From the sounds of it, new UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will be rematching Daniel Cormier in his next fight. That being said, it likely won’t happen this year.
While Cormier has stated the December 14 UFC 245 card would be a good date for him, Miocic has divulged that he likely won’t be ready in time for that card. He says he’s currently dealing with some lingering eye issues.
“I’ll be ready to fight when I can see out of both eyes again,” Miocic said in a statement to ESPN. “I can’t wait to defend my belt.”
Miocic’s manager Jim Walter elaborated on the issue currently keeping the champ out of action, explaining that he’s dealing with an eye injury due to the inadvertent eye pokes he absorbed in his UFC 241 fight with Cormier.
“Mr. Miocic sustained a major retina injury from multiple eye pokes during his bout at UFC 241,” Walter explained. “Our client’s health and safety is our top priority. We are excited for him to return to action when he is healthy to compete in his seventh consecutive world title fight.”
Stipe Miocic defeated Daniel Cormier by fourth-round TKO at UFC 241. The pair also fought a year prior. On that occasion, Cormier won by first-round knockout.
While there was reason to believe Cormier might retire after UFC 241, he’s since confirmed he intends to fight one more time — but only in a tie-breaking rematch against Miocic.
“The next one will be the last one, but it has to be Stipe, no one else matters,” he said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday. “Yes, they want to make that fight, they want me to fight Stipe again. It was a fantastic fight, it was a fantastic fight for all the wrong reasons, it didn’t have to be a fantastic fight, but it was.”
When Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier finally meet in their trilogy fight, who do you think will win?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/25/2019.