Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, recently stated that he didn’t have any plans to fight while most states in America are under lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the reason is because he is currently working as a first responder in his home state of Ohio.
Furthermore, he currently has no means to properly train — his gym is currently locked down as a direct result of recent laws implemented across the nation. So when he caught wind of Dana White’s comments that being stripped of the title was possible, Miocic took to social media to respond.
“I want to fight DC. It’s going to happen period,” he said. “I’m going to give my fans what they want to see. My management has been working on dates with UFC. Right now I’m doing what the Governor DeWine is advising and am working as a first responder. I can’t control a global pandemic.”
Miocic was expected to take part in a trilogy fight against Daniel Cormier this summer, but those plans fell by the wayside once the coronavirus started to spread at a rapid pace. But now that UFC has found loopholes that would allow the promotion to stage fights, which will resume this Saturday (May 9, 2020) with UFC 249, White says there should be no reason for anyone who really wants to fight to sit on the sidelines.
For his part, Daniel Cormier appreciates and respects what Miocic is doing as a first responder, but says it’s time for him to sign on the dotted line to give him the chance to win the belt back much like he did last year. Miocic, though, wants to make it very clear that he isn’t trying to avoid fighting “DC” by any means.
“My head coach can’t open his gym by law right now,” he said. “I don’t hold myself higher than any other person in regards to what I’m allowed to do. Ohio is under orders until May 29th. The second the gym can open, we begin camp. Plain and simple. I have never ducked anyone. I’ve never turned down a fight, and I never will. Strap #6 coming soon.”
The thought of stripping Miocic is flat-out ridiculous, especially since an eye injury and now COVID-19 are the culprits for his delayed return. But if all goes as planned, Stipe could head back to training at the end of the month, meaning a possible return date of August is still on the table.