Daniel Cormier will headline UFC 241 in a heavyweight championship defense against former champion Stipe Miocic in a rematch of their clash last summer at UFC 226. The first fight consisted of a very highly competitive first round between the heavyweights, with Cormier ultimately knocking Miocic unconscious with a right uppercut followed a series of strikes. Cormier revealed after the fight that he noticed Miocic keeps his hands low coming out of the clinch while studying for the fight, and it was that scouting report that led him to becoming a double champion at the time. But come August 17 at UFC 241, Cormier expects a more urgent, more driven, and more difficult Stipe Miocic who will not make the same mistakes:
“I think he’s gonna be mad. I think he’ll be upset,” Cormier said of Miocic in an interview with TMZ. I think he’s gonna be a little bit emotional. But I truly believe that he’s gonna be a better version of himself. I don’t think, for a second, that he’s gonna make the same mistakes that he did this time. I think it’ll be a much more difficult fight.
“There were some areas that Stipe could have done better. And I believe his coach, Marcus Marinelli, is a fantastic coach, and he’ll go and address those issues. So I’m going to have a much tougher fight on my hands this time.”
The challenge that Cormier expects to encounter at UFC 241 inside the Honda Center is great enough for the champion to humbly admit that if the fight were to happen right now, he’d likely not be victorious because much work needs to be done prior to fight night to ensure the same outcome:
“You ask me today, I probably couldn’t beat Stipe Miocic,” Cormier admitted. “I’m out of shape. I’m barely getting started. I’m just working, man. I’m trying to drop off the extra pounds. I’ve been living a very, very cushy life since November, working television and kind of kicking back…I’ve got some work to do to get back where I need to be. That’s why I started a few weeks ago so that I can get a jump on it.”
This admission from Cormier chimes with comments made prior to UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden, where Cormier insisted he would need a full training camp for Miocic, but felt comfortable facing Derrick Lewis on short notice. Cormier was later accused of ducking Miocic by both Miocic and some fans, an accusation that Cormier responded to with both confusion and amusement.
Who do you think will be victorious in the Cormier/Miocic rematch?