Daniel Cormier has said he is willing to fight Francis Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight title if current champion Stipe Miocic decides he does not want to fight.
The UFC returned following its short suspension on Saturday night as Justin Gaethje put on a clinical performance en route to stopping Tony Ferguson in the fifth round.
Earlier int he night, however, Francis Ngannou caused shockwaves, yet again, with another devastating knockout, Jairzinho Rozenstruik the victim this time around.
Having won his last four in a row, with only one of those victories lasting beyond a minute, the Cameroon heavyweight has firmly put himself back in the UFC title picture following back-to-back defeats in 2018.
Francis Ngannou is aiming to take your head clean off with every swing.
Frightening stopping power. pic.twitter.com/JC86hgDVir
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) May 11, 2020
The division is currently in limbo as champion Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier are due to meet in a trilogy bout that will also act as the former two-division champion’s retirement fight.
However, doubts are being raised over when the fight will take place as Miocic is currently focusing on his job as a first responder due to the ongoing pandemic.
Daniel Cormier's real-time reaction to Francis Ngannou's first-round KO…
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) May 10, 2020
Taking to Twitter, the champion wrote:
“I want to fight DC. It’s going to happen period. I’m going to give my fans what they want to see. My management has been working on dates with UFC. Right now I’m doing what the Governor DeWine is advising and am working as a first responder. I can’t control a global pandemic.”
I want to fight DC. It’s going to happen period. Im going to give my fans what they want to see. My management has been working on dates with UFC. Right now I’m doing what the Governor DeWine is advising and am working as a first responder. I can’t control a global pandemic.
— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) May 6, 2020
UFC President Dana White has since suggested that stripping Miocic is now a possibility as “the division has to move on for all the other people”. With that in mind, following Ngannou’s win at UFC 249, Cormier expressed his desire to face the terrifying heavyweight is Miocic were to back out of their trilogy fight.
“If Stipe won’t fight, then Francis Ngannou has earned a title fight,” Cormier said in the UFC 249 post-fight show.
“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.”
With the third fight against Miocic set to be his last, Cormier indicated that he will hang up his gloves regardless of who he faces next with the current champion remaining a preference.
“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.”