Even when he was champion, heavyweight knockout artist Stipe Miocic felt he was undervalued by the UFC. And now, after losing the belt to reigning light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier, the part-time firefighter feels more disrespected than ever after being snubbed of an immediate rematch with ‘DC’.
Miocic has put the UFC on blast for pitting Cormier against WWE superstar Brock Lesnar and for promoting a WWE-like rivalry between the two heavyweights. Shortly after Miocic was knocked out by Cormier at UFC 226, Lesnar stormed the cage and went on a tirade about the rest of the heavyweights, calling Miocic a piece of ‘sh-t’ and almost pushing Cormier to the other side of the Octagon.
Miocic called the post-fight show a ‘circus’ and has criticized the UFC’s matchmaking policy, but head president Dana White isn’t sure why the former champ feels so disrespected.
Speaking on UFC Unfiltered (h/t MMA Weekly’s Damon Martin), White said he has the utmost respect for Miocic and would have granted him the superfight vs. Lesnar had he successfully defended his heavyweight title at UFC 226.
“I don’t know why Stipe always feels like we’re disrespecting him, which we’re not,” White said. “We have a lot of respect for Stipe. I think he feels like it took him a very long time to get his title shot and he felt like it took longer than it should have. Every time I turn around, he feels disrespected. He’s anything but disrespected. Complete opposite. I don’t know.
“Obviously you saw that we set up the fight with Cormier to fight Brock. That would have Stipe, if Stipe won the fight. It’s no disrespect to Stipe, it’s just something that was in place before that fight even happened.”
Although Miocic is doing everything in his power to secure a rematch with Cormier, it’s looking like the UFC is going full steam ahead with Cormier vs. Lesnar. Lesnar, who is eligible to return to competition in January, recently re-entered USADA’s drug testing pool and has already been drug tested three times.