UFC Champ Stipe Miocic Cleared to Compete, Date of Next Title Defense Still Unknown

By Tristen Critchfield Jan 25, 2020


Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic stays he’s been cleared to compete, but he’s still not sure when he’ll return to the Octagon.

Miocic addressed the status of the eye injury he suffered in a UFC 241 victory against Daniel Cormier last August when speaking to media at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards ceremony . Miocic was named Pro Athlete of the Year at the event.

“Better. A lot better. It’s healed up,” Miocic said. “I’m taking my time with it because I’m 37, I don’t want to injure it again or something.

“I want to be able to see out of both eyes when I get older so that’s all I really care about right now. I love fighting but my health’s more important.”

The Ohio-based firefighter suffered a retina injury due to multiple eye pokes from Cormier during their bout at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Aug. 17. Nonetheless, Miocic rallied to score a fourth-round TKO win over “DC” but was forced to undergo surgery after the heavyweight bout.

Cormier, who defeated Miocic by knockout in their first meeting at UFC 226, has stated that he wants to retire following a potential trilogy bout. The promotion has shown interest in booking Miocic-Cormier 3 but has thus far been in limbo while waiting on the champ’s recovery.

Miocic himself isn’t ready to set a timeline for the bout just yet.

“No, not right now,” Miocic said. “I just got cleared so take my time getting back in the swing of things. We’ll figure it out. We’ll see what happens.”

However, Miocic is willing to take on the most deserving challenger, whether that’s Cormier or someone else.

“No [timeline], not right now,” Miocic said. “I just got cleared so take my time getting back in the swing of things. We’ll figure it out. We’ll see what happens.”

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