Stipe Miocic hopes to return to action later this year, but that’s the least of his concerns during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The UFC heavyweight champion last fought in August 2019 when he reclaimed the title with a fourth-round knockout against Daniel Cormier. Following the fight, Miocic was forced to undergo surgery to repair damage done to his eyes including a torn retina.
It’s taken him several months to recover but the Ohio native says he’s started to see clearly again.
“They’re doing better,” Miocic told UFC reporter Megan Olivi on an Instagram Live video hosted by the promotion. “I still have spots. Day by day it might not go away, but I can see. I need the glasses regardless. It doesn’t help getting punched in the face for a living.
“I didn’t really think I needed them really bad until I really got them checked out after I tore my retina and he was like, ‘You need glasses,’ and I was like, ‘Dang it!’ I put them on, and it was like a game changer.”
Before the United States largely went into lockdown in hopes of slowing down the spread of COVID-19, Miocic was starting conversations with the UFC on his next fight, which is expected to be a trilogy against Daniel Cormier.
While Cormier has teased a summertime date for the fight, Miocic knows there’s just too much uncertainty in the world right now to think about setting a date and location for his next title defense.
“That way it’s looking now, it’s looking like summer, but I mean with this going on right now, honestly I’m not really worried about that,” Miocic said. “I’m worried about firefighting, and the paramedics out there and I got to do what I got to do. That’s my go to now.
“There’s so many people out there that need help. Because people that are going to stay at home, and some of them, they’re going to get sick. Unfortunately, I’m putting myself in harm’s way, which I know what I signed up for, I’m OK with that. I just want to make sure I’m OK. When I come home at the end of the day, I want to make sure my family’s OK.”
Miocic, who is also a full-time firefighter near his home in Cleveland, has remained on active duty during the coronavirus outbreak.
He says first responders are taking all the necessary precautions to protect themselves, but Miocic knows this is a very important job, especially right now with so many people in need.
“We already have precautions,” Miocic said. “On every call we wear goggles, masks, we always wear gloves. I think dispatch talks to the car if we have to go to them to ask them if they have any flu like symptoms … so we know what to expect when we show up.”
More than anything, Miocic has mostly been spending time at home with his wife and daughter while waiting out the pandemic in hopes of returning to normalcy at some point in the near future.
“Honestly, we’re doing great,” Miocic said. “We’re listening to being socially distant from everyone. I’ve went out once or twice in the past week just for food and stuff, and we’ve just been smart about it. We went on a few walks, but no one was around us. Everyone’s doing great.”