Let’s put the rumors to rest right now: Stipe Miocic has no plan in place to retire if he defeats Daniel Cormier at UFC 252.
Cormier, of course, is planning on doing exactly that, walking away from the sport, hopefully with gold around his waist. But Miocic, the two-time heavyweight champ who holds the record for consecutive title defenses, does not plan to follow suit.
Miocic hasn’t been thinking about retirement, he said during the UFC 252 press conference on Thursday — except after each and every trip to the octagon.
“I think about retirement after every fight, since my first fight at UFC 136,” Miocic admitted. But, he clarified, he hasn’t been thinking about retiring any more recently.
“Nah, it’s the same old. I love what I do. The minute I’m not having fun, and it acts like a job, I’m out,” the heavyweight champion stated. “But right now, I’m good, I’m happy. I had a great camp. To the best of my ability, especially being quarantined with this pandemic going on. But honestly I feel great.”
At 37, Miocic (19-3) has built up a resume as the arguably the greatest heavyweight of all time. Certainly the best the UFC has seen. A second win over Cormier in the rubber match of their trilogy would surely cement that. Everything else would seem to be gravy, just Miocic building up a big lead over the rest of the pack. Especially if he were to continue fighting for a few more years.
“We’ll see how long I go. I don’t know about 40, god bless D.C.,” Miocic said. “I don’t know about that, but a little longer.”
Looming in the distance are a number of new contenders in the heavyweight division. Curtis Blaydes. Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Maybe another challenge from Francis Ngannou.
“My focus is on Saturday, that’s all I care about,” Miocic noted, before agreeing that “there’s a lot of good guys coming up. It’s great to see the division getting stronger. But right now, Saturday is my main objective.”