The third installment of the Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic rivalry will headline the UFC 252 pay-per-view on Saturday, August 15.
The veterans are both making their return to the Octagon after nearly a year away from the sport, and they will be going head-to-head in one of the most highly anticipated fights in recent memory.
The matchup has a “winner takes all” feeling to it, as each fighter has one win apiece to this point in the heated rivalry. UFC President took that feeling one step further, saying the fight will decide much more than just their rivalry.
"This is for everything at heavyweight,” White said in an interview with Yahoo Sports. “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."
While White may be prone to embellishing in most cases, this is not one of them. Cormier and Miocic are undoubtedly two of the greatest heavyweight competitors in fighting history. Both men, who began their careers only months apart ten years ago, own nearly perfect fighting records and have beaten some of the biggest names in the industry.
Cormier came out on top in their first clash at UFC 226 on July 7, 2018. The fight marked his return to the heavyweight division after four years of fighting as a light heavyweight. He looked impressive in his return and won the both Heavyweight Championship and Performance of the Night in the process.
Miocic regained some lost pride when the two brawlers went head-to-head in their second matchup at UFC 241 on August 17, 2019. He looked just as impressive as Cormier did in the first bout, and he once again won the Heavyweight Championship. He also won the Performance of the Night honor at the event.
Their third battle will not only be their last of their rivalry, it will also be the last of Cormier’s storied career. The 41-year-old previously stated that he wanted to retire before the age of 40, but he has not wanted to do so without settling the score with Miocic first.
While many UFC fighters have a tendency of returning to the ring after they have already announced their retirement, Cormier seems to have his mind made up on the subject.
“I would not be goaded into fighting again after this,” Cormier said in an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “I’m going to ride off into the sunset.”
The retirement speculation is not only surrounding Cormier leading up to the bout, as many are wondering whether this may be Miocics last fight as well. The 37-year-old has accomplished everything that the sport has to offer, and he is reportedly eager to raise a family, something that is tough to do on a UFC fighters schedule.
UFC 252 will air on ESPN Plus on August 15, 2020. The main card will begin around 9 PM CST, depending on when the prelim matchups are over.