One man who was not too happy to learn of the new UFC 230 main event between Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis was former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Miocic has been vocal about his belief that Daniel Cormier is ducking him and that he felt….wait for it…..disrespected by the UFC. In an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show Monday, Cormier gave his honest thoughts on Stipe Miocic’s complaints and candidly admitted that the former heavyweight champion has a point.
“He has a legit gripe,” Cormier admitted. “I never said he didn’t. He can be mad that he’s not getting a rematch. Look, he gets bumped for Brock Lesnar, and then he gets bumped for Derrick Lewis. But if anything, he should take it more as a compliment. Because even at five weeks, fighting Stipe Miocic wasn’t really ideal because I want to give him my best product. He’s that good.
“With Derrick, I’m going to try to get in the best shape that I can…but again, the path to his victory is pretty clear. He has to knock me out. I figure if we go 25 minutes, I win the fight. I cannot say that about Stipe. I think he can do a lot of different things to win the fight. “
What it all boils down to, Cormier says, is that Stipe Miocic and the fans who back his demand for a rematch are mistaking his compliment for “ducking,” an accusation the reigning champ-champ scoffed at:
“And I’m trying to give this guy a compliment,” said with a laugh. “Like, I’m really trying to compliment him. I’m not trying to insult him and say, I’ll beat him every single time or anything. I’m saying he’s a great fighter, and it shows by his title defenses. That’s why I didn’t want to fight him on short notice. Don’t think for a second I’m scared of Stipe Miocic. That is insane that I’m afraid of him. So this whole “ducking him” claim, I guess he can say that, but it was ultimately me just saying, I’ll fight you, just not right now.”
What do you think of Daniel Cormier’s clarification on why he would not be open to fighting Stipe Miocic at UFC 230?