The long awaited trilogy between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier has a date, and now the fight has a location.
Following UFC on ESPN 11 on Saturday night, UFC president Dana White confirmed plans for the heavyweight title fight, which is scheduled for Aug. 15.
“That would be here [at the UFC APEX],” White said when asked about the UFC 252 main event. “Yeah, [it’s official].”
While it’s not exactly a huge surprise that Miocic vs. Cormier 3 will be held at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, given that the coronavirus pandemic has severely limited the promotion’s locale choices for live events, there hadn’t been any formal announcements since the fight was confirmed.
There were rumors swirling that perhaps certain states might begin allowing fans to attend events again in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but White made it clear that’s the furthest thing from his mind right now.
“First of all, this would be a state or a country, or whatever it will be that would decide they were ready for fans, we would get together with the government there and whatever entities we had to deal with, whether it was the athletic commission or whoever, and we would figure out how we were going to do this, how it was all going to work, how would it be safe and then we would do it,” White said. “We would be first if we were able to do it. We’d be first and do it.
“I just don’t see that happening any time soon in the United States. I could see it happening in another country. Not here though. Again, you can’t f**king believe anything you read. You don’t know what’s true and what’s not true. You’re hearing flatten the curve and the curve had flattened. Now they’re saying things are spiking up in Texas and Arizona and Florida and all these other [places]. I don’t know the answers to this stuff. It’s why I just stay in my lane. We’ve got the APEX. We’ve got ‘Fight Island’ we’re kicking off here soon. I am not even thinking about doing an event with fans.”
If there’s one potential roadblock to the title fight trilogy being held at the UFC APEX, it’s the heavyweight champion’s preference to compete inside a 30-foot cage.
Source close to Miocic told MMA Fighting that he would rather fight in the larger octagon, but the UFC APEX currently houses a 25-foot cage. To add to the problem, sources say the lighting structure inside the APEX was made specifically for the smaller cage. That could hinder any plan to swap out the cages and put the bigger 30-foot octagon inside the APEX for the heavyweight title fight.
These are all issues that will undoubtedly be dealt with between now and Aug. 15, when Miocic and Cormier face off in their rubber match with the heavyweight title up for grabs.