Daniel Cormier stifled Derrick Lewis in the middle of the second round on Saturday night to retain his heavyweight championship in the UFC 230 main event, becoming the first fighter to defend titles in two weight classes.
Cormier, who also holds the light heavyweight crown, did the quick work of a superimposed Lewis with a naked rear choke. He celebrated with his family in the cage while Lewis was leaving.
Cormier (22-1, 1 no-contest) had a quick knockdown in the first and made a dominant but boring effort to take the round easily. He did not waste much time in the second and left Madison Square Garden with a piece of history.
With a trash talk worthy of WrestleMania's enthusiasm, Cormier summoned former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE star Brock Lesnar for a game in 2019. "Take that belt with you when you come to my house," Cormier said. , who promised to retire when he turns 40 in March.
Cormier won the heavyweight crown when he crushed Stipe Miocic, a bout that ended with theater after he called Lesnar to the cage. Lesnar pushed Cormier into the chest while the fighters exchanged insults to promote a possible fight in the future.
UFC president Dana White said he wanted a Lesnar-Cormier fight to be signed next year, a showcase that would surely be the biggest for the heavyweights. Lesnar is still in the WWE and left the controversial Crown Jewel event of the promotion on Friday in Saudi Arabia as Universal champion. His state is still as murky as ever, he still has to meet the rest of a Usada suspension and was not seen in MSG.
The main event had a history, if not the excitement of previous battles.
Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza connected his right hand to the temple to eliminate Chris Weidman in the third round in a battle of two wrestlers that both needed a victory. Souza and Weidman got involved in a brutal fight that kept both fighters on their feet for most of the first two rounds. Weidman was finally caught and clung to Souza's leg while trying to orient himself. Souza took a couple of hits in good measure until referee Dan Miragliotta fortunately stopped the fight.
Israel Adesanya had an excellent performance with a dominant destruction of veteran Derek Brunson who exceeded his record to 15-0 and launched him as a serious contender in the middleweight division.
Adesanya lost to Brunson at the beginning of the first round and finished it shortly afterwards for the victory in the TKO. Adesanya rested a knee on the face that tripped Brunson and finished him off with a left that had the crowd on its feet. Adesanya, who has won comparisons with a young Anderson Silva, danced in the middle of the octagon on a night where a new star was apparently born.