Stipe Miocic is the Heavyweight Champion of the world but has several identities. He is a father first, a martial artist and a firefighter. In his last two bouts, Daniel Cormier poked him in the eye and prevented a quick return to action for Stipe.
After the coronavirus spread throughout the world there has been higher demand for doctors, nurses and first responders. In April, Stipe committed more of his time to the Valley View Fire Department in Ohio and stated that this was his priority regarding the immediate future.
In an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani he said, “Right now my fight is with the coronavirus,” suggesting that he saw providing support during the pandemic as his most important immediate duty.
Stipe went on to say, “Task at hand, right now I’m worried about what’s going on in the world. Once this is over with and get back a normal life, then we’ll worry about it.”
He stated, “It’s getting serious,”, “They want to make sure we’re ready if it gets bad.” He also explained that his eye was still injured to the point where it looked like a fly was flying by because he has spotted vision.
So here we have two legitimate reasons why Stipe will not agree to a date to complete his trilogy with Daniel Cormier. He is working to help in a global emergency, but more importantly he is not healthy anyway.
Many fans have the nerve to criticize Stipe and have called for Stipe to be stripped of his Heavyweight title.
Strip the Heavyweight Champion
I woke up like this #SM pic.twitter.com/UDgECifbj7 — Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) June 1, 2020
Even worse, Dana White threatened to strip Stipe if he did not agree to a date soon in a UFC 249 pre-fight media scrum. While the UFC is a unique league in a lot of positive ways this is not one of them.
Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, definitely would not have the stones to publicly threaten to strip Stipe regardless of public pressure. He would probably create a commercial highlighting Stipe Miocic’s services. Goodell is always prepared to let complicated matters go unaddressed as long as public outcry is small enough.
Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, on the other hand would support Stipe’s decision while looking for a solution. He has proven to be attentive and flexible in his handling of basketball players when expressing their concern for the NBA’s workload. While the season still has the same amount of games, he has not really cracked down on athletes or basketball clubs who put their health before the league schedule.
I’ve already said I’m going to fight DC. He just likes to make noise. My team is working on securing a training location and dates w UFC. I have five belts at home. I don’t need to sit on anything. If I didn’t have a torn retina, I would’ve already fought & retired @dc_mma . #SM https://t.co/6ZHnd1xhlg — Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) May 11, 2020
Most team sports leagues would handle Stipe Miocic a lot differently than the UFC has. Whether they would want to strip Stipe, I do not know. But they would at least understand that handling it the way Dana White is can only bring bad press. If Stipe Miocic fights and loses his eye or gets a devastating injury, the league would look terrible. If they stripped Stipe Miocic for helping save lives it would really hurt their bottom line; also no one would recognize the winner of the vacant belt as a true champion. This would affect Pay Per View sales of the winner for years. If Dana does strip Stipe there will be blood on his hands.■