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Daniel Cormier says he’s the one who’s fighting for the UFC heavyweight title next — whether it’s against the champion Stipe Miocic or someone else.

According to UFC president Dana White, the UFC are interested in booking a rubber match between the two after the pair have gone 1-1 over the past two years. Recently, however, Miocic has poured cold water on that scrap after taking time out to heal from eye injuries as well as his agent expressing interest in athletes Miocic is yet to defeat inside the cage.

In Cormier’s mind, that’s all well and good, but if Miocic doesn’t want to grant him a rematch then that’s grounds for the UFC to step in and take the decision out of the champion’s hands.

“Stipe and I will fight, or Stipe’s going to get stripped,” Cormier said, speaking post-fight at UFC Raleigh. “That’s pretty much what happens. He’ll fight me or he’ll get stripped and then me and somebody else will fight for the title. It’s going to be him and I, and then we’ll see what happens between Blaydes and [Francis] Ngannou and the rest of those guys.”

Cormier and Miocic may have initially begun their rivalry cordially, but things soured when Miocic demanded an instant rematch after being knocked out by Cormier in the first round back in 2018, only for Cormier to chase a money fight with Brock Lesnar instead.

In Miocic’s eyes, Cormier was denying him a rightful chance to correct a fluke defeat, while for Cormier, Miocic was being an entitled sore loser. Indeed, Cormier believes that, since he eventually granted Miocic a rematch, Miocic should return the favour now.

“I don’t understand [that he wants to fight someone else] because I fought him,” Cormier said. “I really didn’t have to. I was going to fight Lesnar, and then [the UFC] said, ‘D.C., Lesnar ain’t fighting. Who do you want next?’ and I said Stipe because he deserves it. I didn’t have to fight him. I could have left him being a sore loser for more than a year. They gave me that option and I fought him and ran it back. I think it’s only right that he runs it back. That’s how I feel, but if he’s going to run away, that’s fine.”