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Stipe Miocic says Daniel Cormier rematch at UFC 241 is not about the belt

Since losing the heavyweight championship, Stipe Miocic has been campaigning hard for a rematch.

He lost his title to then-light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier via first-round knockout at UFC 226, and has wanted to run it back since the July 2018 event.

It was presumed that Cormier was going to face Brock Lesnar next as Miocic (18-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) remained on the sidelines, waiting for his name to be called. The wait paid off, as the Lesnar vs. Cormier fight didn’t come through and Miocic got his wish.

He will face Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) in the main event of UFC 241, set to take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on Aug. 17.

Despite the loss, Miocic believes he’s the better fighter. Speaking to ESPN on “Get Up,”Miocic vowed that the UFC 241 meeting will play out very differently.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” Miocic said. “That’s the way I look at it. It drives me, it makes me hungrier. I want that belt back. It’s not even about the belt – I know I’m a better fighter.”

In the first meeting, Miocic got tagged in the clinch with a short right hand that sent him tumbling to the canvas. Cormier followed up with a few punches and was crowned the new heavyweight champion.

What happened? Miocic says he just got caught.

“It wasn’t a good night,” Miocic said. “It didn’t play out the way I wanted it, but listen, the 17th, it’s going to be different. I can tell you that. He caught me with a punch, I thought I was all right. I’ve been hit harder, just not right on the button.”

It will be just over a year since Miocic has last fought, and he said he’s taken that time off to fix some things that he thinks went wrong in their first fight.

“Just fixing my flaws, some of my weaknesses that he may have exploited,” Miocic said. “But there’s a lot of things I’m going to do different. I can’t tell you now. The gameplan is down.”

“I see it ending with the belt around my waist, and new. There’s no question.”

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