocic ‘cleared’ from eye injury, taking his time before booking next title fight which might not be Daniel Cormier. pic.twitter.com/ccLU0k6FBI— Uncle Dana (@uncle_dana) January 26, 2020