Daniel Cormier Remains the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World With His First Successful Title Defense Against No. 1 Contender Derrick Lewis…
‘DC’ himself said it best: “If they’re saying you’ve got a puncher’s chance, then you’ve got no chance.” He’s got a point. Cormier has managed to defend his UFC heavyweight title for the first time in the main event of UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden, New York City, against challenger Derrick Lewis.
Lewis has become one of the most-loved fighters on the roster today. His combination of devastating knockout power, explosive post-fight interviews, incredible Instagram, and a tale of personal redemption, have earned him the respect and admiration of most of his opponents.
However, there are levels to this game, and Lewis found out that heart alone was not enough against an elite wrestler of Cormier’s calibre. ‘DC’ dominated this fight from beginning to end, and while a few wild punches caused some flutters, this was a smooth night at the office for the double-champion.
— UFC (@ufc) November 4, 2018
Cormier had no trouble at all in this fight, despite Lewis having all the physical advantages. ‘The Black Beast had a 6.5″ reach advantage, was significantly taller and almost 10 lbs heavier than ‘DC,’ but the champion has fought against his own physical shortcomings throughout his career.
Although Lewis started with confidence, using that switch kick that we’ve seen in his past couple of fights, his tall straight-legged stance was an open invitation for Cormier to go for the single-leg and take him down. The champ was totally dominant on the ground, with Lewis unable to answer him.
— UFC (@ufc) November 4, 2018
Lewis depended on raw power rather than finesse and technique to get back to his feet the first time he was taken down. Every time he punched, it caused the audience to gasp, because we know just how much power ‘The Black Beast is capable of. Cormier can take a punch though. He’s beaten Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson twice, and he wasn’t fazed.
After dominating him on the ground throughout the first round, the finish came early in the second when ‘DC’ took Lewis down again and was able to take his back, sinking his forearm in underneath his fellow Louisiana native’s chin. Seconds later Lewis was tapping out, giving Cormier the win via rear-naked choke. It was very impressive by Cormier.
Cormier is indisputably one of the greatest fighters to ever fight in the UFC. He might not make all the fans happy – and he got some boos tonight – but his gameplan was executed superbly. Anybody who calls him boring is an idiot. What should he do? Stand and punch with the heaviest hitter on the entire roster, when he’s a double Olympian in wrestling. It’s MMA, not boxing so get over it. ‘DC’ also showed incredible respect for his opponent on the night.
“It’s history baby, history in the making… Daniel Cormier, one of the greatest of all time,” he told Joe Rogan. “Everything he (Lewis) did had unbelievable power, what a guy Derrick Lewis is. I really do appreciate him. I love his story, I love his Instagram and it was a pleasure to share the octagon with him.”
Now the big question is what’s next for Cormier. Is it going to be that ‘money’ fight against Brock Lesnar – who wasn’t present in MSQ tonight – or will it be Jon Jones? Eyes will turn to the light-heavyweight title fight when ‘Bones’ takes on Alexander Gustafsson next month. There will be blood.