Stipe Miocic was last seen in the Octagon in August when he defeated Daniel Cormier at UFC 241 to reclaim the Heavyweight Championship.
Miocic withstood a beating throughout the first three rounds, then won the fight in the fourth round when he made a tactical change and attacked Cormier with a flurry of left hands to the body. This marked a far different ending sequence from their first fight in the summer of 2018, when Cormier knocked out Miocic in the first round—and then put on a staged show in the Octagon with Brock Lesnar.
Miocic seethed as he watched the display from Cormier and Lesnar, but found redemption by putting in the work to enter the rematch in better condition than Cormier, which played a decisive factor in the finish.
Asked whether the Cormier-Lesnar spectacle added fuel to his fire, Miocic admitted it did.
“That was part of it,” said Miocic. “But there was a lot to it. It was important for me to use that loss as a way to show my daughter that, sometimes, life doesn’t go your way. Sometimes you get knocked down. But you have to get up, dust yourself off, and you go back and get what’s yours. Hard work pays off.”
Miocic’s eye was injured in the victory against Cormier, suffering retinal damage due to multiple eye pokes. Though Francis Ngannou is a contender, Miocic’s next fight has to be the rubber match against Cormier this summer. Cormier has already mentioned that a recipe for success in the fight will be a focus on his superior wrestling ability.
“He can think whatever he wants to think to make himself feel better at night,” said Miocic. “Listen, if we do fight again, it’s going to be the same result. Me winning and walking out with the belt. Nothing is going to change.”
Miocic is in no rush to sign the contract for the title fight. His schedule amidst the pandemic is already full, lending a hand as a firefighter to the Valley View Fire Department, working on home improvement projects with his wife, and, today, representing Modelo as he celebrates Cinco De Mayo.
“I’m there a couple times a week [at the firehouse] depending on how my shifts work out,” said Miocic. “And my wife loves having me around. We moved into our house last August, so there has been a lot to do. Taking down wallpaper, repainting, and just getting the house exactly how we want it.
“As for Cinco De Mayo, it’s a time to have fun, and this is a way to celebrate.”
Miocic is leading the #CincUp fundraiser, teaming up with Modelo.
“Modelo is going to donate a dollar for every social media post with that hashtag to First Responders First,” said Miocic. “We can’t go out, but we can still enjoy ourselves at home. And I love that Modelo is always looking for ways to give back, and they are very caring people, which is hard to find these days with a lot of companies.”
Asked if there will be any selfies and hashtags posted from Dana White’s “Fight Island,” Miocic couldn’t help but smile.
“Maybe someone will,” said Miocic with a laugh. “We shall see.”