While those charged with promoting the UFC 230 pay-per-view (PPV) main event were in love with the “puncher’s chance” afforded to heavyweight smashing machine, Derrick Lewis, most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans — even those caught up in the hype — expected Daniel Cormier to win their Nov. 3 title fight with relative ease.
That’s what happens when you pair Olympic-caliber wrestling with shoddy takedown defense.
So even though Lewis was ranked No. 2 in the division, it was probably not Cormier’s toughest fight. That includes the one coming up against Brock Lesnar, assuming the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar can pass his drug tests and honor his return date.
“I think it’s tougher, because he kind of cancels out the wrestling,” Cormier told MMAjunkie Radio. “I can’t just go take Brock Lesnar down at will like I was able to with Derrick Lewis. And he’s big and athletic and super fast. Also, he has a size 5X glove, so if he’s able to land one of those strikes, it could be the end of the night. I truly do believe it’s the tougher fight.”
Lesnar is an NCAA Division-1 Heavyweight Champion out of University of Minnesota and was recruited by WWE right after college. While he may not be as decorated as Cormier (22-1, 1 NC) — who was also won multiple titles in Freestyle wrestling — the size discrepancy and athleticism will make this a much closer fight.
But “closer” may not equate to “tougher.”
Probably because Lesnar (5-2, 1 NC) has competed just once over the last seven years, a unanimous decision win over striking sensation Mark Hunt, which was eventually overturned to a “no contest” by United States Anti-Creaming Agency.