UFC 230: Daniel Cormier makes easy work of Derrick Lewis to defend heavyweight title

Kevin IoleCombat columnist
Daniel Cormier celebrates after his submission victory over Derrick Lewis in their UFC heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 230 event inside Madison Square Garden on November 3, 2018 in New York, New York. (Getty Images)
Daniel Cormier celebrates after his submission victory over Derrick Lewis in their UFC heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 230 event inside Madison Square Garden on November 3, 2018 in New York, New York. (Getty Images)

By Kevin Iole

There is one more to go for Daniel Cormier before the two-division champion hangs up the gloves and walks away from the sport that made him rich and famous.

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And it’s a big one, in more ways than one.

Cormier easily defended his UFC heavyweight championship on Saturday at Madison Square Garden by submitting Derrick Lewis at 2:14 of the second round in a one-sided beating in the main event of UFC 230.

That sets the stage for a 2019 bout against WWE champion Brock Lesnar, a former UFC heavyweight champion. Lesnar is a giant of a man — as is Lewis — and will bring with him a massive payday for Cormier in his retirement fight. Cormier has insisted he’ll retire before his 40th birthday on March 20 and he made it clear he wants the last one to be against Lesnar.

“Brock Lesnar, when you come, bring that brand new WWE title because I feel like being the WWE champion, too,” Cormier said.

Cormier had it so easy on Saturday that he probably could fight Lesnar on Sunday. He said that on the final takedown, which led to the submission, that Lewis punched him in the eye.

One of the most genuine and sincere people in sports, Cormier heaped praised upon Lewis’ power, but it was never a factor. Cormier was far too technical and experienced to be beaten by such a one-dimensional fighter.

Lewis is a massive slugger, but doesn’t have anything near the kind of ground game he’d need to compete on even terms with Cormier. Cormier took him down 55 seconds into the fight and the rest of the fight was pretty much spent with Cormier on top looking for a finish.

“I think a lot of people have to understand that I’ve been doing this for nine years, and I fought at a championship level for eight of them,” Cormier said in the cage after the fight. “There’s no surprises with me. I come in here and try to do my thing. If you have a puncher’s chance, like I said, that’s not enough. You have to be one of the best in the world to even compete. Derrick is good, but just not that level yet.”

By submitting Lewis, Cormier reminded everyone of his greatness. Jon Jones, the former light heavyweight champion who will fight Alexander Gustafsson on Dec. 29 at UFC 232 in Las Vegas for the light heavyweight belt that Cormier currently holds, is clearly the greatest of all-time.

After that, there is a group of fighters that includes Cormier, Demetrious Johnson, Anderson Silva, and Georges St-Pierre who are in the discussion for No. 2.

Cormier, who upset Stipe Miocic in July to win the heavyweight title, will get one more chance to show what he can do before he winds up a legendary career.

It’s a pretty good guess that Lesnar is going to go out if and when they ultimately meet.

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