Stipe Miocic finally has gotten medical clearance.

UFC heavyweight champion Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) nursed an eye injury for five months following his comeback victory over then-titleholder Daniel Cormier this past August at UFC 241.

After being honored as the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards’ “Pro Athlete of the Year,” Miocic gave reporters a positive update. The “Baddest Man on the Planet” recently was medically cleared and has resumed sparring.

“(I’m) better – a lot better,” Miocic said. “It’s healed up. I’m taking my time with it because I’m 37, so I don’t want to injure it again. I want to be able to see out of both eyes when I get older. That’s all I really care about right now. I love fighting, but my health is more important.

“… (I was cleared) about a week ago. I’ve been trying to spar a little bit. It’s been rough because I’ve not sparred in over five months. The guys that I take it out on would take it out on me. It’s not been fun. I’m thinking about that in the back of my mind.”

Tied at one head-to-head apiece, Miocic and Cormier (22-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) are expected to meet in a trilogy fight the next time the heavyweight strap is on the line.

“Not right now,” Miocic said. “I just got cleared. I’m taking my time getting back into the swing of things. We’ll figure it out and see what happens.”

No fighter in UFC history has been able to string together more consecutive heavyweight title defenses than Miocic. Prior to losing the belt to Cormier in their first meeting in July 2018, Miocic became the first man with three straight UFC heavyweight title defenses.


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