One of the biggest UFC heavyweight match-ups of all-time is set to take place on August 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Marking the third title fight in a trilogy of bouts between the two, Daniel Cormier will be challenging Stipe Miocic in an attempt to reclaim the crown.
The trilogy began back on July 7, 2018, when Cormier challenged the defending champion Miocic, winning in the first round. Just over 11 months later, on August 17, 2019, Miocic took back the belt via TKO in the fourth round. Now, the trilogy concludes, but there’s a lot more anticipation going into the bout than just the final outcome.
Neither Stipe Miocic nor Daniel Cormier is a particularly young fighter, with the former being 37-years-old and the latter being 41-years-old. Both Americans could be looking at this fight as their final in the UFC octagon, with Cormier potentially already having a big career switch lined up.
Miocic vs. Cormier III: Two potential G.O.A.T.s enter, one leaves
As if the UFC heavyweight title being on the line wasn’t enough, Dana White is labeling the UFC 252 event as deciding the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. Both fighters have achieved a great deal in their mixed martial arts careers, culminating in spells as the heavyweight champions of the promotion.
At 19-3, the 6’4’’, 245lbs Miocic boasts four first-round victories over his last seven fights, with the other three featuring two bouts with Cormier and a unanimous decision triumph over the menacing Francis Ngannou on January 20, 2018. As the champion, Miocic set the record for consecutive defenses, with his three outpacing the likes of Brock Lesnar, Randy Couture, Cain Velasquez, and Tim Sylvia.
Cormier weighs-in with a 22-2 record, weighing 251lbs and standing 5’11’’. He initially made his mark in the light heavyweight division, becoming the UFC champion. He defeated Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 on May 23, 2015, to win the strap, defending it four more times before stepping up to heavyweight, immediately triumphing over Miocic at UFC 226. He defended the title once before facing Miocic again, losing on August 17 last year.
Miocic vs. Cormier III is set to be one of the biggest since the UFC returned, with UFC Fight Pass being the go-to way to watch the colossal event. The two titans of MMA are square after two fights, they’re both raring to go, and each side totes skills that could easily exploit the weaknesses in their opponent. As of August 3rd, Betway has Miocic at -110 and Cormier at -110, with the markets and community not being able to decide a clear winner, it's no surprise the experts are having such a tough time splitting the two.
If Miocic wins, he may retire as the champion, but if he loses, he might just have enough in the tank to run at the title again. Cormier, on the other hand, has been discussing retirement for a long time, formerly aiming to call it quits by 40. His love of pro-wrestling is also well-known, as is the company’s desire to bring him into the fold.
Cormier’s move to the WWE may be very soon
A lot of the initial hype around Cormier coming to the WWE was wrapped around his feud with former UFC heavyweight champion and WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar. The two have staged several face-offs, but with Lesnar stepping away from MMA, it seemed as though the only way that the two could fight would be in the square-ring. Now, however, MMA Junkie reports that the book is closed on the feud.
Yet, even without the allure of finally taking on Lesnar, Cormier looks poised for a switch to the WWE. He’s still fighting fit, as will be showcased on August 15, and he’s been communicating with the company a great deal. Cormier has said that the WWE is constantly trying to find a way to get him involved, which he’s more than open to, being a big-time fan.
The fact that Cormier has publicly shown his love of pro-wrestling and has accepted roles with the WWE in the past – with scheduling often getting in the way, strongly suggests that he’ll be switching after UFC 252. Further propelling this theory is Triple-H’s regular statements, who told TMZ that they’re looking at many different ways to get D.C. involved. Already a commentator and analyst for the UFC, the freestyle wrestler could very well take a role with the WWE alongside Michael Cole.
UFC 252 looks to be too close to call, but regardless of the result, Daniel Cormier appears to have an open offer to transition to the WWE in some capacity.