After showing interest in other directions, Daniel Cormier is now ready to run it back with Stipe Miocic after all.
Last July, Cormier (22-1) capped off International Fight Week with the biggest win of his career, knocking out Miocic and becoming UFC Heavyweight Champion. Post-fight, Brock Lesnar then entered and suddenly, a super-fight seemed set. That direction failed to come to fruition though and as a result, Cormier kept his word, now defending his title against Miocic at UFC 241.
While not his initial choice, Cormier still sees the appeal of another clash with Miocic. “The upside to beating Stipe twice, I think it’s just really hammering the point home that it was what it was supposed to be,” Cormier told reporters last week. “When the fight ends in the way that it did the first time, there’s room for people to say, ‘Did he get lucky? Did this happen?’ I think ultimately this isn’t for me. I’m doing this because he deserves a rematch.
If I was like, ‘I don’t need to redo this again,’ I could’ve just gone with someone else. But I gave him my word that if Brock didn’t fight, I’d fight him. So that’s what I’m going to do.” As for the fight itself, Cormier is aware of the challenge that awaits. “I don’t think anything’s going to be different with Miocic. I have to approach it similar, but I do expect a better Stipe,” he said.
“I know how hard it’ll be to beat him again, because I know how hard I prepared for the rematch with (Jon) Jones. Because I was just like him, I was in his position before and I know how motivated I was to try to right that wrong. So I expect a tougher fight but he’s a boxer and a wrestler. That’s exactly what he does, and I expect him to be better in his areas but he’ll be the same fighter, just a little more aggressive.”
With the Lesnar fight officially in his rear-view mirror, Cormier’s sights are now very much set too. “My focus is on Stipe Miocic. When they told me it was over, the Lesnar thing was over, I had to make sure the Lesnar thing was over in my mind so I can prepare for the guy that’s actually standing across the octagon. Because if I think about, ‘Oh, I’m so sad, I didn’t get to fight Brock Lesnar,’ Stipe’s going to knock my ass out, and I don’t want Stipe to knock my ass out. So I’m focused on Stipe Miocic.”
The rematch with Miocic is set to take place on August 16th at the Honda Center. The main card will air on PPV following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.