UFC Title Fight Preview: Daniel Cormier vs Brock Lesnar

Daniel Cormier   -265     (21-1MMA,10-1UFC)   vs   Brock Lesnar   +200     (5-3MMA, 4-3UFC)    Odds Updated 2018-09-03

The UFC has recently announced some big fights for  2018, but none as big as the Heavyweight Title matchup between Daniel Cormier and Brock Lesnar.  In a shot taken right from the WWE playbook, Daniel Cormier called out Brock Lesnar in his post-fight interview after defeating Stipe Miocic at UFC226, to become just the second fighter in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously.  Lesnar  promptly answered the call out by entering the octagon and shoving the newly crowned champion halfway across the mat.

UFC 228
UFC 228

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Though the fight has been announced, a date for the event has not been,  due to Lesnar ‘s previous use of performance enhancing substances. The former UFC heavyweight champion is still under USADA suspension for testing positive for the banned substance clomiphene in tests relating to his UFC 200 fight with Mark Hunt, which was overturned to a no-contest. In the midst of the controversy, Lesnar formally retired from the UFC and removed himself from the USADA drug-testing pool. By retiring and leaving USADA’s testing pool, Lesnar’s suspension was frozen with a little over six months remaining, which he will now have to serve before he can compete.

A statement from an USADA spokesperson said, “After receiving notice of his intent to compete in the UFC, USADA re-entered Brock Lesnar to the testing pool on July 3, 2017, with six months and four days remaining on his period of ineligibility. Lesnar will be able to compete on or after January 8, 2019, should he remain in compliance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”

Barring another flagged test from the current WWE Champion we should see Lesnar and Cormier square off at the beginning of 2019.

In the mean time, many fighters, fans, and even Cormier himself believe Stipe Miocic should get an immediate rematch. During the Joe Rogan post UFC227 interview, discussing Demetrious Johnson’s loss to Henry Cejudo, Cormier said, “If anybody deserves a rematch its Demetrious Johnson, I mean, come on. He lost a split decision after 11 title defenses, If Demetrious Johnson doesn’t get a rematch there is no hope for any of us in the entire world right? That means that nothing you will ever do will warrant an immediate rematch.”

Rogan, playing devil’s advocate, asked: “If that is the case, should Stipe Miocic should get a rematch?” Cormier replied, “he should (get an immediate rematch), but three’s a lot different than 11.”

The fighters

Daniel Cormier (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) is an Olympic wrestler who started his MMA career 11-0 as a heavyweight. Cormier won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament by defeating Josh Barnett with a five-round unanimous decision before making his way to the UFC and picking up decision wins over Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. To avoid a potential fight with his good friend and training partner Cain Velasquez, Cormier would drop down to light heavyweight and make a run at then-champion Jon Jones. Though Cormier was successful in the new weight class, he would finally taste defeat when he challenged Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 182. Cormier would get another shot at the title when Jones was stripped of the belt for a hit-and-run incident shortly after their fight.

Just four months later Cormier was able to claim the UFC lightweight title by defeating Anthony “Rumble” Johnson by 3rd submission. Cormier would successfully defend the belt twice and defeat Anderson Silva before losing once again to Jones, this time via a devastating TKO. This fight would be overturned and Cormier would be reinstated as the champion when news broke that Jones had tested positive for a banned substance.  The re-crowned Cormier then took on Volkan Ozdemir, who he easily dispatched by TKO in the second round. That essentially cleaned out the division giving Cormier the opportunity to move up to heavyweight and eventually defeat Stipe to become the UFCs second Champ Champ.

Brock Lesnar (5-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) came into the UFC at 1-0 in MMA and took on former champion Frank Mir in a fight that saw Mir submit Lesnar with a kneebar in the first round. Lesnar would then dominate “The Texas Crazyhorse” Heath Herring, and earn a five round unanimous decision and a title shot against the legend Randy Couture. Lesnar knocked out “The Natural” and become the UFC Heavyweight champion, setting up a rematch with Mir, whom he would also TKO in the second round. Lesnar’s last win in the Octagon came in his last title defense versus Shane Carwin.  Lesnar was nearly stopped in the first round, but survived a brutal onslaught from Carwin to reach the second round, and ultimately finished the fight by arm triangle.

In his fourth title defense, Brock Lesnar would meet Cain Velasquez and fall by KO in the very first round. He followed that performance with another first round TKO loss to Alistair Overeem and quickly retired due to complications stemming from diverticulitis.

2016 saw Brock Lesnar return to the UFC for what would become a no contest fight with Mark Hunt due to testing positive for steroids and he now wants to take one more shot at the Heavyweight title in 2019. Standing in his way is the longtime training partner of the man that took his title almost eight years ago, Cain Velasquez, and much like in 2010 Lesnar is in big trouble.

Pick & Prediction

There is nowhere that Lesnar can take this fight where he can beat Cormier. Lesnar doesn’t have a diverse enough attack to stand with Cormier in the clinch and Cormier will land numerous uppercuts and control the bigger man. Lesnar is also not skilled enough to hold Cormier down, even if he is able to get the fight to the mat.

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About Joe Tussing

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Joe Tussing is a former professoional MMA fighter and current trainer with more than 20 years experience in combat sports. Tussing is a writer, reporter and MMA personality living in Las Vegas.

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