As much as UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic wants to fight Daniel Cormier, he’s going to wait to accept a bout offer.

On Monday, Cormier urged Miocic to “sign the contract.” On Tuesday, Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) responded to explain why he hasn’t agreed to fight in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I didn’t know (Cormier) was calling his shots,” Miocic told ESPN. “Wow, I mean. … I can’t really do anything because, again, my state is shut down for another month. Who knows how long after that? … Every gym shut down. I literally can’t train. How am I going to take another fight? I don’t understand what he’s (talking about).

“Listen, I’ll fight him. I never said I’m ducking him or leaving or running or trying to fight someone else, like he did. I just can’t train, dude. I’ll fight you. Let me make sure I get a full camp, dude. I’m down.”

In addition to being in the midst of a statewide lockdown, Miocic recently told MMA Junkie his sense of duty as a firefighter has put cagefighting on the back burner. Miocic estimates a fall 2020 return, citing his need for a 10 to 12-week training camp to prepare.

Chiming in on a recent episode of the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast, Dana White weighed in on Miocic’s comments. The UFC president doesn’t agree with Miocic’s claim that fighting is “always going to be there.”

“Next in line right now, we’ve got Cormier waiting for Stipe to come back,” White said when talking about the implications of Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik on May 9. “We’ll see.

“I saw a quote from Stipe recently where Stipe said, ‘There’s bigger things going on in the world right now. Fighting will be there forever.’ That’s not true. Fighting will not be there forever. I mean, when you’re a professional athlete, your window of opportunity is very, very small. Hopefully we can get Stipe back in there soon with Cormier and get the heavyweight division rolling.”

Prior to the pandemic, Miocic was on the home stretch of his road to recovery from an eye injury. Neither Miocic nor Cormier has competed inside the cage since their headlining bout at UFC 241 this past August. Miocic defeated Cormier by knockout in Round 4.