Daniel Cormier says he’s down to fight Francis Ngannou if it means his retirement fight will still be for the heavyweight title.
Ever since Stipe Miocic TKO’d Daniel Cormier at UFC 241 to reclaim the heavyweight title the talks of the trilogy has been prominent. But, Miocic has been healing up an eye injury delaying the fight. “DC’, meanwhile, has been trying to get Miocic to sign the contract for the trilogy, which he says will be his retirement fight.
Now, however, with Miocic on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has said he won’t fight during this time, and Dana White said he may have to strip the champ. So, if that happens, Cormier expects him to fight Ngannou for the vacant title.
“If Stipe won’t fight, then Francis Ngannou has earned a title fight,” Cormier said on the UFC 249 post-fight show on ESPN (h/t MMAJunkie). “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.”
If Daniel Cormier does end up fighting Francis Ngannou, he makes it clear he won’t stand and trade with him. Instead, he’ll fight him as he did against Derrick Lewis and that is to use his wrestling.
“It’s like a double-edged sword. If I go to fight Francis Ngannou, the smart way to fight him is to go take him down over and over,” Cormier said. “I did that against Derrick Lewis and people gave me flack for it, ‘All he did was wrestle.’ I’m not going to stand up with him. I’m not going to go and stand up with Francis Ngannou. I’m telling you, I’m telling him. If you’re going to be upset about me taking him down over and over, that’s just what you’re going to have to deal with. I don’t want to get knocked out. That’s what’s going to happen if I stand there. If I stand there, he would knock me out. I would probably wrestle him the whole time until I would submit him.”