UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will not be returning to the Octagon this year, delaying plans for a third encounter with former champion Daniel Cormier. Miocic’s manager confirmed an injury that will force the delay.
“Mr. Miocic sustained a major retina injury from multiple eye pokes during his bout at UFC 241,” Jim Walter of Kaulig Sports and Entertainment told ESPN. “Our client’s health and safety is our top priority. We are excited for him to return to action when he is healthy to compete in his seventh consecutive world title fight.”
Miocic reclaimed the belt with a fourth round finish over Cormier at UFC 241 earlier this year, battling back from the aforementioned eye pokes. He dropped the belt to Cormier via first round knockout in 2018.
“I’ll be ready to fight when I can see out of both eyes again,” Miocic said. “I can’t wait to defend my belt.”
Cormier confirmed that he will postpone plans to retire once more to complete the trilogy with Miocic. The former U.S. Olympic wrestler was preparing to challenge for the title in December at UFC 245, but will have to wait until a future date.