Daniel Cormier has no real problem with Stipe Miocic so he’s careful with his words when addressing the former UFC heavyweight champion.
The two fighters were as cordial as could be while coaching against each other on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and the same courtesy was extended in the weeks leading up to their fight last July.
In the aftermath of Cormier earning a first round knockout to become heavyweight champion, the relationship with Miocic has changed because the Ohio native has been pounding on a drum for a rematch ever since.
More recently, Miocic went as far as saying that Cormier owed him a rematch, which was probably the first time anything was said that got under the former two-time Olympian’s skin.
“He’s all worked up now. I don’t really have a problem with the approach,” Cormier said when asked about Miocic. “I like that he’s vocal. I like that he’s like ‘get your ass up off the couch and fight me’. I like that but I just really don’t like the ‘owe’ thing.”
Taking all the recent talk out of the situation, Cormier fully admits that Miocic has a case when it comes to his demands for a rematch after their first meeting last year.
Miocic was a three-time defending champion — the longest reign for any heavyweight in the UFC — and that alone probably made him worthy of asking for a second shot at Cormier considering he did what no other fighter in UFC history had ever done.
That’s why Cormier will readily admit that Miocic probably deserves to fight for the title again but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to get it.
“He does deserve a rematch, let me just say that, but so does Jose Aldo,” Cormier said referencing Aldo’s 13-second loss to Conor McGregor back in 2015. “So did Anderson Silva and I know Anderson was gone for a while and Chris Weidman may have fought Vitor Belfort in the middle. Guys deserve rematches. The game we play is not the most fair game. I think that’s where Stipe is missing it.
“I just don’t want to sit her and talk s—t on Stipe. It’s hard for me to answer these questions because I don’t want to s—t on Stipe.”
“The game we play is not the most fair game. I think that’s where Stipe is missing it” ~ Daniel Cormier
Cormier will definitely give Miocic credit for stirring up interest in a potential rematch, which is something the first fight didn’t exactly have based on lackluster pay-per-view results.
“Look, people get excited about certain fights. One of the things about Stipe doing what Stipe is doing, there’s more people talking about this fight than I thought would be, which is a good thing,” Cormier stated. “So I guess the way he approached it isn’t all bad.
“Because I wasn’t sure that this would have people saying ‘Stipe deserves a rematch’. That’s kind of taken me by surprise. Maybe Stipe is just a lot smarter than you and I.”
Obviously, Miocic would rather faces Cormier again sooner rather than later but part of the urgency behind his request also comes down to the time the reigning heavyweight champion has left in his career.
Cormier had originally targeted March for his retirement ahead of his 40th birthday but a lingering back injury has slowed him down from taking another fight right away.
Add to that, Cormier has a couple of potential opponents left that could really add to his resume not to mention his bank account and that could keep him fighting a little longer than he initially intended.
Unfortunately, Miocic still might be left as the odd man out because there are no guarantees but Cormier says looking at the time he has left in the sport, there is a solid chance they will cross paths again.
“I think there’s good chance we fight again,” Cormier said about Miocic. “He’s too good not to. The dude’s good. He’s the longest reigning heavyweight champion of all time. He’s too good not to earn his way back to this spot. He’s too good not to. So yeah, I think we’ll compete again.”