Brock Lesnar isn’t coming back, and the date and opponent for the next title defense of UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has been set.
According to a report from ESPN, after Lesnar told UFC president Dana White he isn’t returning to the Octagon, Cormier will now fight Stipe Miocic in a rematch at a UFC PPV later this summer, taking place August 17 in Anaheim, California. It’s not yet known if this PPV will be called UFC 240 or UFC 241.
The revealing of the rematch between Cormier and Miocic puts an end to the rumors that Lesnar would be returning to the Octagon to fight Cormier. If you remember, after Cormier knocked out Miocic last summer at UFC 226, Lesnar entered the Octagon and shoved Cormier, with the UFC announcing plans for that fight to be next. Instead, it never happened. Lesnar continued to wrestle for WWE while Cormier went on to make a successful title defense against Derrick Lewis. Miocic, meanwhile, had kept high hopes about getting a rematch. It wasn’t expected the UFC would reward him with one, but now it appears that’s the case.
Cormier (22-1, 1 NC) is 11-1, 1 NC in the UFC with a perfect 4-0 record as a heavyweight inside the Octagon. Aside from a loss to Jon Jones and a No Decision to Jones, Cormier has been perfect in his MMA career. He is currently riding a three-fight win streak, with victories over Lewis, Miocic and Volkan Oezdemir over his last three contests. He hasn’t lost a fight in over four years, since the first Jones bout. Now 40 years of age, Cormier doesn’t have many fights left in him, and it was expected he would fight Lesnar and possibly Jones for a third time before riding off into the sunset. Instead, he’ll now take on Miocic in a rematch.
Miocic (18-3) is 12-3 overall in the UFC. He hasn’t fought since his surprising KO loss to Cormier last summer, but before that was riding a six-fight win streak that included victories over the likes of Franics Ngannou, Junior dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Andrei Arlovski and Mark Hunt. He had been demanding a rematch against Cormier for some time, but the UFC was adamant that Lesnar would get the rematch. But with Lesnar now not being part of the UFC’s future plans, Miocic is getting the rematch he deserves.
Though Miocic was the favorite heading into the first fight, it’s hard to see him being favored in the rematch. Instead, it seems quite likely that Cormier is going to be the betting favorite for this second fight. After all, he deserves it considering he brutally knocked out Miocic the first time they fought. That isn’t to say it won’t be an intriguing rematch. Miocic has all the capabilities in the world to make the adjustments necessary to make the rematch a more competitive fight, and now we’ll find out if he can do so. He’ll be looking to reclaim his gold this summer, while Cormier will be looking to get another win and continue to build his legacy.