Daniel Cormier wants to make it clear that he has no problem giving Stipe Miocic an immediate heavyweight championship rematch, even if it isn’t his first choice for his next bout.
Following Saturday’s UFC 227 show in Los Angeles that saw long-reigning flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson dethroned by Henry Cejudo in the co-main event, Cormier and broadcast partners Jon Anik and Joe Rogan discussed whether Johnson should get an immediate rematch, given that he holds the record for the most consecutive successful title defenses in UFC history at 11 — a streak that was snapped by Cejudo.
Making the question even more intriguing is the fact that Cejudo said immediately after defeating Johnson that he was interested in moving up to challenge the winner of the UFC 227 bantamweight championship main event between T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt. Cormier himself knows what it’s like to be a two-division champion, having added the heavyweight belt to a mantle that already includes the light heavyweight title, but he feels that Cejudo owes it to Johnson to run the fight back one more time before attempting to match Cormier’s feat.
“I love Henry and I love his idea that he wants to be a two-weight champ,” Cormier said. “Cool thing to do now. But if anybody deserves a rematch, it’s Demetrious Johnson. Come on, he lost a split decision after 11 title defenses. If Demetrious Johnson doesn’t get a rematch, there is no hope for any of us in the entire world, because that means that nothing you could ever do will warrant getting an immediate title shot [rematch].”
Playing devil’s advocate, Rogan asked what was the difference between Johnson not getting an immediate rematch and Cormier passing over a Miocic rematch in favor of what is perceived to be a “money fight” with former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE star Brock Lesnar. After all, Miocic made history himself at heavyweight becoming the first man in the division’s history to defend the belt more than two times.
For Cormier, the math doesn’t add up, but he clarified that he’s more than willing to fight Miocic should Lesnar be unable to make their yet-to-be-scheduled meeting. Lesnar has not fought since July 2016, and has a pair of drug test failures on his record, leading some to question whether existing or future issues with the USADA will render him ineligible to compete when the time comes for contracts to be signed.
“[Miocic] should [get a rematch], but he went three [defenses]. Three is a lot different than 11,” Cormier said. “And also, if Brock Lesnar was staring at Stipe, that would happen, but I’ll tell you this right now, I’ll tell you this on record: If Brock Lesnar doesn’t make it to the fight for any reason, I’ll fight Stipe again. That is not a problem.
“There is no reason I wouldn’t fight Stipe. I’m only fighting Brock because I’m fighting Brock. But if he doesn’t make it, I’ll fight Stipe again. There you go.”