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Miocic: 'No way' I'd fight during COVID-19 crisis

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / UFC / Getty

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It'll be a while longer before UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic returns to the cage.

Miocic, who's also a part-time firefighter in Cleveland, said he won't fight during the coronavirus pandemic in part because his gym, Strong Style MMA, is closed.

"There's no way," Miocic told theScore's James Lynch on Thursday. "I can't get a full camp in, so there's no reason to fight."

The UFC has insisted on continuing operations amid the COVID-19 outbreak and will hold several events next month, starting with UFC 249 on May 9 in Jacksonville. Fighters seem to be making do with home gyms and a limited number of training partners, but Miocic said he has only a small amount of equipment at his house, so getting ready for a fight isn't really a possibility.

"It's tough because I have a lot of things going on in my world - my daughter, make sure she's OK - going to work," Miocic said. "I'm just trying to do the best that I can."

The 37-year-old most recently defeated Daniel Cormier at UFC 241 last August to recapture the heavyweight belt, but he's been out of action since then due to an eye injury. He was cleared to train in January and said his eye is "definitely getting better," but the public health crisis has put his comeback on hold.

Miocic said he'd be willing to fight at some point in 2020 - likely in a trilogy bout with Cormier - if the outbreak subsides and his gym reopens, but he admitted things are too uncertain right now to commit to a date.

"Hopefully it gets better," he said of the pandemic. "I think it's gonna get better."

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