Just In Dana White open to Cormier return for Miocic trilogy: ‘I don’t think he should retire’ MMA Life
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“Stipe and Cormier, that was a (expletive) war between two heavyweights that hit like trucks,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie, following Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 25 event.
Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) and Cormier (22-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) headlined this past weekend’s UFC 241 event in California, and the bout served as a rematch of their initial meeting in 2018. That night, “DC” shocked the world with a first-round KO of then-champ Miocic to become a dual titleholder.
This past Saturday, the fight played out very differently, with the contest progressing to the fourth round. Still, Cormier was in the lead heading into that frame, with judges’ scores at 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 in his favor. But Miocic came alive in the frame and used an impressive display of bodywork to stun the champ before dropping him with punches and earning his belt back with the fourth-round TKO.
Cormier had previously promised to retire earlier this year, insisting he wanted to walk away from the sport before he turned 40 this past March. Naturally, after the loss, his future was very much in question, and Cormier said he wasn’t going to rush to a decision.
White said he believes Cormier has plenty left to offer the sport.
“I think he’s one of the best in the world,” White said. “I was looking at the (official UFC) rankings today when they came out – it’s just (expletive) insane to me. This guy on Saturday night was the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He loses and drops to No. 7, and he loses to the No. 1 heavyweight contender in the world, and the guy who has the most consecutive title defenses in UFC history, and Cormier drops to No. 7? It’s crazy. He’s much higher than that, and he’s one of the best to ever do it. He’s still one of the best in the world.
“He looked damn good until, like I said the night of the fight, whoever came up with that ‘go to the body’ gameplan in between rounds was (expletive) brilliant. Brilliant. It was even more brilliant the way Stipe executed it. So, yes, I think he’s one of the best in the world, and I don’t think he should retire, but that’s up to him and his family.”
White said he hasn’t spoken to Cormier since the fight. Ditto for Miocic.
“Cormier?” White asked. “I haven’t talked to him. The fight just happened. I haven’t talked to him, Stipe. I talked to (Anthony) Pettis today, but other than that, I don’t talk to any of the guys. I leave them alone, let them enjoy their family and do what they’re doing. It isn’t until, like, the bruises start to heal and all that (expletive) before they want to start talking fighting again, so I leave them alone.”
White said he won’t press Cormier into making a decision anytime soon. But if “DC” wants to try and take a series lead in a rubber match with Miocic – and assuming the current champ has the same intentions – White believes it’s a fight people will want to see.
“I’ll do anything (Cormier) wants to do, and obviously I’ll do anything that Stipe wants to do,” White said. “Stipe’s got to want the trilogy, too.”
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