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Daniel Cormier: ‘I’m not afraid of Stipe Miocic’, rematch just doesn’t ‘make sense right now’

“I swear I’m not afraid of Stipe Miocic. Why would I be?”

It’s ludicrous to suggest that Daniel Cormier is ‘ducking’ Stipe Miocic, but that seems to be the growing consensus ahead of ‘DC’s’ upcoming heavyweight title bout versus Derrick Lewis at UFC 230.

Cormier, who will be defending his heavyweight title for the first time, has been criticized for not accepting an immediate rematch with Miocic, whom he dismantled in the first round at UFC 226.

Cormier has responded to Miocic and the critics by claiming that a rematch doesn’t make sense because of the underwhelming PPV buys for their previous bout at UFC 226, which scored an estimated 380,000 buys.

“I’m not trying to say I’m afraid of Stipe. I swear I’m not afraid of Stipe Miocic. Why would I be?” Cormier recently told Damon Martin of MMAWeekly. “It just did not make sense right now. I don’t mind fighting him again. It’s not like it was the hardest fight.”

“I do appreciate that he’s being vocal because sh-t man, maybe if he had done that in the beginning, maybe we would have made some money,” Cormier added. “The pay-per-view didn’t do that well because we did not make money. Obviously, issues sell. Maybe he’s trying to stir the pot a little bit to get some interest in our fight.”

Miocic recently called out Cormier on social media, claiming that the current light heavyweight and heavyweight titleholder would ‘never’ KO him in a rematch. Cormier says the former champ is ‘crazy’ for suggesting that he wins the fight ‘9 times out of 10’.

“I think it’s crazy in the sense that he says ‘you won the first one, that will be the last one you ever win’. It’s not like he was smashing me,” Cormier said. “He says he was winning the fight. I was hitting him with some clean shots. It was an even round and he got knocked out.”

Cormier will defend his title against Lewis at UFC 230, which takes place next month, Nov. 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.