Daniel Cormier is Open to Fighting Francis Ngannou For Vacant Title if Need Be
By FCF Staff
Ngannou faced Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249 on Saturday, and needed just 20 seconds to KO the experienced kickboxer. The victory was Ngannou’s fourth straight, first-round stoppage win, and ensured he remains in the title shot mix.
At the beginning of 2020, the plan was to have Cormier fight the current heavyweight champ, Stipe Miocic for a third time. Miocic has said he will take the rubber match, but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the champ has said he won’t be ready to compete until late fall.
Cormier, meanwhile, has been pressuring Miocic to fight earlier, and UFC President Dana White has also expressed frustration about the fight being delayed too long.
As a result, following UFC 249, Cormier was asked if he’d be willing to fight Ngannou for a vacated belt. Here’s what the former champ-champ had to say (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“If Stipe won’t fight, then Francis Ngannou has earned a title fight,” Cormier said. “If somebody is fighting Francis Ngannou for the title, it’s going to be me. All respect in the world to Francis Ngannou, but I’m not afraid of anyone. I’ll fight anybody on any planet. I love Francis, I think he’s a sweetheart person. I would love to do my trilogy with Stipe Miocic, but if Stipe won’t fight, they’re going to take his belt just like Henry (Cejudo) gave up his and they’re going to make a fight between Francis and I for the belt. It’s as simple as that.
“I would rather fight the trilogy fight with Stipe Miocic, I think that for everything we have meant to each other with me winning one and him winning one. That would be great for me. But if he doesn’t want to fight I want to fight my last fight. I want to fight whoever. And if it’s Francis Ngannou then I guess that’s who it’s going to be.”
Cormier and Miocic battled for the first time in July, 2018, and Cormier won the fight via first-round knockout. In their rematch last August, however, Miocic reclaimed the belt by stopping “DC” in round four.