Back in in July, in the main event of UFC 226, Stipe Miocic’s record-breaking reign as UFC heavyweight champion came to a skittering halt, as he was put down by reigning light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. The, in the immediate fallout of this fight, we learned that Cormier’s first defense as heavyweight champion would likely pit him against former champion and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar.
This turn of events has not gone over well with Stipe Miocic. Miocic, who defended the heavyweight title three consecutive times — more than any previous heavyweight champ — feels he deserves an immediate rematch with Cormier.
The former champion has repeatedly called for this immediate rematch, while simultaneously criticizing Lesnar’s title shot.
Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast this week, UFC President Dana White addressed Miocic’s calls for a title shot. He assures that, contrary to Miocic’s comments, he’s got nothing but respect for the former champion.
“I don’t know why Stipe always feels like we’re disrespecting him, which we’re not,” White said (transcript via MMAWeekly). “We have a lot of respect for Stipe. I think he feels like it took him a very long time to get his title shot and he felt like it took longer than it should have. Every time I turn around, he feels disrespected. He’s anything but disrespected. Complete opposite. I don’t know.”
White also added that, had Miocic retained the heavyweight title at UFC 226, he’d be looking forward to a huge payday opposite Brock Lesnar himself.
“Obviously you saw that we set up the fight with Cormier to fight Brock,” he said. “That would have been Stipe, if Stipe won the fight. It’s no disrespect to Stipe, it’s just something that was in place before that fight even happened.”
Do you think Stipe Miocic deserves an immediate rematch with Daniel Cormier? Is the former champ right to feel disrespected?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/13/2018.