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10th Jul 2018

Stipe Miocic’s reaction Daniel Cormier defeat really showed what kind of human he is

He didn't mention the foul once

Ben Kiely

No one can accuse Stipe Miocic of being a lesser man

A lesser man would not have handled himself the way Stipe Miocic did after UFC 226.

A lesser man would have complained to high heaven about the blatant foul that occurred just before Daniel Cormier knocked him out. Cormier had already been warned twice by Marc Goddard for illegally extending his fingers towards Miocic’s face when he finally poked him in the eye. DC was given another stern warning by the referee as Miocic blinked to try to fix his vision.

Less than five seconds after the fight restarted, Goddard warned Cormier to ‘keep the hands closed’ again. 30 seconds after that, Cormier sent Miocic crashing down to the canvas with a seismic right hand upon exiting a clinch. Four punches from the top later and a new heavyweight champion was crowned.

Stipe Miocic

Class personified

There was no mention of that foul at the UFC 226 post-fight press conference. The former baddest man on the planet’s assessment of the fight was simple.

“I lost. Plain and simple. There’s no excuses. He’s a better man tonight.”

Days at the office don’t come much worse than that. Miocic headed into the headliner as arguably the greatest heavyweight champion ever. No one has ever matched his three consecutive title defences in the UFC’s heaviest weight class. However, he still picked himself up, dusted himself off an faced the media. Even though he was in a rush to catch a plane home to Ohio to see his wife, who is heavily pregnant with their first child.

“I got hit a couple of times and the ref jumped in. I looked at him like, ‘What are you doing?’ It was definitely a good stoppage. He hit me with three extra punches. What are you going to do?”

Bigger fish to fry

Kissing the title he held for two-and-a-half years goodbye wasn’t exactly easy for Miocic. However, there are more important things in life than winning a prizefight.

“Oh, it sucks. Losing is not fun at all. It sucks. But for perspective, I look at it… I’m going home right now to my beautiful wife who’s having my child. There’s better things in life than losing. It sucks. I want to come back and rematch, of course. But listen, right now it’s DC’s day. Good for him.”

“I’m going to go home. That’s all I care about right now. I’m going to go home. I know you guys want to hear what’s next. Of course I want a rematch, but right now, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. I’ve got my daughter on the way.”

We’ve seen fighters crumble after losing a belt. We’ve seen them give one-note answers or avoid the questions altogether. Although this loss hit Miocic hard, his personality still shone even in defeat. As he stood up to make his exit, he had a joke for everyone in the media room.

“By the way, do you like my suit? Pretty good, right. Thanks.”

Cleveland can be proud of their son. Athletes don’t come much classier than Miocic.