Cormier Favored Over Lesnar In Potential UFC Blockbuster
UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier wants one more big fight before he retires, and former champ and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar appears to be the most likely candidate. In fact, Cormier told TMZ Sports he wants the fight booked as soon as possible.
Cormier-Lesnar would be a huge box office draw and one of the biggest fights in UFC history, something sure to excite UFC betting fans.
According to a Yahoo report, the fight could happen as soon as this summer at UFC 256. Should the blockbuster megafight occur, William Hill tabs Cormier the -333 (1/3) favorite to defeat Lesnar, a +225 (9/4) underdog, in what would be the first MMA fight for Lesnar since UFC 200 in 2016.
Cormier’s Last Fight?
Cormier had originally planned to retire by age 40, but after dealing with numerous injuries, he decided to push the date back. Perhaps seeing the end of his fighting career approaching faster than he anticipated, Cormier was an incredibly active fighter in 2018.
Cormier defended his UFC light heavyweight title in January at UFC 220 with a second-round TKO of Volkan Oezdemir. He then moved up to challenge long-reigning champion Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight belt at UFC 226 in July. Miocic had just set the UFC record for heavyweight title defenses at UFC 220 by defeating Francis Ngannou by unanimous decision.
But Cormier, who was the underdog, shockingly defeated Miocic by first-round knockout to claim the heavyweight crown along with the grand historical accomplishment of becoming the second fighter in UFC history to ever hold two titles in multiple weight classes at the same time.
Cormier proceeded to vacate the light heavyweight championship so he could defend his heavyweight title four months later in Madison Square Garden against Derrick Lewis. Cormier won by submission in the second round.
Lesnar’s Wrestlemania Loss Opened Door
Lesnar lost his WWE Universal title to Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania 35, a storyline leading many to speculate a return to the Octagon is imminent. Lesnar hasn’t fought as an MMA fighter since UFC 200 in 2016. In that fight, he defeated Mark Hunt by decision, but it was later turned into a no-contest after Lesnar tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Lesnar was subsequently suspended for one year and fined $250,000 by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NSAC). But he’s been eligible to fight in the UFC again since the beginning of 2019 after re-entering the United States Anti-Doping Association’s testing pool.
While Lesnar has probably seen his best days as a UFC fighter already, he remains one of the biggest names in the sport. Because of his sizable drawing power, he makes perfect sense to be Cormier’s last fight.
Cormier-Lesnar Already Starting Promoting
Last year, after Cormier stunned Miocic, Cormier used his post-fight interview to call out Lesnar WWE-style who was sitting cageside to watch the fight. Once inside the Octagon with Cormier, Lesnar shoved the new heavyweight champion, and the two men shouted at each other and had to be separated by security.
But while both fighters have impressive fighting credentials, some wonder how competitive the potential fight might actually turn out be. After all, other than his one-off appearance against Hunt three years ago, Lesnar, who is 41 years old, hasn’t been fully committed to MMA since he left the company after losing to Allistair Overeem way back at UFC 141 in 2011.
Still, Lesnar was a huge box-office star during an important time for the UFC, and Cormier is a popular champion who is considered one of the best UFC fighters ever. If truly Cormier’s last fight, Cormier-Lesnar would be a fitting end to the career of the current No. 1 pound-for-pound UFC fighter and one of the most popular MMA legends the sport has ever seen.