Former heavyweight king Stipe Miocic has had a long time to reflect on his knockout loss to Daniel Cormier, and veteran commentator and analyst Joe Rogan believes the 36-year-old will come back stronger than ever in their highly anticipated championship rematch at UFC 241.
“DC connected with that beautiful punch in the clinch, but Stipe has had over a year to stew on that…” Rogan told guest Brendan Schaub on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience (transcript via Tom Taylor of BJPenn.com).
“I don’t know if that’s a good thing,” Schaub interjected. “I think ring rust will be an issue. DC’s been way more active [than Stipe].”
“I think [the time off is] a good thing for Stipe,” the UFC commentator continued. “Stipe’s an animal, I’m not worried about that. I think he’s going to be better.”
“Stipe’s a real veteran. He’s a humble dude. He’s a hard ass, he’s not going to come in there with a lot of expectations on himself, he’s just going to do his best, I think.”
Miocic, a part-time firefighter from Independence, Ohio, was formerly considered the best heavyweight in UFC history, having defended his title a record-breaking three times before being violently dethroned by ‘DC’ at UFC 226. The former champ was knocked out in the first round but is adamant that he will win the rematch.
Cormier, the former light heavyweight titleholder, was originally expected to defend his heavyweight strap against Brock Lesnar until it was reported that Lesnar was unable to iron a new contract with the UFC over fighter pay.
UFC 241: Cormier vs. Miocic II takes place later this year, August 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.