After months of will-he-won’t-he speculation Brock Lesnar has reportedly confirmed to UFC President Dana White that his mixed martial arts career has reached its end, capping all speculation that the 41-year-old WWE star would be Daniel Cormier’s next challenge at heavyweight.
Enter Stipe Miocic. The man who was defeated by Cormier last summer for the title at UFC 226 hasn’t fought since, despite his status as the longest reigning UFC heavyweight champion (in terms of title defences), wasn’t afforded an immediate title shot as Lesnar courted his return.
Numerous outlets are reporting that the UFC are in the final stages of negotiations in agreeing a deal with the two fighters to rematch. Barring any catastrophes, the rematch will serve as the UFC 241 on August 17 next. No other bouts have yet been announced for the event to take place in the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Lesnar’s announcement has cleared up something of a logjam in the heavyweight division. Not only has Miocic been vocal in his desire, and indeed that he deserves, a second bout with Cormier. Yesterday fellow heavyweight Curtis Blaydes slammed Lesnar for delaying the division but openly flirting with a comeback.
But now that, for the first time in a year, we actually have a (nearly) finalised UFC heavyweight title bout to look forward the oddsmakers have begun doing their thing and have elected to pick reigning champion Cormier as the betting favourite.
Per BetOnline (via Sherdog) Cormier stands at -150 three months out from the bout, while Miocic is listed as of now as a +130 underdog. There isn’t much between the betting lines, reflecting both fighters’ status as two of the best heavyweights of their era ahead of what will be fascinating second clash of a first fight which, while it was incredibly exciting, was also incredibly brief.