Stipe Miocic says he told UFC he would fight Daniel Cormier at UFC 230


Former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic says he spoke to the promotion about stepping in to bolster a UFC 230 event on Nov. 3 in New York, but was never offered a rematch against Daniel Cormier.

Miocic (18-3) has been campaigning for a rematch ever since Cormier took his heavyweight title in a first-round knockout at UFC 226 in July. Prior to the loss, Miocic was the longest-reigning champion in the history of the division, and he has repeatedly said he is deserving of an immediate title shot.

Even Cormier (21-1) has publicly agreed with Miocic, but said he would hold out for a heavyweight title fight against Brock Lesnar in 2019. Miocic was obviously disappointed when the UFC announced on Tuesday that Cormier would defend his heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis on Nov. 3.

“I was in talks to offer myself up to headline and help save that card, but I was never offered [Cormier],” said Miocic, via text message. “I would fight [Cormier] any time, anywhere. I look forward to getting my belt back.”

Miocic declined to elaborate on the extent of his talks with the UFC about Nov. 3, or any potential opponents discussed. The UFC did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The UFC has been looking for a high-profile main event for its UFC 230 card at Madison Square Garden for weeks. Up until last week, the plan was to headline the event with a female flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Sijara Eubanks.

Cormier was thought to be unavailable for that date because of a lingering hand injury, but he ultimately decided to accept the UFC’s offer to face Lewis. Cormier, who is also the UFC’s light heavyweight champion, will be seeking his first heavyweight title defense.

Lewis (21-5) just fought at UFC 229 last weekend in Las Vegas. His comeback victory against Alexander Volkov, combined with a memorable postfight interview, earned him a lot of attention on fight night.

Miocic, of Cleveland, declined to provide any further comment on the matter — but the former champion is obviously irritated by the UFC’s decision to book Cormier a heavyweight title defense on a night he says he specifically spoke to the promotion about.

Back in July, Miocic made his stance on an immediate rematch very clear.

“I cleaned out the division,” Miocic said in an interview with ESPN in July. “I defended it more than anyone, and you’re gonna tell me I don’t deserve a chance to get it back? Get out of here. Kiss my ass if you don’t think I deserve that.”

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