UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is reaching the tail end of recovery from an eye injury suffered in his last, successful title defense, vs. Daniel Cormier, and does not have the means or the desire to train during the COVID-19 global pandemic. He is currently working his day job as a firefighter, an Essential Service.
However, former champ champ Daniel Cormier, at 41 past his long-intended retirement date, wants to fight one more time, a trilogy bout vs. Miocic, and has been advocating for a fight ASAP.
Hey champ @stipemiocic I just got a message from Kyle from Zebra Mats he wanted to tell you this. “Tell Stipe I can get him mats and a cage wall in 5 days. Sign the bout agreement and give me a credit card number” @kyle_r_fisher @ZebraMats
Hey champ @stipemiocic I just got a message from Kyle from Zebra Mats he wanted to tell you this. “Tell Stipe I can get him mats and a cage wall in 5 days. Sign the bout agreement and give me a credit card number” @kyle_r_fisher @ZebraMats— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) May 18, 2020
“I don’t care. I really don’t care what his opinion is. Never did,” said Miocic to Damon Martin for MMA Fighting. “Honestly, he says one thing and then contradicts himself all the time. Apparently I’m not a champ. He just calls his own shots. Whatever. Everyone else is talking. Saying vacate or defend. Whatever, I can’t make everybody happy or anybody happy. I don’t care at this point. Stop crying.”
Top contender Curtis Blaydes was dismissive of the First Responder reason.
So pick a job to commit to, we deserve a champion who’s committed to continually proving he’s the champ. If he can’t do that for the foreseeable future that’s ok no shade, but holding up the division isn’t fair to all the other guys who are continually working for a title shot
So pick a job to commit to, we deserve a champion who’s committed to continually proving he’s the champ. If he can’t do that for the foreseeable future that’s ok no shade, but holding up the division isn’t fair to all the other guys who are continually working for a title shot— Curtis Blaydes (@RazorBlaydes265) May 15, 2020
“I don’t really care what he thinks,” said Miocic. “What am I supposed to do? We’re in a pandemic. What else do you want me to say? Even if I wasn’t a first responder I still couldn’t train so shut up. Stop crying.”
“I don’t know what people want from me really. Everyone’s like ‘he’s holding the division’ and I’m like how am I holding up the division? Other guys are saying ‘we can train.’ Well, good for you. You live in a different state, you have different regulations.
“My coach, no joke, shut his gym down. He wasn’t taking any dudes, no one’s paying anything cause it’s not fair to everyone. They had a bunch of stuff outside the gym and a couple people, like five or six people were working out together, they were even six feet apart and someone saw that and reported it and he got cited by the CDC. That’s how strict they are. So everyone can just shut up cause they’re idiots.”
UFC president Dana White too has weighed in, saying an interim title fight without Miocic was possible.
“We’ll see a championship fight," predicted White. "Listen, fights can happen right now. You either want to fight or you don’t.”
Miocic didn't respond to his boss with a third shut up."
“Listen once I can fight, I’m going to fight. There’s no question,” explained Miocic. “We’re talking to the UFC and we’re going to figure out a good date. That’s what we’re doing. We’re trying to figure something out. We’re trying to find a good date to figure out what’s a good one to go with, we’re going to go.”
“I’m trying to get back as soon as I can. I’m not trying to hold out. I want to fight. It’s not like I’m going three rounds. I’m going five rounds for the heavyweight title. Fighting a really good fighter. I want to make sure I’m ready.”