We’ve been waiting nearly a year for the superfight between UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and former champ Brock Lesnar. Following Cormier’s surprising KO win over Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 226 last July, Lesnar entered the cage and proceeded to shove Cormier, setting up a huge fight between the two. For the last 10 months we’ve been wondering when that fight would happen, and now we know the answer to that.
Earlier this week, UFC president Dana White told ESPN that Lesnar will not fight Cormier and in fact told White that he is retired from MMA. That puts to rest any dreams of a Cormier vs. Lesnar superfight, and it also means that Cormier needs a new opponent for his next title defense. We now know who that is, as DC’s next opponent will now be the same man who he took the title from, Miocic.
It appears that Miocic has played his cards right. After losing to Cormier last year, Miocic said he needed time off to spend with his family and newborn child. But he quickly changed his tune, and started to question why he wasn’t given an immediate title rematch when so many other champs got one. After all, Miocic defended the UFC heavyweight title three times, so if any ex-champ deserved a title shot it was him. But with the allures of a Lesnar superfight, both DC and the UFC wanted that matchup instead. Meanwhile, Miocic sat on the sidelines waiting to see what would happen. It looks like that turned out to be a great move by him, as after all that waiting around he’ll get his rematch with Cormier.
It’s disappointing that we won’t get to see the Lesnar vs. Cormier fight, as that would have been really fun, and DC deserved that big payday. But ultimately it didn’t work out, and it’s probably a blessing in disguise. It just never really made sense from a sporting point-of-view to give a title shot to a guy who hasn’t won a fight since 2010 over Shane Carwin, and who tested positive for PEDs the last time he fought. Sure, the financial factor was why Lesnar was even considered in the first place, but ultimately, the man who deserved the title fight the most is getting it, and that’s Miocic.
It’s unlikely that Cormier vs. Miocic 2 is going to be a huge blockbuster PPV the way Cormier vs. Lesnar would have been, but this is still a very compelling rematch. Cormier may have won the first time around but this rematch could play out differently if Miocic is able to make the necessary adjustments. It’s a very intriguing rematch, and the fact it’s a heavyweight bout means anything can truly happen the second time around. It’s easy to feel for Cormier that he won’t get that mega payday against Lesnar, but ultimately the Cormier vs. Miocic rematch was the right fight to make. Patience paid off for Miocic, and let’s see this August what happens when he meets Cormier for a second time.