Stipe Miocic is medically cleared to fight but the UFC heavyweight champion may not defend his title against Daniel Cormier as originally anticipated.
Miocic, who has been sidelined with an eye injury since his heavyweight title win over Cormier at UFC 241, said a trilogy bout with ‘DC’ is still in the cards but also teased of a rematch with Cameroonian knockout artist Francis Ngannou, who Miocic beat via unanimous decision back in 2018.
“That’s what he [White] says. He says a lot of things that are not true,” Miocic told reporters at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards when asked about White’s comments on a trilogy fight with Cormier (h/t Abhinav Kini of The Body Lock MMA). “It could be. Who knows? Whoever they want me to fight, honestly. I don’t really care. I’ll put on a clinic on Ngannou again.”
Miocic is 1-0 against Ngannou but tied 1-1 with Cormier. The part-time firefighter suffered a first-round knockout to defeat Cormier at UFC 226 but came back to win the rematch at UFC 241 via fourth-round TKO.
Miocic isn’t sure when he’ll be back, but the heavyweight champ wants to take things slow to avoid causing any further damage to his eye.
“Better. A lot better,” Miocic said of his eye. “It’s healed up. Taking my time with it because I’m 37. I don’t want to injure it again. I want to be able to see out of both eyes when I’m older. I love fighting but my health’s more important.”
“I just got cleared so I’m taking my time, getting back to the swing of things. We’ll figure it out, see what happens.”
Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) is currently ranked #4 in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings.