Daniel Cormier is respectful of his upcoming rival Stipe Miocic, expecting him to be in 'great shape' on Saturday. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: It might not be a trilogy to compare with the legendary sequels fought by Quinton Jackson & Wanderlei Silva or Georges St. Pierre & Matt Hughes, but Daniel Cormier vs Stipe Miocic III has the potential to serve up an absolute thriller at UFC 252 on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Even at the age of 41, the Louisiana native ‘DC’ looked in stupendous shape ahead of his third meeting in the 206–265 pound (93.4–120.2 kg) division with the Croatian-American giant Miocic.

Cormier won the first contest via KO at UFVC 226 in July 2018 before Miocic evened the score with a TKO victory in August 2019.

British bookmakers find it hard to split the pair with most firms offering identical odds of 10/11 which by no means an attractive option.

Cormier who is an analyst and commentator for the UFC is #6 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings and #1 in the UFC heavyweight rankings.

Miocic, five years the younger fighter is ranked #3 in the pound-for-pound rankings.

The last fight was a good fight. I started well and he made adjustments and got the victory. But, by no means do I look at that fight and think there are areas I can’t fix

- Daniel Cormier

A former two-time Olympic wrestler and heavyweight title holder, Cormier took to Instagram to post a before and after video of a leaner and new physique ahead of what he has sad is the final fight of his illustrious MMA career (25, 22, 2).

The two picture combo showed an unfit DC in struggling on a treadmill while the second demonstrated the transition he has made to the present day, where he looks trim and ready to battle.

The veteran fighter has also boasted that he will ‘smash’ Miocic and retire at the top of his game.

“The last fight was a good fight. I started well and he made adjustments and got the victory. But, by no means do I look at that fight and think there are areas I can’t fix,” he said in the Sport Bible.

“I plan to use more of my wrestling, I’ve worked a lifetime to acquire these skills, and I kind of went away from that fight. Does that mean I am going to eliminate or avoid striking? No way. That was a very competitive fight.

“So, by no means can I not stand and fight Stipe Miocic for 25 minutes. The smarter way to get my hand raised is to use all my tools.

“I expect a very tough, I expect Stipe to be in great shape. I expect him to believe that he is going to go out and win. The reality is I am going to smash him. I’m going to win this fight, I’m going to do my thing like I’ve done so many times and get my hand raised.”

Beyond the main event, UFC 252 has some great fights lined-up

Rising star Sean O’Malley faces off against Marlon Vera while Junior Dos Santos takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a battle between two of the heavyweight division’s biggest punchers.


Main card starts Aug. 15, 10 p.m. ET (Sunday 6 am UAE)

Prelims start Aug. 15, 8 p.m. ET (Sunday 4am UAE)

Early prelims start Aug. 15, 6 p.m. ET (Sunday 2 am UAE)

Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier

Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera

Junior Dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik

John Dodson vs. Merab Dvalishvili

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba

Jim Miller vs. Vinc Pachel

Ashley Yoder vs. Livinha Souza

Chris Daukaus vs. Virna Jandiroba

Herbert Burns vs. Daniel Pineda

TJ Brown vs. Danny Chaves