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Daniel Cormier vs Brock Lesnar: Is This Really Happening?

Don Aguero

by Don Aguero in Mixed Martial Arts News

Updated Jul 9, 2018 · 2:01 PM PDT

Brock Lesnar eyes a return to the Octagon after UFC 226.
Brock Lesnar eyes a return to the Octagon after UFC 226. Photo By: Ray Terston (Wikimedia) [CC License]
  • UFC 226 made a heavyweight champ out of Daniel Cormier, who knocked out Stipe Miocic in the first round.
  • Cormier called WWE star Brock Lesnar into the cage after the fight, and set the scene for a potential super-fight.
  • Will Cormier vs Lesnar come to fruition?

Daniel Cormier is now officially the Baddest Man on the Planet.

At UFC 226, the light heavyweight champ stepped into the Octagon and knocked out the heavyweight champ, Stipe Miocic, to become a two-division UFC champion. After the fight, Cormier called out former heavyweight champ and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar, and the two turned the event into a pro-wrestling fiasco.

Is the stage set for another UFC mega-fight, or are we being taken for a ride?

Will The Fight Take Place?

Prop Odds
Odds Cormier vs Lesnar takes place before December 31, 2019 1-1

Daniel Cormier already has a firm retirement date: March 20, 2019.

That’s the day the double-champ turns 40. He has one more fight left in him, and he wants the career payday that only Brock Lesnar can bring. Lesnar obviously also wants the fight, why else would he be cage-side at 226? And Dana White made his stance clear at the post-fight conference: “We’re definitely gonna make it happen.”

Cormier was asked to predict the likelihood of the super-fight materializing, on a scale of 1 to 10. He gave an emphatic 10

So the fight is on, right? Well, not so fast.

Enter USADA and Vince McMahon. Lesnar is still serving a year-long suspension after testing positive at UFC 200 and will have to wait until at least January before he can set foot in the Octagon again. He’s currently “in the process” to get back into the USADA drug-testing pool, whatever that means. So things are still pretty uncertain on that front. Then there’s WWE boss Vince McMahon, who may be hesitant to let go of his biggest star.

Cormier was asked to predict the likelihood of the super-fight materializing, on a scale of 1 to 10. He gave an emphatic 10. This fight is far from certain, but with so much money of the line, I think there’s a good chance the UFC will find a way.

Daniel Cormier vs Brock Lesnar

Fighter Odds
Daniel Cormier 1-2
Brock Lesnar 2-1

It’s clear that Daniel Cormier (21-1) can fight at the 265-pound limit. He started his career at heavyweight and has amassed an unbeaten 14-0 record in the division. He took on Stipe Miocic, the most successful UFC heavyweight champ of all time, and stopped him in devastating fashion.

There were concerns about Cormier’s height; at 5”11’, he’s quite short for the division. There were concerns about whether his wrestling-centric style would be effective against bigger heavyweights. There were concerns about whether his power would transfer to 265. Cormier put all those concerns to rest at UFC 226.

Brock Lesnar (5-3) hasn’t had a legitimate win since he submitted Shane Carwin in 2010. Since then, he’s suffered first-round knockouts to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, and had his decision victory to Mark Hunt overturned after testing positive.

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Lesnar’s size advantage is all he holds over Cormier. But we just saw Cormier outmuscle Miocic, who is taller than Lesnar and boasts a comparable reach, so it that even an advantage? Lesnar will undoubtedly weigh in at the 265 lb cut-off, which is heavier than both the 242.5-pound Miocic and 246-pound Cormier we saw over the weekend.

Cormier showcased his vastly underrated striking ability at UFC 226, picking apart Miocic with stiff jabs and finishing him with a vicious hook. Miocic is regarded as one of the most proficient boxers at heavyweight, and Cormier took him on at his own game and won.

It’s likely we’ll see Cormier adopt a similar strategy against Lesnar. Both seem evenly matched in their wrestling, but DC is by far the superior striker. Lesnar’s striking game is subpar, to say the least, and we’ve seen him struggle when forced to fight on his feet.

Pick: Daniel Cormier

Odds to be Cormier’s Next Opponent

Fighter Odds
Brock Lesnar 1-4
Jon Jones 5-1
Curtis Blaydes 50-1
Alexander Gustafsson 50-1

Daniel Cormier is looking for a money fight to close out his career. He doesn’t need to take on a young, hungry fighter like Curtis Blaydes, or an established No.1 contender like Alexander Gustafsson. There are only two fighters he should consider: Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones.

Brock Lesnar is the more lucrative deal and likely the easier fight. But a win against Jon Jones would seal his legacy and silence his haters for good. The problem with Jones is that we don’t know when he’ll be cleared to fight, and the man also has an uncanny knack for self-sabotage.

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Odds to be Lesnar’s Next Opponent

Fighter Odds
Daniel Cormier 1-4
Jon Jones 9-1
Mark Hunt 100-1

Lesnar has a few options as well. He could fight Jon Jones, which was on the cards before Jones tested positive. But that ship seems to have sailed. There’s also a rematch against Mark Hunt, who Lesnar “defeated” at UFC 200. Perhaps he’ll return to settle the score, but that really isn’t his style.

In all likelihood, it’s Cormier or bust for the aging WWE star.

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