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Stipe Miocic breaks silence after Dana White hints at ultimatum: ‘I have never ducked anyone’

UFC 241 Cormier v Miocic 2 Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic on Wednesday issued an apparent rebuttal to a hint by promotion president Dana White that he could be left behind by not fighting in August.

Miocic on Twitter stressed he wants to fight a trilogy bout with ex-champ Daniel Cormier and is simply waiting for the green light to begin training in his gym, which right now, he can’t do because of a state shutdown to control the COVID-19 virus.

“I can’t control a global pandemic,” the 37-year-old Ohioan wrote on Twitter.

Miocic’s comments came after White told Barstool Sports a champion could “possibly” be stripped of the belt for the circumstance he is facing. The UFC hopes to book Miocic vs. Cormier 3 in August after the fight was delayed due to a Miocic eye injury.

Cormier has pushed for Miocic to sign a contract to fight in August, while Miocic has said he’s “not really worried” about fighting right now in the midst of a global pandemic. As a first responder on active duty, he said he is more focused on fighting the coronavirus in a time of great need for his community.

White has said in multiple interviews that fighters who don’t feel comfortable fighting during the coronavirus pandemic are not obligated to do so. But speaking about Miocic’s situation, he indicated there was no reason to delay the promotion’s original plans.

“Listen, fights can happen right now,” he said. “You either want to fight or you don’t.”

White expressed confidence a title fight will take place next in the heavyweight division.

Miocic wrote his management team is negotiating with the UFC on potential dates for the trilogy bout, which follows an August 2019 meeting where he turned the tide on Cormier to notch a fourth-round TKO.

As soon as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine lifts an order that’s shuttered gyms, Miocic wrote, he’ll begin training for Cormier. He took umbrage at the idea of “ducking” a fight.

White has said the UFC will be back to its normal schedule in June after a quartet of events, including three in Jacksonville, Fla., that kick off with UFC 249 on Saturday. He has promised strict safety and testing measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

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