These days, fighting isn’t a priority for Stipe Miocic. Instead, the current UFC heavyweight champion and Cleveland firefighter is more concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to put people’s lives at risk.
It is a choice that former champion Daniel Cormier understands and appreciates. But at the same time, “DC” sees an underlying reason why Miocic opts not to step in the cage any time soon.
“I think, right now, he’s being a fireman, which is what’s way more important,” Cormier told Ariel Helwani on Monday. “That’s way more important right now, that’s what he should be worried about.
“He doesn’t want to fight me, maybe he doesn’t want to talk about it. But, I mean, I bashed him up side his head for a good 20 minutes, you know what I’m saying? I don’t even want to fight me, either.
“What if you can’t punch me in the stomach next time, then what is he gonna do?” he continued. “It would be very difficult to think about us fighting again whenever he understands that when I’m healthy and I correct this little bit of a problem I got (defending body shots), he’s gonna have a lot of trouble.”
For Cormier, Miocic should capitalize on hyping up their trilogy fight, even with the uncertainty of when it will take place.
“He’s doing the right thing worrying about the virus, I get it. He’s a service worker,” Cormier said. “That’s his job in this time, and I applaud that. But when it’s time to get back to the fight business, you gotta play the fight game. And he doesn’t necessarily play the fight game, and that’s why for someone so talented and such a phenomenal fighter, he has just not made that connection with the world for people to tune in yet.
“This is the opportunity for him to take a guy, me, that he beat last time, that I beat him before. We’re in this great trilogy, one of the best trilogies in heavyweight history, This is the one to play the game.
“At the end of the day, he’ll walk away from this thing, and you’ll have a lot less zeroes in your bank account because you didn’t make people care,” he added. “Ultimately, he’s only hurting himself.”
Cormier is eager to win the title back from Miocic, whom he intends to face sometime within the year. But if the pandemic runs through the final quarter of the year, the 41-year-old fighter says he’s willing to let these aspirations go.