The timetable for Stipe Miocic’s return is still up in the air after his long-time agent, Jim Walter, recently told ESPN that the current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion is still healing from eye injuries he suffered during his second fight against Daniel Cormier.
As for “DC,” while he’s been rather patient since Miocic knocked him out at UFC 241 in Aug. 2019 (see it) for the chance to run it back, his patience is wearing thin. And if the trilogy match doesn’t go down by at least summer, Cormier says he may very well hang up his gloves for good.
“You can’t wait forever,” Cormier said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show via ESPN. “Every day that passes does not benefit me. I’m a realist, I understand that. Either we’re going to do it or we’re not going to do it.”
For Cormier — the former Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight champion — fighting anyone else for his swan song simply doesn’t make sense because the series with Miocic is tied at one a piece.
“When I fight, it’s going to be for the championship or I’m not going to fight,” Cormier said. “This is not about money. This is about finishing what we started. Also because I know I can beat him.”
Revealing that he came back sooner than he should’ve at UFC 241 following back surgery, Cormier says he did that not just because he felt well enough, but he didn't want to keep Miocic waiting for his rematch after knocking him out a year prior.
“I had back surgery [after the Lewis fight],” Cormier said. “I couldn’t have done it any sooner. When I think about it, I probably shouldn’t even have fought [Miocic] in August. I didn’t want to keep the guy waiting. I didn’t want to not fight. I like to compete, it’s what I’ve done my whole life.
“If [Miocic] doesn’t [fight], we’ll see what happens,” he added. “We’ll see if there’s an opportunity for an interim championship or maybe he would strip him of the title. He’s a guy that’s won one fight in two years. Over the course of those two years he will have fought twice, so it’s not like he’s the most active fighter.”
While Cormier understands Miocic may still be healing some old wounds, the champ needs to realize he’s not the only one banged up.
“I don’t really like fighting anyone else. At this point, Stipe has the ability to retire me,” he said. “Stipe’s not the only guy that’s banged up, that’s hurt. We fought five rounds and I won almost four.... So I can imagine why he wouldn’t want to fight.”
Anyone think we will actually get to see this heavily-anticipated championship trilogy fight?