Coach Says Daniel Cormier Wasn’t 100 Percent For Rematch With Stipe Miocic
By FCF Staff
Daniel Cormier came up short in his rematch with Stipe Miocic last summer, and his longtime coach Javier Mendez says the legendary fighter wasn’t at his physical best heading into the bout.
Cormier knocked Miocic out in the opening round of their first fight, at UFC 226 in 2018. In their rematch at UFC 241 last year, Cormier started strong but Miocic came back to stop him in round four.
Recently Mendez spoke with MMA Junkie, and while discussing Cormier’s second fight with Miocic, he said this:
“Well, you know, we all make excuses, we all say this and that, and I’m good at making excuses, too, you know, because I’ve done it,” Mendez said. “But the bottom line is I like to tell the truth. It does come out as an excuse, but Daniel just did have surgery not too long after that fight. He was not 100 percent going in.
“He was good. He was ready for the title bout, don’t get me wrong, but he wasn’t the same as he was the first fight, straight up. And I know it doesn’t sound good to say that, but I’ll take the heat. It’s fine, blast away, I’m fine with that. It’s the truth, though.”
Cormier had surgery on his back late in 2018, following his win over Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in November of that year.
More recently, UFC President Dana White has said the plan is to have Miocic and Cormier fight in a rubber match later this year. Cormier has also said that he plans to retire after fighting Miocic for a third time.