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Daniel Cormier doubts Stipe Miocic’s chances in rematch: ‘I just don’t think he’s good enough to beat me’

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Daniel Cormier knocked Stipe Miocic out in their first meeting last July at UFC 226
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Regardless of whether or not Daniel Cormier wanted to fight Stipe Miocic again, he expects to see his hand raised all the same.

Last July at UFC 226, it looked like Cormier had the last stretch of his storied career laid out perfectly. He had just KO’d Miocic to win the UFC heavyweight title and then engaged in a post-fight shoving match with former UFC star Brock Lesnar, setting the stage for a championship clash with one of combat sports’ most proven draws. The plan was for Cormier to land one more big payday and ride off into the sunset on his 40th birthday.

As months went by, it became more and more clear that Lesnar would not be leaving his gig with World Wrestling Entertainment, leaving Cormier to take a bout with Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in November instead. That left the option of a 2019 Lesnar match still open, but the match failed to materialize and Cormier was eventually booked to rematch Miocic at UFC 241, which takes place on Aug. 17 in Anaheim, California.

At the UFC’s summer press conference in Las Vegas, Cormier predicted that his second meeting with Miocic would go like the first regardless of whatever improvements Miocic may have made in the interim.

“When I was getting ready to fight with Lesnar and Stipe was just kind of putting up those random pictures of him punching me, I just was like, obviously I got the last punch, like five or six,” Cormier said.

“I understand that he’s going to be better, but I just, when I think about the fight and the little bit of time that we fought before, I just don’t think he’s good enough to beat me. I just don’t. I think he’s a good champion, I think he’s a good fighter, I just don’t think he’s good enough to beat me and whether it’s 25 minutes or two rounds, I’m still gonna win the fight.”

Miocic has not fought in the last year, instead focusing on getting another shot at Cormier. Responding to Cormier’s comments, he gave a dry, but assured response.

“I don’t know, he just said it right there. I’m not good enough. I’m a good fighter, but not to his level,” Miocic said sarcastically. “We’ll definitely see August 17. A lot’s changed. Got my mind right. I’m walking out with the belt wrapped around my waist, no question.”

It remains to be seen whether Miocic will prove to be a satisfying final opponent for Cormier or if he continues his pursuit of that last big fish to end his career on his terms. He’s said on multiple occasions that a Miocic rematch could happen should other options fall through and now that it’s almost here, he reiterated that he welcomes the chance to pick up a second win over a fighter who owns the most consecutive successful heavyweight title defenses (3) in UFC history.

“I’ve always said the guy did some great things when he fought and defended the heavyweight title so he would get a rematch if I didn’t get to fight Brock,” Cormier said. “Now, would I have preferred to see him fight again since the last time? Yes. But he didn’t choose to fight for the last year and it paid off for him and he gets a rematch.

“He gets a chance to fight me again and it’s gonna be the same result.”