Stipe Miocic recently went on record that he wouldn’t be looking to defend his title until after the coronavirus pandemic has calmed down and is instead focusing on his job as a firefighter / first responder, but that didn’t appear to go down well with Dana White.
“I saw a quote from Stipe recently where Stipe said, ‘There’s bigger things going on in the world right now, fighting will be there forever.’ – it’s not true,” White said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “Fighting will not be here forever.
“When you’re a professional athlete, your window of opportunity is very small. So, hopefully we can get Stipe back in there soon with Cormier and get the heavyweight division rolling.”
In a separate interview with Barstool Sports, White went even further.
“I don’t think so, I think we’ll see a championship fight,” White replied to a question about whether Miocic staying on the sidelines would lead to an interim title fight.
“Listen, fights can happen right now. You either want to fight or you don’t.”
White then doubled down on that when asked if Miocic could potentially be stripped of his title in those circumstances, saying, “possibly.”
Needless to say that’s put a lot of pressure on Miocic to respond, and he has since spoken out on Twitter with his thoughts on the matter.
“I want to fight DC,” Miocic said. “It’s going to happen period. Im going to give my fans what they want to see. My management has been working on dates with UFC. Right now I’m doing what the Governor DeWine is advising and am working as a first responder. I can’t control a global pandemic.
“My head coach can’t open his gym by law right now. I don’t hold myself higher than any other person in regards to what I’m allowed to do. Ohio is under orders until May 29th. The second the gym can open, we begin camp. Plain and simple. I have never ducked anyone.
“I’ve never turned down a fight, and I never will. Strap #6 coming soon.”