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Daniel Cormier: Stipe Miocic misguided trying to get Tyson Fury fight

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WASHINGTON – Daniel Cormier thinks Stipe Miocic was trying to return the favor by talking about a potential Tyson Fury fight.

When Cormier (22-2 MMA, 15-2 UFC) defeated Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) at UFC 226 to capture the UFC heavyweight title, he was immediately confronted by former titleholder Brock Lesnar, who was being set up to be his first title challenger.

Miocic, who’s the only fighter in UFC history to successfully defend the heavyweight belt three straight times, felt slighted, and demanded an immediate rematch. When the fight with Lesnar fell through, Cormier ended up facing popular Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC 230 at New York’s Madison Square Garden instead.

It was a dominant performance for Cormier, who submitted Lewis in the second round, retaining his title. He then shifted his attention back to Lesnar, but Lesnar ultimately chose to re-sign with WWE.

So Cormier eventually made good on his promise that he would face Miocic again should the Lesnar fight not materialize, and the two rematched at UFC 241 in August.

However, Miocic was able to get his revenge, taking Cormier out in the fourth round and recapturing his heavyweight title. A trilogy seems inevitable, but Miocic took his turn in potentially delaying their fight, by saying that he’d rather face boxing world champion Fury next.

But Cormier thinks their situations were completely different.

“After all that was done last year when I was going to fight Brock Lesnar and I said, ‘I’ll wait for Lesnar, and if Lesnar can’t go I’ll fight Stipe’,” Cormier told MMA Junkie. “I think it’s kind of the same thing (with him trying to fight Tyson Fury). But reality is, it’s vastly different. I think it’s misguided. I had Lesnar in my face. He came into the octagon and all that. I’ve got to be honest with you: The moment they said Brock can’t fight, I said, ‘Then let’s give Stipe his fight.’

“The moment they said it, I said, ‘OK, find a date for Stipe and I to fight. He deserves his rematch.’ I think the idea of the way things happened may have been a little bit misunderstood, but it went exactly as I said. From the moment of the fight I said, ‘If Brock doesn’t fight, I’ll fight Stipe.’ When they said, ‘No Brock.’ I said, ‘OK, let’s do Stipe.'”

Cormier, who said he expects to be facing Miocic in June, has said on numerous occasions that it will be his final fight of his career. One of the greatest fighters of all time, capturing two titles simultaneously, Cormier is confident that the UFC already has a plan set, for when he gets his title back.

“I have done a lot of good work in the UFC, and if them even thinking that it’s my last fight and allowing me to fight in that position (for the title), shows good faith,” Cormier said. “Obviously they have a plan in place of what happens after I win my belt back (and retire), because I’m going to. I’m going to win the last fight and then I’ll have the championship. But the reality is, they trust me enough and my decision-making to give me that opportunity, and trust enough of the good work I’ve done in and for this company to allow me to have this opportunity. So I feel great.”

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