Stipe Miocic has revealed that he offered to fight Ben Rothwell at UFC 195 in January, but was matched up with Andrei Arlovski instead.
Miocic was supposed to face Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 76 in Dublin earlier this month, but was forced to pull out after suffering a back injury while training.
"My L3, L4 and L5 (spinal segments), I’ve had problems with it," he told MMAjunkie Radio. "I couldn’t stand up straight.
"I talked with my team and my manager and told them I should be good in a couple weeks. I told them I think Jan. 2 would be good, because I like fighting and I like what I do."
Miocic confirmed that he even spoke with high-ranking UFC personnel about re-scheduling his fight with Rothwell to January 2, but they decided that Arlovski was a more worthy adversary.
"I told him I would (fight Rothwell), and they came back with Arlovski," Miocic said. "I mean, it is what it is. I wanted to fight Ben. But it’s what the UFC wants.
"He’s one of the top guys in the division, and so am I. It would be a great fight, and fans want to see it."
Meanwhile, Miocic also admitted that he is likely to be overlooked for a shot at the UFC heavyweight title should former champion Junior Dos Santos beat Alistair Overeem at UFC on FOX 17 in December, as Dos Santos defeated Miocic via unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 13 last December.
"It probably will (come back to bite me), with my luck,” Miocic said. “But I’m not going to worry about that right now. All I really care about is putting on a good show and getting a ‘W’ like I do.”