Now that Stipe Miocic has defeated yet another challenger to the heavyweight throne, the big question is, who’s next? Well, according to UFC boss man Dana White, he likes the sound of Daniel Cormier moving up to challenge the champ. But is the light-heavyweight king on board?
With Miocic’s clear cut, decision win over Francis Ngannou last night at UFC 220, the champ now holds wins over four of the top five ranked heavyweights. Fabricio Werdum has been campaigning hard for a rematch with Miocic, but since the latter KO’d the former champ in 2016, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of buzz tied to a second fight.
The one, top five ranked heavyweight Miocic hasn’t faced, is Cain Velasquez. But because he hasn’t fought since 2016, the consensus has been that Velasquez needs to score a win, before receiving a title shot. So what about having Cormier return to the heavyweight division to face Miocic? Sounds good right?
Well, following UFC 220, White told the UFC’s Megan Olivi that Miocic vs. Cormier would be a “fun fight”. In addition, White said that on account of Cormier’s friendship with Velasquez, “DC” could vacate the title if he moved up and defeated Miocic.
But, during the post fight presser for UFC 220, Cormier had this to say about the possibility of making a run at heavyweight (quotes via MMA Mania).
“People have talked about that fight for a really long time. I fought 13 fights at heavyweight and I hate cutting weight. as you guys all know. I haven’t really thought about it.”
“It’s hard for me now because Cain’s in the gym a lot more. Cain’s in the gym now getting prepared to do what he does best. I draw so much from him. Cain had a baby about a month ago and he’s here with me now. If he’s getting prepared to get the belt back, then I have nothing for that division and that will never change.”
Now, could Cormier be convinced to move up just for a one off fight with Miocic? It’s possible. Especially if a big check is tied to the fight. But Cormier also relayed after UFC 220 he doesn’t plan on fighting again until this summer, so, if Velasquez is booked for a bout before then, one would think “DC will remain at 205.