Daniel Cormier’s first defense of the UFC heavyweight title is expected to pit him against former champion and WWE star Brock Lesnar. In order for this fight to happen, of course, Lesnar will have to serve the remainder of a USADA-administered suspension, and pass a battery of new drug tests.
So far, Lesnar’s drug testing regimen has gone off without a hitch (he’s already been tested three times). That said, the hulking former champion’s skeptics remain numerous, and Daniel Cormier seems to be among their numbers.
While the heavyweight champ is understandably excited about fighting Lesnar and the payday that will coincide with this challenge, he’s already acknowledged a potential back-up plan: a rematch with Stipe Miocic, the formerly dominant champion he knocked out to win the heavyweight title.
“[Miocic] should [get an immediate rematch], but three’s a lot different than 11,” Cormier said on the UFC 227 post-fight show, when comparing Miocic’s claim to a rematch to former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson’s claim to rematch with new champ Henry Cejudo (via MMAjunkie). “And also, if Brock Lesnar was staring at Stipe, that would happen.
“I’ll tell you this right now on record: Brock Lesnar doesn’t make it to the fight for any reason, I’ll fight Stipe again,” he added. “That is not a problem. There is no reason I wouldn’t fight Stipe. I’m only fighting Brock because I’m fighting Brock. But if he doesn’t make it, I’ll fight Stipe again.”
Stipe Miocic has called for a rematch with Daniel Cormier on several occasions since their bout, which headlined UFC 226 in early July.
“I want a title shot. I deserve it,” Miocic recently told ESPN when asked about a rematch with Cormier. “[Lesnar] hasn’t fought in how long? For him to get a title shot, as I get thrown to the side? It just seems like they are desperate for pay-per-views.
“I cleaned out the division. I defended it more than anyone, and you’re gonna tell me I don’t deserve a chance to get it back? Get out of here. Kiss my ass if you don’t think I deserve that.”
Do you think Stipe Miocic deserves a rematch with Daniel Cormier?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/5/2018.