UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic revealed to Heavy that he doesn’t plan on retiring after his UFC 252 title defense on August 15. In fact, the 37-year-old said that he was never actually thinking about making his upcoming third fight against Daniel Cormier the last fight of his UFC career.
Instead, Miocic said the way he worded his post on social media a few months back seems to have caused some confusion in the MMA world.
“That was about DC, not me,” Miocic said. “I should have changed that.”
You can see that post below.
I’ve already said I’m going to fight DC. He just likes to make noise. My team is working on securing a training location and dates w UFC. I have five belts at home. I don’t need to sit on anything. If I didn’t have a torn retina, I would’ve already fought & retired @dc_mma . #SM https://t.co/6ZHnd1xhlg
— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) May 11, 2020
So no matter what some have continued to suggest about UFC 252 perhaps being Miocic’s final fight, Miocic confirmed to Heavy that he absolutely plans on continuing his divisional dominance after his next fight at UFC 252.
It’s a huge one, by the way. Pundits such as ESPN’s Brett Okamoto have hailed UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier as the “biggest title fight in the history of division”.
“I think it’s awesome,” Miocic said. “It’s a trilogy fight. It’s going to be a hell of a fight.”
But the UFC’s heavyweight champion also said he plans on remaining champion after UFC 252, and for the foreseeable future, too.
“After I win, I will continue to be the heavyweight champion of the world,” Miocic said.
UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier takes place on August 15 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will be streamed live via ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Miocic Confirmed UFC’s ‘Uncrowned Champ’ Deserves Next Crack
When asked what might come next for the decorated UFC heavyweight champion after facing Cormier at UFC 252 on August 15, Miocic revealed that he believes Francis Ngannou probably deserves next crack at the crown.
Miocic defeated Ngannou via unanimous decision just two years ago, but now it appears the “UFC’s uncrowned champ” Ngannou might finally get another shot at capturing UFC gold.
“Probably Francis,” Miocic said. “It looks like he’s next up after us.”
Ngannou is one of the best pure athletes in the history of the UFC. He’s an exceptionally gifted puncher who has rebounded from his successive losses in 2018 to Miocic and Derrick Lewis to score four dominant first-round stoppages in a row against stalwart divisional contenders Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velazquez, Junior Dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) July 16, 2020
That stunning run of destruction has impressed even Miocic, the fighter who sits in first place for most UFC heavyweight title bout wins in history.
According to UFC Record Book, Miocic’s five title bout wins are tied for that honor with Randy Couture and Tim Sylvia. Additionally, Miocic is tied for second place in total knockouts in UFC heavyweight history with Ngannou and one other fighter at 9.
There would seem to be lots on the line for both potential record-breakers in a future rematch.
“He’s looking better, and he’s gotten better,” Miocic said. “He’s destroying guys.”
Miocic Focused on Winning Epic Trilogy Fight
Whatever comes next, Miocic admitted he only had one thing on his mind right now.
“Right now all my focus is on Cormier,” Miocic said.
The two fighters enter UFC 252 knotted at 1-1. Cormier stopped Miocic in the first round at UFC 226 in July 2018. Miocic got revenge via fourth-round stoppage at UFC 241 in August 2019.
Now comes the rubbermatch at UFC 252, and the stakes are huge.
In fact, some pundits have argued that the winner of the third fight automatically becomes the best heavyweight fighter of the era.
It’s booked. Aug. 15. Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) vs. Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma). Biggest title fight in history of division, in my IMO. Lifetime bragging rights. Winner is the best heavyweight of his era. Loser is not. Doesn’t get bigger than that. pic.twitter.com/tiy3BB8hbv
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) June 9, 2020
Others have gone so far as to say the winner becomes the best heavyweight fighter of all-time.
Whatever is on the line, Miocic promises he’ll be ready.
“I know he’s training hard because it’s his last one,” Miocic said. “I’ve never not trained hard for a fight. I go balls to the wall, and I give it all I got no matter what.”
Follow the Heavy on UFC Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
YouTube: Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel