UFC 241: Stipe Miocic Says Daniel Cormier’s in Store For Something a Lot “Different”

Daniel Cormier has credited Stipe Miocic and his abilities plenty of times, but the heavyweight champ’s also argued he isn’t good enough to beat him. Well, according to Miocic, Cormier’s going to have to deal with a different approach when they battle next weekend at UFC 241.

Their first bout at UFC 226

Cormier and Miocic faced off for the first time last July at UFC 226, and “DC” ended Miocic’s reign with a booming series of punches out of the clinch. Miocic campaigned hard for a rematch right away, but wasn’t awarded the bout, until it became clear Brock Lesnar wasn’t going to return to the UFC.

Well, recently Miocic spoke with ESPN, and while discussing round two with Cormier, the former champ said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” Miocic said. “That’s the way I look at it. It drives me, it makes me hungrier. I want that belt back. It’s not even about the belt – I know I’m a better fighter.”

“It wasn’t a good night,” Miocic said. “It didn’t play out the way I wanted it, but listen, the 17th, it’s going to be different. I can tell you that. He caught me with a punch, I thought I was all right. I’ve been hit harder, just not right on the button.”

“Just fixing my flaws, some of my weaknesses that he may have exploited,” Miocic said. “But there’s a lot of things I’m going to do different. I can’t tell you now. The gameplan is down.”

So what could Miocic be planning to do differently?

Hearing this from Miocic is indeed interesting. Heading into UFC 226, many predicted that Miocic would look to keep Cormier at range, maximize his reach and fire away with shots. After all, Miocic is much taller than Cormier and he has dangerous hands. Some wondered whether Miocic might mix in his wrestling, despite Cormier’s advanced wrestling pedigree, and he did score one takedown in the short fight.

Well, as noted above, Cormier was able to do the most damage while working in the clinch, and we’ve seen “DC” do that plenty of times before. So, could Miocic be referring to a need to avoid the clinch? Probably, ya, but that’s likely not all.

If you’re wondering, the betting lines currently have Cormier as the favorite heading into UFC 241, with odds ranging from -139 to -161. Miocic hasn’t fought since his loss to “DC”, while the champion faced Derrick Lewis last November, and recorded a submission win.

UFC 241 will go down at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.