JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – UFC president Dana White has issued something of an ultimatum to heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.

In recent days, both White and his next opponent, Daniel Cormier, have expressed impatience with Miocic in booking a highly anticipated trilogy for the title, but the champ is not yet available.

Miocic’s focus has been on his secondary job as a firefighter in Ohio, working on the front lines as a first responder during the coronavirus pandemic. There’s also the fact that, due to shelter-in-place orders, Miocic’s gym is not open for him to train.

All of that adds up to Miocic not being comfortable with the desired August timeline. He stood firm in that position in a recent social media explanation, but White isn’t convinced. He’s already expressed that stripping the champ is “possible,” and he seemingly doubled down on that threat during a media scrum on Friday.

“This whole crew (fighting at UFC 249) trained, we have two more groups of fighters coming in this week that trained and got ready,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie. “The division has to move on for all the other people. We want to do that trilogy fight then you got the winner of Francis (Ngannou) and (Jairzinho) Rozenstruik waiting in the wings, too. People are waiting. It’s the right thing to do.”

White did not set a specific timeline for when Miocic must commit to a fight. However, he seemingly left the door open for the situation to change.

Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) said he would return to training and sign on to fight Cormier (22-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) the moment his gym reopens, and with the way things are trending across the U.S., White said Miocic should be able to accommodate.

“I think it speaks for itself,” White said. “It is what it is. Most of these states are opening back up. Even Nevada. Nevada, California and New York, as far as I know, have been like the toughest states, and they’re starting to loosen up and open up. We should be able to get a fight by August.”

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