Stipe Miocic happy to let Daniel Cormier dominate headlines ahead of UFC 252 farewell


LAS VEGAS – Stipe Miocic has no problem stepping aside while Daniel Cormier takes the spotlight going into Saturday’s heavyweight title trilogy at UFC 252.

On top of being a rubber match that UFC president Dana White says will determine the greatest heavyweight of all time, Cormier (22-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) is vowing to make it his retirement bout.

Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) is not the most outspoken of fighters as it is. In this instance, he’s more than happy to let Cormier gobble up all the media attention ahead of his exit from the sport.

“All good,” Miocic told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at Thursday’s UFC 252 pre-fight news conference. “He can take it all, man. It’s all good. I don’t mind it. Listen, good for him. I’m just going to hang out in the back.”

As Cormier takes the brunt of the headlines, Miocic said his focus is on the task at hand. He’s spent the last three years with Cormier as his lone opponent and will become the first fighter in UFC history to face the same foe in three consecutive bouts. Miocic said he’s looking forward to putting this chapter of his career behind him.

“Thank God we’re done with this,” Miocic said. “It’s been great. We’re done. Rubber match, everyone wants a trilogy, but when it’s all said and done, it’s going to be over. … I think it’s always personal whenever you fight, because (your opponent is) trying to do something. They’re trying to beat you. They’re trying to take something away from you.

“I’ve got no ill will towards the ma,  and he’s going to have a good retirement. God bless him, and I wish nothing but the best for him.”

Cormier’s retirement has been the dominant story line leading up to UFC 252, but within that topic questions have festered about Miocic’s fighting future. He turns 38 next week and has been in a number of grueling fights in his own right.

Miocic fully intends on retaining his belt at UFC 252, then defending the belt more after.

He said he doesn’t currently share Cormier’s plan of walking away on top after this event and will attempt to continue to build on the UFC Hall of Fame-worthy resume he’s already compiled.

“I think about retirement every fight since my debut at UFC 136,” Miocic said. “I love what I do. The minute I’m not having fun, and it acts like I job, I’m out. I had a great camp, to the best of my abilities while being quarantined while there’s a pandemic going on. But honestly, I feel great. We’ll see how long I can go. I don’t know about 40. God bless DC, I don’t know about that. But a little while longer.”

UFC 252 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN/ESPN+.

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