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UFC 230 start time, TV schedule, who is fighting tonight at ‘Cormier vs Lewis’

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to pay-per-view (PPV) later tonight (Sat., Nov. 3, 2018) with UFC 230, which is set to go down inside Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. In the headlining act, Daniel Cormier will defend his Heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis, while Chris Weidman and Ronaldo Souza duke it out at Middleweight in the co-main event.

What’s Hot:

It may have been a last-minute Hail Mary to salvage what seemed to be a poorly-planned PPV event, but the 265-pound title fight between Cormier and Lewis makes sense. “Black Beast” is currently ranked No. 2, while Stipe Miocic — the No. 1-ranked former champion — recently got knocked out by “DC.” While many were wondering why Curtis Blaydes — who is on a five-fight win streak — didn’t get the nod, the promotion needed a bigger name to fit the “Big Apple” bill, and Lewis does just that. But no worries, should “Razor” get through Francis Ngannou he should be “next” in line (cough, Brock Lesnar).

As for this fight, Cormier has all the cards stacked in his favor except in the power department. “DC” can probably take the fight down to the ground at any moment, but Lewis is a big man, so keeping him there will be a chore. Plus, the “champ-champ” is more-technical than “Black Beast” in all areas, so if he can avoid getting clipped by a clean shot, “DC” should walk out the victor.

Still, Lewis has shown he isn’t a man you can take lightly, capable of ending a fight in the blink of an eye — just ask Alexander Volkov. While Lewis is playing it coy, acting like he’s just in it for the paycheck, you know he’s going to be all business come fight night. For Cormier, “Black Beast” is one of the few hurdles remaining on his way to his much-desired Lesnar fight. If he loses, he still has the option to fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson for the Light Heavyweight title.

What’s Not:

From its inception, the card wasn’t going smoothly as far as setting up a headlining act. Granted, the event was given a face lift thanks to constant injuries and switch-ups, but it really wasn’t thought out well from the beginning — the main event was still undetermined the day tickets went on sale.

Original Card Vs. Actual Card:

This card went through so many changes that it was hard to keep up. To start, a Valentina Shevchenko vs. Sijara Eubanks title fight was announced as the main event just a few weeks prior to fight night. After some fierce backlash, the promotion backtracked and ultimately paid Cormier and Lewis to step up on short notice, forcing Shevchenko back to UFC 231 against Joanna Jedrzejeczyk. As for Eubanks, she was pegged to rematch Roxanne Modafferi.

UFC 230’s co-main event was supposed to feature Nate Diaz vs. Dustin Poirier, but that fight was scratched after “The Diamond” suffered an injury.

In addition, a rematch between Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman was slated for PPV main card action, but after Rockhold sustained an injury, the promotion shuffled the deck and booked Weidman vs. Jacare Souza, leaving David Branch without an opponent. That was until Jarrod Cannonier stepped in to fill the void.

Injuries:

In addition to Poirier and Rockhold suffering setbacks, Domingo Pilarte suffered an injury that forced him out of his fight against Brian Kelleher, who was then booked to face Montel Jackson. Sultan Aliev also pulled out with an injury, so his opponent Lyman Good was paired up with Ben Saunders.

New Blood:

No newcomers at this event!

How The “Prelims” Look:

Saunders fought one month ago, losing to Sergio Moraes at UFC Fight Night 137, so he jumped at chance to get back into the win column by taking a short notice fight against Good, the former Bellator MMA standout. Eubanks tore into Dana White — and promised to do the same to Joe Rogan — after her title fight was canceled as quickly and unexpectedly as it was gifted to her. She will look to get back into the hunt when she faces Roxanne Modafferi, a person she defeated on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).

Unfortunately for “Sarge,” she came in heavy for her fight, and is now forced to fork over a portion of her purse to “The Happy Warrior.” Not a good look for a person who was doing a whole lot of talking and demanding.

The featured undercard match will be an intriguing Featherweight bout between Jason Knight and Jordan Rinaldi. Knight is in desperate need of a win, dropping three straight. Rinaldi, meanwhile, is coming off a loss to Gregor Gillespie so he is looking to get back into the win column, too. While the fight doesn’t sell because of their previous losses, it should make for an interesting match up once the cage door slams shut.

Who Needs A Win Badly:

Knight started his Octagon career with an impressive 4-1 run, taking out Dan Hooker and Alex Caceres in the process. Over his last three fights, however, Knight has been on a terrible streak, dropping three straight, putting him on the chopping block when it comes time to thin the heard.

Interest Level: 7/10

The promotion did okay in salvaging the event. Cormier has the chance to add to his legacy, while Lewis can prove giving him the title shot was no mistake if he can upset one of the most decorated fighters in the history of the sport. If he loses, at least he gets to go home with a big paycheck. The interesting thing about this fight is that while everyone thinks they know how it plays out, when “Black Beast” is in the cage, there is no telling what will go down.

I’ve personally always wanted to see a showdown between former UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman and ex-Strikeforce kingpin, Ronaldo Souza. While it may be later than I have hoped, it’s still good to see these long-time veterans finally mix it up. Weidman is adamant his best days are ahead of him, and while he has lofty goals, “Jacare” is no slouch, though he may have lost a step.

“All American” can wrestle with the best of them, but taking it to the ground will be a huge mistake against the submission wizard. This is a “pick em’” fight.

Last but not least, a sneaky good fight between Israel Adesanya and Derek Brunson can very well steal the show, as “The Last Stylebender” is out to pick up his biggest win to date to justify all of the hype. Adesanya has that quality to be the next superstar, but he needs this win to get there. For Brunson, taking out Adesanya not only silences the hype, but he gets a much-needed high-profile win to get put him over the hump.

Enjoy the fights!

Full Fight Card:

UFC 230 PPV Main Event:

265 lbs.: UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis

UFC 230 PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET):

185 lbs.: Chris Weidman vs. Ronaldo Souza
185 lbs.: David Branch vs. Jared Cannonier
185 lbs.: Jack Marshman vs. Karl Roberson
185 lbs.: Israel Adesanya vs. Derek Brunson

UFC 230 “Prelims” on FS1 (8 p.m. ET):

145 lbs.: Jason Knight vs. Jordan Rinaldi
125 lbs.: Roxanne Modafferi vs. Sijara Eubanks
145 lbs.: Julio Arce vs. Sheymon Moraes
170 lbs.: Ben Saunders vs. Lyman Good

UFC 230 “Prelims” on Fight Pass (6:15 p.m. ET):

155 lbs.: Matt Frevola vs. Lando Vannata
145 lbs.: Shane Burgos vs. Kurt Holobaugh
135 lbs.: Brian Kelleher vs. Montel JacksonCanceled (read details)
265 lbs.: Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Adam Wieczorek

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 230 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card at 10 p.m. ET.

For much more on this weekend’s UFC 230 fight card click here.

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