And yet, even Lewis is struggling to come up with reasons why anyone should be picking him to beat Cormier and leave Madison Square Garden with the heavyweight championship belt around his waist on Saturday night at UFC 230. He also said the only fight he would be open to at 205 pounds would be a rematch with Jon Jones, the only man to ever defeat him, provided Jones defeats Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on December 29.
Cormier's record moves to 22-1-0, plus one no-contest. "Last Thanksgiving, I got a little insane".
Cormier won the heavyweight crown when he flattened Stipe Miocic, a bout that ended with theatrics after he called Lesnar into the cage.
Lewis struggled free to survive the first stanza, although Cormier picked up where he left off in the second round, nullifying Lewis' fabled punching power by securing yet another takedown before choking out the challenger, who in truth had offered little threat throughout. Again, the Houston native regained his feet, but the respite only last a matter of seconds as Cormier took him down again.
Lewis spent most of the first round on his back, but started the second round connecting with some shots to Cormier's face.
In between rounds, Cormier's corner instructed him to do the exact same thing and exhausted the Black Beast out.
"There are no surprises with me", Cormier said.
On a possible heavyweight fight: "I would fight "DC" at heavyweight, but I feel I have nothing to prove". "Unfortunately, he's like 40 years old, and you can't keep doing this much longer if you're Daniel Cormier". That's why Cormier says in reality a fight against Jones should be bigger-it's actually two of the top fighters in the history of the sport clashing for the third time. "If you have a puncher's chance, that's not enough". "He got knocked out the last time we fought".
Jared Cannonier claimed one of the biggest victories of his career when he finished David Branch in the second round, with Karl Roberson scoring a decision over Jack Marshman and Israel Adesanya kicking things off on the main card with a first round TKO vs. Derek Brunson.