Next month’s UFC 230 pay-per-view event has seen a lot of changes over the past couple of weeks. The November 3 fight card, which takes place at Madison Square Garden Arena in New York City, recently received it’s main event in the form of a heavyweight title fight featuring current champion Daniel Cormier taking on perennial contender Derrick Lewis.
The announcement came as a surprise to many, with Derrick Lewis having just competed earlier this month at UFC 229. However, Lewis gained a ton of publicity that evening in Las Vegas, this after scoring a last-second knockout win over Alexander Volkov which was immediately followed by his now infamous post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
Daniel Cormier said that the UFC made him an offer he could not refuse in regards to his acceptance of a short-notice fight with fight Lewis. “DC” has plans to fight Brock Lesnar in 2019 before eventually retiring.
After agreeing to the fight with “The Black Beast” at UFC 230, former UFC champion Stipe Miocic called Daniel Cormier out for “avoiding a rematch”, something “DC” claims is simply not true.
“It’s all about perception,” Cormier said to Luke Thomas on the MMA Hour. “So if you can create this idea that I ducked him, then okay, maybe you’ll get some people to rally and support you. And it’s worked. I have never seen Stipe Miocic have so much support in my whole entire career. I mean, people are like, ‘Why are you ducking Stipe?’ I put a picture up about this kid who signed a scholarship to go to college the other day, and I got a whole bunch of people going, ‘Why are you ducking Stipe?’ I’m like, I can’t duck the guy I just beat within one round three months ago. I’m not ducking him.
“If anything, I was trying to give Stipe credit for the fact that he’s a good fighter, that I wanted to give him my best effort. Right? I want to fight him at my best, so I need six weeks and not a busted up hand to fight him,” Cormier continued. “But people get a little bit desperate when something that they truly love gets taken away from them, and you can see it in Stipe.”
Miocic is a tough competitor and Cormier knows it. Fighting him on short notice is not a smart decision, especially with a Lesnar payday on the horizon. Many predict that Cormier will be able to defeat Lewis with ease, believing that UFC 230 main event is simply an easy payday for Cormier.
“People love Derrick, man,” Cormier added. “I mean, look at the numbers. Derrick Lewis’ social media exploded after UFC 229. I think the guy gained like 700,000 followers overnight. It’s crazy. He has a way to draw people in because he’s so loose. The guy is out there having a good time. I mean, Derrick Lewis, in one night he’s got 1.3 million social media followers. Stipe was the heavyweight champ of the world for almost two years and has 700,000.
“And it’s sad too, because Stipe is the type of guy who everyone should rally around. He’s a fireman, he’s a great guy, he’s a good competitor. But they liked that something different in Derrick, because he’s something different and he’s got momentum right now.”
Do you believe Daniel Cormier is ducking Stipe Miocic?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/18/2018.