Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier are tied 1-1 across two previous fight. Ever since Miocic won the pair’s second fight to reclaim the UFC heavyweight title, the expectation has been that they will meet in a tie-breaking trilogy fight next.
Last week, however, Miocic’s manager Jim Walter provided an update that implied the champ wants to fight somebody new instead of Cormier once he’s healthy.
“Stipe is the ultimate competitor and wants to fight but is unwilling to jeopardize his health,” Walter told ESPN. “He sustained multiple eye pokes and damage to his retina from his previous fight against Daniel Cormier. His priority is his health and vision, his daughter and his family.”
“After his health is cleared, we hope to have Stipe back in competition this year in a fight that makes sense and against an opponent that Stipe has not beaten before,” Walter said. “He is more than wiling to defend his belt. If an opportunity presents itself outside the UFC, Tyson Fury and Stipe spoke face-to-face in Las Vegas at the Conor McGregor fight.”
It did not take long for these comments to reach Cormier, and he seems to be a little frustrated. Speaking at the conclusion of Saturday’s UFC Raleigh card, for which he was on commentary duty, Cormier sent a message to Miocic, encouraging him to “do the right thing.”
“I mean Stipe and I are going to fight next. That’s exactly what’s supposed to happen. It’s what’s gonna happen,” Cormier said. “I know they’re saying they want something new — well, hell, I wanted something new after I beat him and I gave him a rematch.
“So it’s only right to do the right thing. You’re honorable, right Stipe? You’re a fireman, you save lives. You do the right thing all the time, right? Do the right thing and give me my rematch.”
Daniel Cormier originally intended to retire in 2019, but delayed his retirement to give Miocic a rematch. His retirement is still on hold while he awaits the trilogy fight.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/27/2020.