Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier share stories of how the UFC helped them during tough times

Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier have both taken the time to praise the Ultimate Fighting Championship for the financial aid the company has provided them in the past.

The UFC has come under fire many times in the last few years for their perceived poor treatment of fighters in regards to how much they get paid as well as how they’re looked after. This has become a particularly notable topic of conversation since the release of Liz Carmouche, who looks set to be immediately snapped up by Bellator.

Of course, not everyone is going to agree with going after the UFC, with former champions Cormier and Bisping making their own feelings known.

“Getting ready for Xmas holidays reminds me of 2012 and 15 days before Xmas the @ufc sends me a 10k holiday bonus check,” Cormier wrote on Twitter. “No reason for it but I remember thinking wow this was my fight purse before. We really do work for a beautiful company. Thank you guys. DC”

“I remember Dana did the same thing to me,” Bisping added. “Sent me a check in 2006 when I hadn’t fought for a while due to visa issues and he thought I’d be struggling financially: he was correct and it was very, very much appreciated.”

Cormier and Bisping are both at a point in their respective careers where they certainly don’t need to say these things in order to stay in the good books of the UFC. However, there’s a certain loyalty factor that needs to be taken into consideration, with both men being pillars of the company for so many years now.

It seems as if the debate on pay in the UFC is something that could continue to follow them for quite some time, especially with the figures that are being paid to some of boxing’s top stars as of late.

What do you think of these comments from Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier? 

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/10/2019. 

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Daniel Cormier believes Miocic trilogy fight could be a ways off

Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic are currently 1-1 across two previous fights, and the expectation is that they’ll meet in a tie-breaking trilogy fight in the near future. The date for this trilogy fight, however, is still a mystery.

Speaking to MMA Junkie, Cormier shed a bit of light on the timeframe for this fight. He believes that, as the UFC’s calendar for the first quarter of 2020 is filling up, there might not be time for his tie-breaker with Miocic until at least June.

“There’s no time for us to fight until maybe June,” Cormier said. “The way the UFC quarterly schedule is looking, the UFC essentially, with them announcing Tony (Ferguson) and Khabib (Nurmagomedov) for April, there’s really no time. We’re going to be waiting a little bit.

Cormier added that he’s starting to feel physically ready for his third fight with Miocic, who now owns the UFC heavyweight title, but that he’ll defer to his rival as the date for the fight is decided upon.

“It’s tricky,” Cormier said. “I would like it to happen sooner than later, that’s all I would like to say. I feel like the more time I get away from last year’s back surgery, the better I feel, and I’m starting to really feel like myself now. The further I get away from this surgery, the better I’ll be. They told me when I did it, after about a year is when it would really start to feel everything was back in order and I’m starting to feel that now.

“I’m ready to go, but he’s the champ. He’s the champ, he makes the rules,” Cormier added. “So I’m on standby and I’m waiting to see when this guy says that we’re going to fight. When he does, I’ll be prepared. I’ll be ready – even more prepared than the last time because I feel I can prepare better from the very start right now.”

Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic first met in July of 2018. On that occasion, Cormier swiped the heavyweight title from Miocic with a first-round knockout. Just over a year later, in August of 2019, Miocic reclaimed the title and avenged his previous loss with a fourth-round TKO of Cormier.

Cormier, like most fans, is pleased with the rivalry so far, and excited to write its final chapter.

“I think Stipe and I have a fantastic rivalry,” Cormier said. “I won the first fight in tremendous fashion, he won the second fight in tremendous fashion. I feel like we’ve had the first two acts of a three-act drama and we have to do the trilogy fight and eventually we’re going to do that.”

How do you see a rematch between these two heavyweight legends going?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/9/2019. 

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Daniel Cormier expects Stipe Miocic trilogy in June, but timeline tricky

WASHINGTON – Daniel Cormier would prefer to close out his UFC heavyweight title trilogy with Stipe Miocic as soon as possible, but has already accepted he has no control over the timeline.

Cormier (22-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC), the former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, will meet Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) in the final fight of his decorated MMA career sometime in 2020. After winning the first meeting in at UFC 226 in July 2018, “DC” dropped the belt in the rematch at UFC 241 in August.

Miocic suffered an eye injury in his title win that required surgery, though, and he’s still recovering. Cormier said that likely puts them on an early summer timeline.

“There’s no time for us to fight until maybe June,” Cormier told MMA Junkie. “The way the UFC quarterly schedule is looking, the UFC essentially, with them announcing Tony (Ferguson) and Khabib (Nurmagomedov) for April, there’s really no time. We’re going to be waiting a little bit.”

The thing for Cormier is that time is of the essence. He’ll turn 41 in March, and for much of his career he said he’d never fight past 40. Back surgery ultimately delayed his original retirement plan, but he said the next clash with Miocic will be his final octagon appearance no matter the result.

Cormier said he’s feeling in tip-top shape now, and while he could easily jump into a camp and be ready to go in the next few months, he didn’t express much frustration over a potential half-year wait.

“It’s tricky,” Cormier said. “I would like it to happen sooner than later, that’s all I would like to say. I feel like the more time I get away from last year’s back surgery, the better I feel, and I’m starting to really feel like myself now. The further I get away from this surgery, the better I’ll be. They told me when I did it, after about a year is when it would really start to feel everything was back in order and I’m starting to feel that now.

“I’m ready to go, but he’s the champ. He’s the champ, he makes the rules. So I’m on standby and I’m waiting to see when this guy says that we’re going to fight. When he does, I’ll be prepared. I’ll be ready – even more prepared than the last time because I feel I can prepare better from the very start right now.”

Although there’s been a number of trilogies over the course of UFC history, Cormier and Miocic is among the most unique. For Miocic, all three fights will come consecutively, making him the first in UFC history to fight the same opponent three times in a row.

For Cormier, it will be his third encounter with Miocic in his past four, with the lone outlier being a short-notice title defense vs. Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in November 2018. It’s a compelling dynamic, and Cormier said he’s going to do everything in his power to be prepared for it, including working with boxing legend George Foreman.

“I had that Derrick Lewis stop in between, but I didn’t even get to train for that,” Cormier said. “I fought on three weeks’ (notice), so we’re pretty much in the same situation. I think what’s great for me is in five rounds of fighting I’ve won the vast majority of those rounds. That’s what feels good for me in my preparation. There are some things I need to change. Obviously he did a great job of adjusting and punching me in the body last time, and that’s what ultimately won him the fight. But I’ve already started to take the steps to try to improve that.

“I’m working with George Foreman now, and he showed me some tips to help with the boxing. The reality is it’s all boxing. Stipe isn’t kicking me very much, he’s punching and punching and I’m punching and wrestling. I’ve started to work on some things to try to shore up that issue that caused me so many problems last time.”

After trading knockouts in their first two meetings, Cormier vowed to defeat Miocic in the trilogy, regain the heavyweight title and exit the sport on top. He’s just waiting to find out the time and place, and once it’s official, he promises to be ready.

“I think Stipe and I have a fantastic rivalry,” Cormier said. “I won the first fight in tremendous fashion, he won the second fight in tremendous fashion. I feel like we’ve had the first two acts of a three-act drama and we have to do the trilogy fight and eventually we’re going to do that.”

Video | Khabib Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier argue over Conor McGregor

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier recently had a light-hearted argument over former two-division champion Conor McGregor.

Training out of American Kickboxing Academy, the two UFC stars have become good friends in recent years. But, that doesn’t stop Cormier from speaking highly of fighters outside of the AKA walls — even those Nurmagomedov doesn’t like.

A clip shared by ESPN MMA on Twitter showed Khabib Nurmagomedov getting riled up over Cormier’s comments about Conor McGregor on the ESPN+ show Details, even refusing to say McGregor’s name.

“You can’t say his name,” said Nurmagomedov.

“Who?” Cormier responds.

“He doesn’t deserve you to say his name,” Nurmagomedov responded.

“Hey, listen to me. This guy [McGregor], this guy? This guy is important. You smashed this guy. But now, this guy? This guy’s first double champion. This guy killed Eddie Alvarez.

As Cormier listed McGregor’s accomplishments, Nurmagomedov walked away from his friend unimpressed. Cormier followed him and continued to tease.

“Hey! Khabib. This guy [Conor McGregor] killed Alvarez!,” Cormier said. “[He’s got] 27 million Instagram followers.”

Nurmagomedov responded by hinting that McGregor has even more social media followers.

“More!?” said Cormier. “He’s got more than 27? This guy killed Alvarez huh! So let me ask you a question. Even though you don’t like this guy, you respect that this guy does some good things?

Nurmagomedov shook his head in disagreement with Cormier. “DC” quickly turned the table by praising the Russian’s wrestling and laughing off his appreciation for the Irishman.

“I got him back dawg, he’s back on my side! All you got to do is love Khabib and he comes back, reel him back in!”

Despite fighting Conor McGregor over a year ago at UFC 229, it seems “The Eagle” is still holding a great deal of animosity towards his Irish foe. Conor McGregor has said he would like to rematch the lightweight champion, but it seems Nurmagomedov is focusing his attention elsewhere. Currently, he is preparing to face his long-awaited opponent, Tony Ferguson.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/4/2019. 

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Curtis Blaydes makes prediction for Miocic vs. Cormier trilogy fight

Curtis Blaydes is scheduled to return to the Octagon in the main event of UFC Raleigh, where he’ll take on former UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos. If Blaydes wins this fight, he’ll be well positioned for a title shot opposite the winner of a yet unscheduled heavyweight title fight between reigning champion Stipe Miocic and former champion Daniel Cormier.

Given his position in the heavyweight rankings, Blaydes will be watching this Miocic vs. Cormier fight — which will mark the pair’s third meeting — very closely. And when the cage door closes, he expects the reigning champion Miocic to come out on top.

“I’ll go with Stipe [to win] again,” Blaydes told MMA Fighting when asked for a prediction for this Miocic vs. Cormier trilogy fight. “Especially after both got a win under their belts, if they do fight again, the rounds are going to be a lot more explosive. They’ve both seen what the other one has and they won’t be as tentative. I still think Stipe’s the better striker and he definitely has the reach advantage.

“It all depends if DC goes in there with the mindset just to wrestle, he could probably win, but I think he has an ego. He wants to strike with Stipe and that will be his downfall. I would definitely love to see that happen [with me against Stipe] but right now I’m focused on JDS and we’ll go from there.”

Curtis Blaydes is currently riding back-to-back victories over Justin Willis and Shamil Abdurakhimov — a decision and a TKO respectively. Prior to this streak, he was knocked out by Francis Ngannou — one of the few heavyweights with more claim to a title shot than he has.

Do you agree with Blaydes’ prediction for the upcoming Miocic vs. Cormier trilogy fight? Do you think he beats dos Santos?

Join the conversation in the comments section.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/3/2019. 

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Mike Winkeljohn discusses possible heavyweight move for Jon Jones

One of the biggest question fans ask Jon Jones is when will he move to heavyweight and will he fight Daniel Cormier again?

The Cormier trilogy is a massive fight, and many want to see him try his luck at heavyweight given he is practically cleared out the light heavyweight division. Yet, according to Jones’ coach in Mike Winkeljohn, “Bones” is committed to 205 pounds right now.

“I think right now he wants to clear out light heavyweight. Jon makes weight very easy, so he would really have to gain some weight to go up there,” Winkeljohn said to BJPENN.com. “It is also about motivation and money and getting the right fight. Whatever he thinks is the biggest challenge is what he wants.”

Winkeljohn also says the only way Bones will move up to heavyweight is for a title fight, and it has to be the right timing.

“I would think it would only do it for a title fight. It doesn’t make sense to go up there for any other reason,” he explained. 

The next heavyweight title fight is expected to be Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3. Jones has already said he wants the winner. Either fight would be a big payday, but many fans would like to see Jones-Cormier 3 at heavyweight. Yet Winkeljohn isn’t sure “DC” even wants that fight anymore.

“I don’t think Daniel would want it, but I would like it and have no problem with it. I don’t know. If Cormier stays around it will happen so it all depends on if this is Cormier’s last fight,” Winkeljohn said. “I don’t think he will come back down and Cormier is better at heavyweight, so I would think it would be at heavyweight if it happens.”

For now, Jon Jones is focusing on Dominick Reyes. From there, he will either stay at 205 pounds and wait for Israel Adesanya to come up from the middleweight division, or move to heavyweight.

Would you like to see Jon Jones move up to heavyweight?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 11/29/2019. 

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Stipe Miocic is more intrigued by Tyson Fury fight than trilogy with Daniel Cormier

If Stipe Miocic has his wish, his first title defense in his second reign as heavyweight champion will be against boxing champ, Tyson Fury rather than Daniel Cormier.

Miocic has been hearing all the talk of Fury entering MMA, and he is working with Darren Till proved that. So, he wants to face a new challenge which Fury is.

“Tyson Fury is coming in the mix now, I hear,” Stipe Miocic said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “I like a new challenge.”

Not only is it a new challenge, but he says he doesn’t need the trilogy bout against Cormier. Stipe Miocic believes his win proved he is the better fighter and didn’t get a lucky punch, which he says ‘DC’s’ was in the first fight.

So, for those reasons, the UFC’s heavyweight champion is more intrigued by a Tyson Fury bout than fighting Daniel Cormier.

“I’d love to box him,” Stipe Miocic said. “He’s a great fighter. He’s a good dude, and I think we’d put on a good show.

“With DC, I didn’t fluke knock him out, I beat him. I decisively beat him. The first fight DC caught me with a punch in the first round. But [the] second fight I won. I didn’t get lucky. Right now, [a Cormier fight] doesn’t really intrigue me. More with the Tyson Fury, I like that.”

Although Miocic wants Fury instead of Cormier, it seems unlikely it will happen. UFC president, Dana White has made it known they are working on that fight for 2020 and it will be Cormier’s final fight.

But, Miocic makes it clear he is not interested in that fight, so it will be interesting to see what comes of it. As well as who the heavyweight champion will fight next.

Would you rather see Stipe Miocic fight Tyson Fury or Daniel Cormier next? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/11/2019.  

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