Stipe Miocic focused on firefighter duties during pandemic; Daniel Cormier will have to wait

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has said that he’s willing to face Daniel Cormier for a third time. That fight is likely going to have to wait, though, as Miocic is focused on his job as a first responder.

“I’m not worried about any of that (fighting),” Miocic said in a recent interview with MMA Junkie. “Right now, I’m worried about what’s going on in the world. Fighting is not going away. It’s always going to be there. We’ve got to get rid of this thing that’s going on and make everyone feel safe again (to) be able to live a normal life.”

Aside from being the UFC heavyweight champion, Miocic is also a firefighter in Ohio. So he is quite literally on the front lines as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe. It’s something that has taken the largest part of his focus. He’s not exactly training a lot right now. He’s concerned primarily with his firefighting job and his family.

“(It’s scary), especially with my daughter and my wife. I don’t want to bring it home,” Miocic continued. “At the same time, it’s what we signed up for. First responders, fire fighters, paramedics, nurses, doctors – this is what they signed up for. They know that things can happen.”

Miocic has been out of the cage recovering from an eye injury with all expectations that he would have a trilogy bout with Cormier as soon as he returned to the Octagon. Cormier is still the plan, but when that fight happens is even more so up in the air than it was before the pandemic.

Cormier took the UFC heavyweight title from Miocic with a surprising first-round knockout at UFC 226 on July 7, 2018. Miocic sat out a year before getting a rematch, in which he took the belt back with a fourth-round TKO stoppage on Aug. 17, 2019, at UFC 241.

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Neither of them has fought since the rematch. Cormier has been gearing up for retirement, but doesn’t want to walk away until he’s had the trilogy bout with Miocic.

It’s something that is still on the radar, but the tracking circle has widened on that radar, as we all wait to see how the pandemic plays out in the coming months. 

The UFC expects to return to a regular schedule of fights fairly quickly, beginning with UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje on May 9, the promotion’s first fight since governmental restrictions forced them to cancel several events.