Almost one year after Stipe Miocic avenged his knockout loss to Daniel Cormier to regain the UFC heavyweight championship, the pair have finally locked in a date for a rubber match. Cormier and Miocic will face off in their long awaited third fight on Aug. 15 in the main event of UFC 252 in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White revealed during an appearance on ESPN's "First Take" on Tuesday.
"This is an unbelievable fight," White told Yahoo Sports. "This is for everything at heavyweight. The winner of this fight will be the champion as well as the greatest heavyweight of all-time. They've had two great fights before and they have been anxious to do it again and settle this thing finally."
The two first met at UFC 226 in July 2018, with Cormier scoring a knockout in the first round to become heavyweight champion. Cormier also held the light heavyweight championship at the time of his victory, making him a two-division champion. He successfully defended the title by submitting Derrick Lewis at UFC 230.
This one is for all the marbles. 1-1, both knockouts but great fights, I can’t wait to fight this dude again!! Now it’s time to work as hard as I ever trained. #weareaka #zinkinsportsmanagement #2xheavyweightchamp 2xlightheavyweightchamp pic.twitter.com/BvyhectS4X— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) June 9, 2020
At UFC 241, Miocic knocked out Cormier in the fourth round at UFC 241, regaining the championship, but he suffered multiple eye pokes in the fight, leading him to require surgery and time to recover. During his time off, Miocic and his camp began hinting that the champion was interested in other fights, sparking a war of words between the two sides as UFC president Dana White continued to insist the trilogy fight was the bout the promotion was focused on.
In addition, Miocic said he would not accept a fight during the coronavirus pandemic, citing his work as a first responder as reasoning he would not be able to train for any Octagon appearance.
On Sunday, Miocic tweeted, "The time has come. Who's ready?!" Seemingly indicating his readiness to return to action and defend his belt.
Top heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou responded to the tweets with a message of his own. "It's been almost a year now so stop fighting on social media and sign the contract on your desks and let's move on #UNCROWNEDCHAMP," he wrote.