Stipe Miocic’s brutal KO defeat to Daniel Cormier was no doubt a bitter pill to swallow – but he, like many others, was left slightly disappointed with the theatrics that ensued inside the octagon that night when the fighting was finished.
The former heavyweight champion of the world had kept relatively quiet about his feelings on the divisive UFC 226 post-fight skirmish up until this point but now, with us just over a week removed from the memorable event, he now seems more willing to speak his mind.
Daniel Cormier had just won the heavyweight belt. It was a truly stunning achievement that was only further helped by the fact that he had managed to somehow KO the bigger man with a ferocious degree of ferocity and power we just hadn’t seen from him in recent years.
Stipe, who still stands as the most successful heavyweight champion in the history of the UFC, was then quickly brushed to one side as the promotional powers-that-be hit the jackpot.
The WWE superstar and proven pay-per-view draw that is Brock Lesnar then entered onto the scene.
We all know how things went from there and while many have criticised the pro-wrestling-esque feel to the whole thing, the fact that the recently-dethroned champion Miocic went completely unignored in favour of a spectacle was nothing short of a disgrace.
Never one to speak anything but his mind, Stipe spoke to ESPN about his immediate feeling after being shunned in a moment in which he could’ve spoken to his fans.
“It was a s*** show and it was disrespectful. I didn’t think that was what the UFC was all about.
“I thought they were going to interview me [after the fight] and I was going to ask for a rematch. When Brock came in, I said, ‘I’m out of here, I don’t need this circus.’ How can you give a guy a title shot who hasn’t fought in over two years, is suspended, and his last fight is a no-contest because he was taking PEDs?
“I want a title shot. I deserve it. [Lesnar] hasn’t fought in how long? For him to get a title shot, as I get thrown to the side? It just seems like they are desperate for pay-per-views.
“I cleaned out the division. I defended it more than anyone, and you’re gonna tell me I don’t deserve a chance to get it back? Get out of here. Kiss my ass if you don’t think I deserve that.”
Despite confirming that UFC president Dana White did, in fact, apologize to him for the entire skirmish – Miocic still refused to believe that the resulting incident wasn’t exactly what the promotion wanted.
“It was like a two-second conversation, he apologized for everything that happened in the cage. I just said, ‘Whatever.’ The apology didn’t mean anything. That’s what they want to happen.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena