As if getting Stipe Miocic back into the cage wasn’t enough of a hurdle already, Daniel Cormier now has to worry about when the international Coronavirus outbreak is going to let up enough for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to start holding events again. Dana White insists that will happen by April 18, 2020 ... at least to a degree needed to bring a skeleton crew together for UFC 249 in an undisclosed location.
What happens after is unclear, and at this point “DC” is starting to realize the pandemic could screw up his chance of ending his career with UFC’s Heavyweight belt around his waist.
“I think that we were looking at the summer, late summer, anyways,” Cormier told Bloody Elbow. “I think by late summer we should be getting back rolling as a country, as an organization. It affects the ability to go into the gym right now as I would be, but I don’t know the effects of that with some of these other things.”
If it goes any later than late summer, though ...
“Yeah, this thing starts going to late fall, getting into the winter, there’s no way,” Cormier said. “I’d be done. Yeah, I think it needs to happen by the summer.”
At least “DC” doesn’t have to wonder whether UFC will get back to business the millisecond it becomes theoretically possible. But convincing Stipe Miocic to focus on a rubber match is a whole other ball of wax. Stipe is currently devoting all his attention to his other gig as a firefighter, part of the first responder team that’s going to handle a lot of the front line duties in the battle against the virus.
”I’m worried about firefighting, and the paramedics out there and I got to do what I got to do,” Miocic told Megan Olivi in an Instagram live video. “That’s my go-to now.”
“If [Miocic] doesn’t [fight], we’ll see what happens,” Cormier said back in January before the COVID-19 situation exploded. “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.”
Would UFC strip its heavyweight champion because he was too busy saving lives during a pandemic to accept a fight on the challenger’s timeline? We think we know the answer to that, but feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Cormier vs. Ngannou for an interim title, anyone?