CLEVELAND — Francis Ngannou will have to wait a little longer for his UFC heavyweight championship rematch with Cleveland native Stipe Miocic.
Currently, Miocic is recovering from his championship victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 241 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on August 17, but when he is ready to step back into the octagon, a familiar face will be staring back at him and trying to regain the title.
UFC president Dana White told Barstool Sports Thursday that a trilogy fight between Miocic and Cormier is in the works.
“Stipe is recovering from that fight,” White said. “He’s got some bumps and bangs from that fight. We’re waiting for him to heal, and then, yeah, we’re going to do the trilogy.”
Nearly 14 months after dropping the title at UFC 226 in July of 2018, Miocic regained the UFC heavyweight championship with a come-from-behind fourth-round knockout victory over Cormier in the main event of UFC 241.
After struggling to find his range in the first three rounds, Miocic picked his spots during the fourth frame and was sticking and moving, engaging with punches, including several left hooks to Cormier’s ribs, and getting out of the pocket before the defending champion could respond.
Then, after a lead hook to the body, Miocic landed a straight right hand to Cormier’s chin. That wobbled Cormier and Miocic moved in for the finish. Miocic landed three right hands before connecting on three short lefts while putting Cormier against the cage.
As Cormier slumped to the canvas, Miocic alternated right and left-handed punches and forced the referee’s stoppage with 52 seconds remaining in the fourth round.
It was the first time in Cormier’s career that he was knocked out in a heavyweight fight, and Miocic’s comeback victory earned him a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.
During the first fight, Miocic felt he was winning for much of the first round against Cormier, despite taking a thumb to the left eye on an attempted shove, in his fourth defense of the UFC heavyweight championship.
However, out of a clinch, Cormier faked an uppercut, came over the top with a right-handed strike and floored the defending champion. With Miocic on his back, Cormier pounced and landed multiple strikes before the referee called a stop to the main event of UFC 226 last summer.
The record-holder for the most consecutive successful defenses of the UFC heavyweight championship, Miocic improved to 19-3-0 in his professional career with the redemption victory over Cormier, including a 13-3 mark since joining the preeminent mixed martial arts organization.
Cormier fell to 22-2 with one no-contest in 25 professional bouts. Cormier is a former two-division UFC champion, as he previously held the light-heavyweight division before relinquishing that belt to challenge for the heavyweight title.