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During their interactions with one another, Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic have kept it very respectful, even keeping the peace during their time spent filming the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) prior to their first fight at UFC 226 last year.
Deep down, however, there may some built-up tension between the two men, some of which was present before their first fight, and some of that was accumulated after.
“I think I annoy Stipe Miocic,” Cormier said. “I think I annoyed Stipe Miocic after The Ultimate Fighter the first time. I think he’s a respectful guy so shakes my hand and says the right things but I think at his core he’s like, ‘I can’t stand this dude.’ We’re just too different,” he said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (via MMA Fighting).
“I do get on his nerves but whatever. I don’t care. Everybody doesn’t have to like you. What’s it matter because the reality is we have to fight. Once we’re done fighting, we don’t have to be friends. He’s got a great family, got a life and he can go live his and I can go live mine. I respect all that he does for his community and everything but there are some things that he does that annoy me too.”
For Cormier, one of the major things that really annoyed him about Stipe was the fact that he pouted his way into a rematch, like a “brat” throwing temper tantrum to get what he wants instead of working for it.
“Him sitting out this whole time, just kind of being a little bit of . . . I feel like he acted a little bit like a brat,” Cormier said. “Like, ‘I should get a rematch!’ I just thought he should have fought again. It kind of rubbed me the wrong way but you know what, it worked and now he gets a chance to fight for the title again. So yeah, there are things that we both dislike about each other but at the end of the day I’m not losing any sleep over Stipe Miocic not liking me.”
Had it not been for Brock Lesnar announcing his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA), Stipe would have likely still been on the sidelines, as Lesnar was in line to face “DC” at this event. Now that Miocic has his second chance at Cormier, he will look to make the best of it.
As Daniel sees it, the outcome won’t be so good for the former 265-pound champion to the point that he may not ever recover from what happens on Anaheim.
“When I lost to Jones that second time it could have been over,” Cormier said. I was crying. I was done. He had broken me to a point where it was gonna be very difficult to pick myself back up. Then all the other stuff kind of happened to where now you’re just kind of back and have to go back and fight and defend this title like you’re supposed to,” added Cormier.
“The reality is, [Stipe] just sat around. He didn’t go back and do what he’s supposed to do. He was talking about me in a way that just was like I annoy him and everything so, you know what man, sometimes you get what you ask for and when you get it, when you really get it like he’s gonna get it on Saturday, now you’ve got to live with that. It’s gonna take a very, very tough man to bounce back from what I do to Stipe on Saturday night.”
Indeed, Stipe’s championship dreams will go stumbling further down, making it harder for him to dig out of the hole with back-to-back defeats to the former UFC champ-champ.
To see who else is fighting at UFC 241: “Cormier vs Miocic 2” click here.