Updated: Dec 31, 2018
So miracles didn't happen Saturday night. Daniel Cormier absolutely dominated his tilt with fast rising superstar Derrick Lewis, and rightfully so; Cormier is a legend in the UFC. On Saturday night, DC became the only fighter in UFC history to defend a title in two different weight classes, cementing himself as one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport.
It was a valiant effort from Derrick Lewis, who was fighting in this one despite taking on Alex Volkov less than a month prior, at UFC 229. It was incredible to see him fighting again so quickly, especially given his post fight interview at 229, in which he said he didn't have the stamina to fight in a title fight. The fatigue paid no benefit to Lewis, as DC managed to take him to the ground with ease, out muscling him on the ground for most of the tilt.
Going into the fight, Lewis knew that if he was going to win this one, he would need to do it with his raw punching power, avoiding the ground at all costs. Unfortunately for Derrick, he didn't have the legs underneath him to avoid the superior wrestling ability of a much more experienced Cormier.
Cormier on the other hand, did everything he could to prove that Lewis isn't ready to run with the big boys in the UFC. Sure, his punching power is otherworldly (did you see that Volkov knockout? If not, go look it up), but in the UFC today, you can't be the champ, and be a one trick pony.
The ability to knock someone out with one punch is definitely a huge bonus when it comes to the UFC, and there are still very few guys that can do it. The problem, however, is that with technology today, fighters are learning more and more how to take a punch and not go down. There is plenty of precision and finesse needed in order to hold your own against the big boys.
While DC is nothing to shake a stick at himself when it comes to explosiveness in his hands, compiling eight knockouts in his 22 victories, the part of his game that Derrick Lewis has yet to possess, is his superior wrestling ability. The veteran Cormier has racked up four submission victories in his long career, and is an absolute beast on the ground. He continues to prove, at the age of 39 that he can dominate in all aspects of the game.
In his post fight interview, Cormier touched on exactly that. He was humble at first, telling Joe Rogan that he respects everything that Lewis has done, and how incredible of a fighter he can be, but also mentioned how he wanted to show that he isn't quite at his level as a complete fighter yet.
The interview got more and more entertaining from a fans point of view, with DC basically saying that no one can hold a candle to him, basically valuing himself as the best fighter in the world. Things got real interesting when Rogan mentioned a potential upcoming fight with Brock Lesnar, before he plans to retire at the age of 40.
DC got a little comical with his answer saying, and I quote, "Brock Lesnar. When you come, bring that brand new WWE title too, I feel like being a WWE champion too. LET'S GO!" These are big words towards an absolute behemoth of a man in Brock Lesnar, who will be coming off a PED suspension in January. DC better hope he doesn't wake up the UFC/WWE superstar who has struggled in the previous two fights before his suspension. Either way, a battle between the two giants should make for an entertaining pay-per-view event in the near future.
As for Lewis... standing ovation for taking on a fight in back to back UFC pay-per-view events. The always entertaining fighter definitely bit off more than he could chew against the champ, but I love the dedication to the sport he showed in taking this fight. He's earned a much needed rest before taking on another tough competitor along the lines of Stipe Miocic sometime next year. Hopefully he can take a lesson or two from this fight, and turn himself into a more complete fighter when this opportunity comes again.