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Daniel Cormier used the UFC 230 main event to declare his supremacy over the heavyweight championship. He defended his title with a second-round submission win over Derrick Lewis to close out the show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Cormier was able to avoid all of Lewis’ bombs in the few moments this fight took place on the feet before sinking in the rear-naked choke to end the bout.
Derrick Lewis got to throw a whopping one strike before the first Cormier takedown landed in the first round. DC took Lewis down right into half guard and went to work on causing damage to his opponent on the ground.
Lewis muscled his way to the feet again only to be dragged right back down to the mat. Cormier landed even more ground-and-pound but the challenger survived the round.
Dr. Jed Meshew II @JedKMeshew
Derrick Lewis isn’t doing thaaaaat bad of a job defending takedowns. But he never really stood a chance at stopping DC rotating singles. DC is so much quicker. Lewis has to completely deny entries to stay upright. That always seemed unlikely to happen
That survival wouldn’t last long. Lewis landed one flush punch which Cormier would acknowledge in his post-fight interview, but it wasn’t enough to halt the champion. He continued his plan to get the fight to the ground with an ankle pick takedown and worked his way to Lewis’ back.
From there he sunk in the rear-naked choke that would draw the tap from the Black Beast and give Cormier the historic title defense:
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
Daniel Cormier becomes the first fighter in UFC history to record title defenses in two separate weight classes. Writes a new page in the record books. #UFC230
After the bout Cormier gave Lewis credit for his unbelievable power:
Marc Raimondi @marc_raimondi
Cormier: He punched me in the eye on the way in. I was blinking for like 30 seconds. Everything he did had unbelievable power. #UFC230
If you believe in the adage that you aren’t truly the champion until you defend the title, then this cements Cormier’s legacy as a two-division champion. Other than that, this is just another notch in the belt.
Lewis isn’t in the same echelon as DC, but there aren’t many in the game who can compare at this point. Cormier has defeated everyone he has fought not named Jon Jones, including top-tier talent in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions.
Cormier—who has said that he only plans to fight until March 2019—doesn’t have much left to prove at this point. A third fight with Jones would obviously give him an opportunity to avenge his only loss, but Bones has balked at the idea of fighting Cormier again.
There is, however, the opportunity to build a little bigger nest egg by making a big-money fight before riding off into the sunset.
In that department, he has an idea.
“January 26 in Anaheim. Is Brock eligible by then?” Cormier said to reporters Thursday, teasing a fight between him and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar. “Well, he looks smaller on WWE right now? You see his face? He looks tiny. Yeah, maybe on January 26. I think I have a wrestling tournament that weekend, But we will see.”
Cormier also addressed Lesnar after the fight as well:
John Pollock @iamjohnpollock
Cormier: “Brock Lesnar, when you come bring that brand new WWE championship because I feel like being a WWE champion too. Bring that belt if you come to my house.”
With very few intriguing challengers at heavyweight, the stage is set for Cormier to have a fun farewell fight.