This weekend, in the main event of UFC 226, UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will attempt to defend his title against UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. It’s an irrefutable superfight, and one that the UFC apparently mentioned to Miocic before his last fight, a unanimous decision defeat of Francis Ngannou at UFC 220.
Speaking at a UFC 226 media lunch this week, Miocic divulged that the UFC called him two days before his high-stakes battle with Ngannou to discuss a potential fight Cormier, who defended his title against Volkan Oezdemir on the same card. They also mentioned his coaching The Ultimate Fighter against Cormier.
Miocic, who was understandably distracted at the time, told them to shut up.
“I told them, ‘shut up,’” Miocic said (via MMA Fighting). “I got more things to worry about.”
“It had nothing to do with Cormier,” Miocic said, explaining that he was focused on fighting Ngannou, who the UFC was selling as the hardest puncher in MMA history. “Dude, leave me alone — I’m fighting in two days. You’re talking about how I’m gonna get hit by the Ford Escort power and you’re gonna come at me with this?”
Miocic also said that, shortly after his UFC 220 defeat of Ngannou, the UFC contacted him again to discuss a super fight with Cormier. Apparently, however, he still wasn’t receptive. His main objection was the stipulation that he coach a season of TUF against Cormier, as his wife was pregnant.
“No, I didn’t want to do it,” Miocic said. “My wife is pregnant, I want to make sure it’s OK with her. She’s the boss. She’s carrying our child. I’m not carrying a child. She’s put a lot into it. I just wanted to make sure it was good with her, make sure it was OK for me to leave. Make sure it was right.”
In the end, of course, Miocic accepted the fight — even though his new baby is due right around the time of UFC 226. He’s now hoping to topple Cormier, and with a little luck, make it home in time to be by his wife’s side when the baby arrives.
Do you think Stipe Miocic can take out Daniel Cormier at UFC 226?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/5/2018.