CAN ANYONE BRING DANIEL CORMIER OUT OF RETIREMENT?
A high-action main event capped off UFC 252 and Stipe Miocic heads back to Ohio with the UFC heavyweight title and intentions on healing up. Daniel Cormier put up quite a fight and had the champ rocked at a few moments, but the former two-division champion exited the Octagon with a loss and said he has fought his last fight. And it was a good one.
Miocic and Cormier weren’t the only ones to own the spotlight Saturday night in Las Vegas. Marlon Vera and Jairzinho Rozenstruik managed to secure knockouts of their own, and Merab Dvalishvili lived up to his nickname — “The Machine” — with a dominating performance over the typically explosive John Dodson.
On the other hand, Sean O’Malley, one of the UFC’s most-hyped prospects, suffered his first loss and an injury that will put a temporary halt on the “Suga Show.”
So where do each of them go from here? And could anyone lure Cormier out of retirement? Brett Okamoto plays matchmaker and looks at who the biggest fighters on the card could have lined up for the next.
Stipe Miocic (defeated Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision)
What should be next: Jon Jones
I know, I know. Jones is not the No. 1 heavyweight contender. Francis Ngannou is. Francis Ngannou is the No. 1 contender … and then some. He’s as deserving of a title shot as one could possibly be. And under normal circumstances, I would 100 percent, without question, say that Ngannou should be next for Miocic.
But here’s the deal: By defeating Cormier in the trilogy, Miocic has solidified himself as the greatest UFC heavyweight champion of all time. Plus, he already has defeated Ngannou once. As much as I’m sure everyone would love to see how a second fight between them would go, I don’t see the upside for Miocic. Why would he want that fight again? He has proved everything he needs to prove already against Ngannou. There’s only one fight for Miocic now: Jon Jones.
Avoid Stipe’s right hand, I’m too fast, I’ll be too strong when the time is right, and have way too much energy. Soon and very soon I’ll be considered the baddest man on this planet
— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 16, 2020
Wild card: Francis Ngannou
Look, this should probably be the answer for “What should be next.” But for the reasons I just laid out, I think there’s only one way for Miocic to build off what just happened: to go even bigger and face the light heavyweight champion.
But if that fight doesn’t come together, Ngannou obviously deserves it. And a second fight between these two would be fascinating and offer quite a storyline.
Daniel Cormier (lost to Stipe Miocic by unanimous decision)
What should be next: Retirement
I hate to say it because I truly love covering a Cormier fight week, but now is the time.
Cormier had said he would retire by his 40th birthday, but he put it off by more than a year. The people around him, who are close to him, are telling him it’s time. His family wants it to be time.
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