No one will ever accuse Daniel Cormier of ducking tough opponents.
When the sun finally sets on his career next year, Cormier will have fought a true murderer’s row of opposition at both heavyweight and light heavyweight. A quick glimpse of his resume reveals a laundry list of former champions, top contenders and future Hall of Famers with only one blemish on his entire record stemming from Jon Jones, who might just be the greatest fighter in the history of mixed martial arts.
That’s why Cormier doesn’t have time for accusations that he’s somehow avoiding a rematch with former heavyweight king Stipe Miocic, who he knocked out in July to become a two-division UFC champion.
Since that fight ended, Miocic has been rather vocal about getting a second shot at Cormier, promising that the way their first fight was finished would never happen again. When Cormier then accepted a short notice bout against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 after Miocic had offered to step into that same situation, the Ohio native made even more noise about getting his rematch.
While it hasn’t fallen on deaf ears, Cormier can only promise that he’s not avoiding Miocic much less ducking him for a rematch.
“I’m not trying to say I’m afraid of Stipe. I swear I’m not afraid of Stipe Miocic. Why would I be?” Cormier told MMAWeekly after his fight at UFC 230 was announced. “It just did not make sense right now. Again, if it happens, it will happen. I don’t mind fighting him again. It’s not like it was the hardest fight.”
Cormier has said on the record that the reason he was willing to face Lewis on short notice came down to the kind of opponent he’d be fighting with only about three weeks to prepare.
Lewis is best known as a vicious knockout striker but he’s never exactly shown the best conditioning and his overall arsenal doesn’t appear to be as deep as somebody like Miocic, who was a Golden Gloves boxer on top of being a Division I college wrestler.
While Cormier appreciates that Miocic is banging the drum so loudly because he really wants a chance at redemption, the reigning heavyweight champion wishes he had been this vocal in the lead up to the first fight because then maybe they would have generated a little more interest from the fans.
“I think it’s crazy in the sense that he says ‘you won the first one, that will be the last one you ever win’. It’s not like he was smashing me,” Cormier said in response to Miocic. “He says he was winning the fight. I was hitting him with some clean shots. It was an even round and he got knocked out.
“I do appreciate that he’s being vocal cause s–t man maybe if he had done that in the beginning, maybe we would have made some money. The pay-per-view didn’t do that well because we did not make money. Obviously, issues sell. Maybe he’s trying to stir the pot a little bit to get some interest in our fight.”
All that being said, Cormier added that chances are he’s never going to see Miocic staring across the Octagon from him again because he likely has two fights left in his career and the list of opponents he’s interested in taking on after facing Lewis at UFC 230 is rather short.
Cormier says his final fight will likely come against either Brock Lesnar or Jon Jones and then he’s going to call it a career next March as he’s already promised his children that he’d be retired before his 40th birthday. Unfortunately that means Miocic probably won’t get another chance at him but Cormier isn’t going to alter his plans for anybody because he’s earned the right to retire when he’s ready.