Following confirmation from Dana White that we would see a trilogy fight between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic, there has been a lot of speculation as to when the fight will actually happen. The heavyweight division feels as though it has been on hold for quite a while now and while it may not be the deepest division in the UFC, it is causing some issues.
Daniel Cormier has recently spoken about the fight, when he thinks it could take place and what his plans are going forwards. In his interview Cormier stated that he isn’t expecting the fight to take place until mid-2020 at the earliest, as the UFC have already booked their first quarter of cards. “There’s no time for us to fight until maybe June. The way the UFC quarterly schedule is looking, the UFC essentially, with them announcing Tony (Ferguson) and Khabib (Nurmagomedov) for April, there’s really no time,”
While he is correct, it’s a shame for both fans and the division that we’ll be waiting even longer to see this fight.
Daniel Cormier’s last fight?
As much as I have enjoyed watching the first two fights between Cormier and Miocic, the rivalry between the two has essentially held up the division since July 2018 and it’s looking like we won’t see the pair fight again until around July 2020. That’s a long time for a division to be on pause while two guys go back and forth for the title, especially when there is a clear contender waiting in the wings.
The toughest part of this rematch comes as Cormier has made it very clear this will be his last fight, win or lose. This would cause chaos in the division if Cormier was to win, with the belt being vacated. Depending on how the loss played out, would Stipe be a viable option to fight for the vacant belt? Assuming Ngannou keeps up his winning streak, surely he would have to be one of the contenders? There are so many unknows around how this is going to play out and the impact it will have on the division.
If Stipe does retain then the rematch against Francis Ngannou would have to be booked before the end of the year. The former contender is coming off the back of three wins and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fight at least once, perhaps twice more before there is an opportunity to fight for the title, by which point he would have been deserving of his second shot for over a year.
As much as DC deserves this shot, he is one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport, giving him this fight just causes yet more problems in the division that Dana White is going to have to solve going forwards. Hopefully we’ll see the fight next summer and the heavyweight division can move on.