Cormier (22-1) grew to change into the first fighter in UFC historic past to formally preserve two titles simultaneously and efficiently protect both. He submitted Lewis (21-6) by process of rear-naked choke at 2 minutes, 14 seconds of the 2d spherical in a bout that headlined UFC 230 at Madison Square Backyard.
It changed into the first UFC heavyweight title battle at Contemporary York’s historic venue, and Cormier delivered one other iconic image for the photo archives. All three UFC cards held in Madison Square Backyard absorb featured victories by two-weight champions, in Cormier, Georges St-Pierre and Conor McGregor.
“It’s historic past, miniature one,” acknowledged Cormier, who improved his heavyweight file to 15-zero (4-zero in UFC). “Historical past within the making — Daniel Cormier, one amongst basically the most high quality of all time!
“I enjoy rather a kind of of us must worship, I have been doing this for nine years. I’ve fought at the championship level for eight of them. There are no surprises with me. Even as you happen to also can absorb a puncher’s likelihood, that is no longer ample. You’ll want to be one amongst basically the most high quality within the arena to even compete.”
Saturday’s battle marked Cormier’s first heavyweight title protection, and the victory kept a planned matchup in opposition to WWE superstar Brock Lesnar intact for early 2019.
“Brock Lesnar, for those that come, bring that new WWE title,” Cormier acknowledged. “I enjoy enjoy being a WWE champion, too. Let’s run, Brock. Bring that belt with you for those that come to my home.”
Cormier changed into a huge having a bet approved going into Saturday, and it changed into definite why. The strange U.S. Olympic wrestler without complications took Lewis down and, even supposing Lewis managed to work relief to his toes on numerous times, Cormier stuck to him and gave him no home to land any offense.
Lewis threw numerous haymakers within the 2d spherical with horrid intentions, however Cormier slipped the shots and frivolously went about taking him relief to the bottom. The attain came after Lewis tried to turtle up and stand. Cormier transitioned to his relief and sank within the choke.
Cormier done the battle 4-for-4 on takedowns and outlanded Lewis 19-4 on foremost strikes, according to FightMetric.
Cormier, of Louisiana, has acknowledged he’ll retire by his fortieth birthday in March. The American Kickboxing Academy product has ideal lost to strange light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Jones will battle Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight championship Dec. 29, at which point Cormier will give up his 205-pound title.
Both Cormier and Jones absorb acknowledged they achieve no longer feel a 3rd battle between them is obligatory. Cormier lost to Jones twice at 205 kilos, however the 2d battle in July 2017 changed into modified to a no-contest after Jones failed a drug take a look at. White told ESPN within the past week, however, that he feels a 3rd battle between them is inevitable.
Lewis, of Houston, earned the title shot with a 9-1 file in his past 10 bouts. He changed into coming off a temporary turnaround, having factual fought Alexander Volkov at UFC 229 on Oct. 6.
” what bowled over me?” Cormier acknowledged. “Once I took that closing shot, he punched me within the watch on the vogue in. I changed into blinking for roughly 30 seconds, taking into consideration, ‘What within the arena changed into that?’ All the pieces he did held improbable strength. What a guy Derrick Lewis is.”