UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has typically been very complimentary of his UFC 226 opponent, UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. That, of course, doesn’t mean Cormier doesn’t have any criticisms of his UFC 226 foe.
Speaking at the UFC 226 open workouts this week, Cormier offered a critique of Miocic’s last win: a unanimous decision defeat of fearsome puncher Francis Ngannou at UFC 220. Cormier feels that, if he had spent 20-plus minutes on top of Ngannou, as Miocic did, he would have found multiple opportunities to finish him.
“It’s gonna be different,” Cormier said (via MMA Fighting). “[Miocic] is good. The guy hits hard. But I feel like we have prepared for everything he can bring to the table. Man, this dude is a good champion — he is. And I love Francis Ngannou. I think he’s a great guy. But if I spent 22 minutes on top of him, I would have gotten four or five submissions and found a way to get some TKO stoppages.”
After Cormier voiced this brief criticism of Miocic, he reverted to his more typical praise of his adversary, sharing his feeling that Miocic’s accolades in combination with his own render this fight a true, irrefutable superfight.
“It’s a true superfight” Cormier said of the fight. “You people talk about true superfights and they say just because two champions are fighting, it’s a superfight. That’s not necessarily true. It’s the best of the best warrants the title superfight. This guy has done things that no other heavyweight has been able to do and I’ve defended that light heavyweight title three times. And then you got a guy in me that’s going back to the weight class he started in. So it’s almost like my career is coming full circle.
“When I was in the heavyweight division, Stipe and I were in the heavyweight division at the same time. I was ranked No. 2 in the world before I went down [to light heavyweight]. He was still a prospect. So, I’ve lived in that division for a long time. … There is no part of me that is afraid of Stipe Miocic. And in terms of styles, the fact that he does a lot of his best work inside works to my advantage.”
What do you think of Daniel Cormier’s comments on Stipe Miocic’s UFC 220 win over Francis Ngannou?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/5/2018.