Stipe Miocic wants to win another heavyweight trilogy.
Sandwiched in between his two fights with Francis Ngannou, Miocic engaged in a trio of championship bouts against Daniel Cormier, a series that Miocic went on to win by a score of 2-1 after dropping the first fight to Cormier. Losing to Cormier gave Miocic plenty of motivation and data to work with despite their UFC 226 meeting ending inside of a round, and he believes he can apply that same mentality should he fight Ngannou again.
Miocic defeated Ngannou by unanimous decision at UFC 220 three years ago, but was knocked out in the second round of their rematch at UFC 260 in March. It’s not clear when or if Miocic will get another crack at Ngannou, but he’s confident that he’ll correct his weaknesses from that second fight.
“Oh, a hundred percent,” Miocic told Submission Radio when asked if he’s confident that he knows how to beat Ngannou in a third fight (transcription via Denis Shkuratov). “It was his night. I’m not gonna take that away from him. And he didn’t get lucky, he just caught me with a punch I didn’t see, and it is what it is.
“And congrats to him. He won the title, but I’m coming back to get what’s mine. I know what I did wrong, and I’ll come back stronger and better and more prepared and take back what’s mine.”
One factor that could have possibly influenced the first fight was the size difference between the two men. At UFC 260, Miocic weighed in at 234 pounds, 12 pounds lighter than in his first fight with Ngannou. Ngannou weighed in at 263 pounds on both occasions, just a shade under the heavyweight limit.
Miocic has mentioned that he plans to gain weight for a trilogy bout with Ngannou, but does not consider that to be the main reason why he lost.
“No, man, not at all,” Stipe said of being at a strength disadvantage. “I mean, he hit me with some good shots in the beginning and I took them. And then he did good in the wrestling. I didn’t have the greatest shot, but he did everything he was supposed to. Tucked my head, got out, and came swinging after. And I felt good, I still felt good. And he hit me with the right hand and I came in a little bit too sloppy, and he countered with the left hook, and that was it.”
Miocic added that he’s as eager to avenge this loss as any other, regardless of the circumstances. In 24 pro bouts, Miocic has only lost four times and three of those losses have come against world champions. The Ohioan currently holds the record for most consecutive successful defenses of the UFC heavyweight title at three.
Should he regain the belt, Miocic would tie Randy Couture as the only fighters to have three reigns as UFC heavyweight champion.
“I want a rematch, and I wanna get my title back,” Miocic said. “He took something that was mine, and it drives me nuts every day.”
Though Miocic would like to avenge the loss to Ngannou as he has previous losses to Cormier and Junior dos Santos, he maintains that his No. 1 goal is becoming heavyweight champion again.
“Honestly, I don’t care who it is,” Miocic said. “I really would love to fight Francis again for the rematch and get that W back over him in the rubber match. But yeah, I don’t care who it is. I’m not preferring anyone, but if I had a choice, I would want to fight Ngannou again. Just because he beat me last time and took the belt.”