Daniel Cormier is ready to do whatever it takes to fight Stipe Miocic, even if that means fighting in an empty arena.
The former heavyweight champion has fought Stipe Miocic twice. In 2018 at UFC 226, he delivered a showstopper knockout against his opponent in the first round to seal the victory. In their second meeting a year later, “DC” delivered another strong performance. However, the body shots he endured at the hands of Miocic eventually caught up with him and he lost by TKO in the fourth round.
The 41-year old’s defeat raised discussion regarding his possible retirement. Cormier has admitted he plans to retire, but not until he has fought Miocic in a trilogy bout.
“For me, it’s about me and Miocic,” Cormier said on MMA Junkie Radio. “I love the crowd, that explosion that I got when I knocked him out in Las Vegas. I’ve had a life, a career of big moments, and I would love to have that last moment, but I would much rather have a chance to fight and compete.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, multiple UFC fight cards have been postponed. However, UFC president Dana White allegedly intends on holding fights from a closed arena on a private island. This could present Cormier with a unique trilogy opportunity instead of letting time pass him by.
He drew parallels to his retirement with the potential NBA Hall of Famer, Vince Carter.
“Vince Carter spent 20 years in the NBA, and everywhere he went was going to be the last time he was there,” Cormier said. “Because the NBA season is pretty much done even if they do get to play, his team won’t be in the playoffs. Vince Carter never got that last chance. Even before we went under quarantine, they put Vince into a game, and Vince shot a three-pointer as time was about to run out, and that’s going to be the last time he scored a basket in the NBA. I see him play that last game, and as it wrapped up he gets a standing ovation and got to go out on his own. But, if he got to play in an empty arena and play his last games, that would probably still matter as much to him, much better than not getting to play the last game. So I’d rather fight the last fight, rather than having to wait and (it becomes) so long.”
MMA is winning the race for the first sport to air live events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cormier remains optimistic that his trilogy bout against Miocic is just around the corner.
“For me as a competitor, this is what excites me, that the UFC is getting back to business,” Cormier said. “Because if the UFC gets back to business, then you didn’t miss that much. Not much got cancelled. And if they’re going back to work, that tells me that if (Stipe and I) were going to fight before, then it’s probably still going to happen. And that, to me, is very refreshing to hear. It’s exciting to hear.”
Who do you think would win in a Daniel Cormier vs Stipe Miocic trilogy bout? Let us know in the comments below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/8/2020.