Former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic waited patiently on the sidelines for more than a year, and he'll finally get his rematch against Daniel Cormier on Aug. 17 at UFC 241.
"(The layoff was) fantastic; I feel amazing," Miocic told theScore. "Having this year off was actually a blessing - got my mind right, got my body right, had my daughter, got to enjoy being with her for the year. It's been great."
Miocic (18-3) was knocked out by Cormier in the first round at UFC 226 in July 2018, losing his belt in the process. The 36-year-old had defended his heavyweight title a UFC-record three times prior to the defeat. Despite the layoff, Miocic says he never missed a beat in training.
"In this sport man, if you take time off, you don't train for a little bit, people pass you quick," he said. "It's crazy how much it evolves and how much people get better. ... You go train, you have to start all over. Honestly, it's just been work and I love it."
Cormier (22-1) delayed a rematch in hopes of a big-money fight against WWE star and former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar, who retired from mixed martial arts in May.
Now, Miocic is looking to reclaim the heavyweight belt, and he has no problem being the betting underdog.
"I'm cool," Miocic said. "I like shutting people up. I'm good at that.
"I don't care where (the fight goes), if it's first round or five rounds, it's going to be me dominating."
UFC 241 takes place Aug. 17 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Watch the full interview with Miocic below and subscribe to theScoreMMA Youtube channel here.