No longer is it that fight even a possibility. Why? Because Lesnar said so.
But the UFC has a backup plan in place.
On Tuesday night, ESPN reported that the UFC is moving on from a potential Cormier vs. Lesnar showdown after the WWE star informed White that he has no intention of returning to MMA.
“Brock Lesnar told me he’s done,” White said. “He’s retiring.”
Instead, ESPN reports, a rematch between Cormier and Stipe Miocic is being finalized for a pay-per-view event on Aug. 17 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to MMA Junkie that the bout has been verbally agreed to.
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Lesnar’s decision ends nearly 10 months of hype surrounding the possibility of a fight with Cormier and gives Miocic the rematch he’s been longing for. Cormier won the belt from Miocic last July at UFC 226. Afterward, the foundation for a potential Cormier vs. Lesnar showdown was set when Lesnar entered the octagon and confronted the newly crowned champion. Since that moment, Cormier – who defended the title vs. Derrick Lewis last November – has been vocal about his desire to fight Lesnar because of the money involved in headlining against one of the UFC’s all-time biggest pay-per-view draws.
However, White indicated earlier this month that Lesnar’s return to the octagon was far from a guarantee.
“(Cormier vs. Lesnar) isn’t even in the works,” White said during the UFC season news conference on April 12. “That fight might not even happen first. … We haven’t even talked to Brock. We don’t have a date for him right now. The first fight might be Stipe.”
Turns out, it will be.
Miocic (18-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) has been adamant about getting a rematch with Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) ever since his loss and hasn’t competed since. But Cormier has shot down those demands while waiting for Lesnar (5-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC). But Miocic can no longer be denied.
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