Had Cormier defeated Stipe last August, he would rode have rode off into the sunset looking back on arguably the greatest UFC career of all time. Although this statement could still prove to happen, his retirement plans were prolonged.
The fighter has always reiterated his desire to hang up the gloves at the age of forty, and he has publicly stated that win, lose or draw, this will be his final dance in the Octagon. The now forty-one-year-old clearly feels that this is the last piece of unsettled beef he has in the organisation, and like the fans, he wants a definitive answer in settling the Cormier-Stipe debate.
From Miocic's perspective, there seemed to be growing doubts over whether he would even fight again. DC had been pushing for this trilogy earlier on in the year, but the Croatian had not recovered from a serious eye injury. Fans questioned whether the bout would ever materialise, resulting in a huge sigh of relief when Cormier sneakily posted an Instagram picture of his signature on a dotted line.
Given his past record, would Miocic have anything left to prove in the division should he reign victorious? A rematch against Francis Ngannou or a bout with Jon Jones would generate large volumes of interest, but no fan could question his decision, should this also be the 37-year-old's last ever fight.