If Daniel Cormier does indeed get his desired trilogy with Stipe Miocic, it isn’t likely the bout will take place at UFC 245 in December.
Miocic’s agent told ESPN.com on Wednesday that the heavyweight champion is “highly unlikely” to fight again in 2019 after suffering an eye injury during his bout with Cormier at UFC 241 this past August. The injury occurred when Cormier accidentally poked his opponent in the eye during their rematch.
"Mr. Miocic sustained a major retina injury from multiple eye pokes during his bout at UFC 241," said Jim Walter, Miocic’s agent at Kaulig Sports and Entertainment. "Our client's health and safety is our top priority. We are excited for him to return to action when he is healthy to compete in his seventh consecutive world title fight.”
After losing the heavyweight crown to Cormier via first-round knockout at UFC 226, the Ohio native reclaimed the throne with a fourth-round stoppage of “DC” on Aug. 17 in Anaheim, Calif. Miocic already underwent one procedure on his eye and will be re-evaluated in approximately three weeks to determine if another surgery is necessary. Once Miocic is medically cleared, he will initially return to the gym with non-contact activities.
Earlier this week, Cormier revealed that he plans on retiring after facing Miocic for a third time. The American Kickboxing Academy star targeted UFC 245 on Dec. 14 for the matchup, but given Miocic’s timelline, it appears that date will be difficult to make. UFC president Dana White has also recently confirmed that talks are underway for Miocic vs. Cormier 3.
"I'll be ready to fight when I can see out of both eyes again," Miocic said in a statement to ESPN. "I can't wait to defend my belt.”