Future of Heavyweight Division To Be Decided at UFC 230
After a chaotic lead up that featured the top of the card changing nearly five times, the UFC brings UFC 230 to Madison Square Garden on November 3rd.
Less than a month after his walk-off knockout and viral post-fight interview, Derrick Lewis is in his first Pay-Per-View main event and earning his first UFC heavyweight title shot all in one moment. While Lewis claimed in his UFC 229 post-fight interview that he didn’t have the cardio to go five rounds, Lewis stepped up when called upon to face Daniel Cormier for his heavyweight title.
Cormier was last seen at UFC 226, where he would pull off a stunning first round knockout of Stipe Miocic and become heavyweight champion on top of his light heavyweight title.
Following the win against Miocic, many assumed that Cormier would rest and await the end of Brock Lesnar’s USADA suspension, especially with a broken hand cause by knocking out the former champion, but Cormier has taken the risk to face the Houston native Lewis.
A main event made in haste for a card that saw Nate Diaz, Dustin Poirier, and Luke Rockhold pulled from the card due to an injury or an injury to their opponent, may make for one of the most entertaining fights in quite some time as the UFC continues to look for new stars in the aftermath of Ronda Rousey leaving to the UFC and Conor McGregor’s return from a two-year hiatus from the Octagon.
Cormier has turned from Jon Jones unlikable foe into a beloved fighter with an entertaining style and adaptability in the Octagon or on the microphone. A win leads him directly into a 2019 showdown with Lesnar, which will most likely be Cormier’s retirement fight after declaring he will retire on his 40th birthday in mid-2019.
For Lewis, this is a star-making role on Saturday night. Since knocking out Alexander Volkov at UFC 229, the man who took his shorts off to throw in the crowd and then blamed his “b***s being hot,” has yielded press and sponsor attention for just being Derrick Lewis. Following the announcement of their fight, Lewis put together a hype trailer that pointed to Cormier “disrespecting” Popeyes Chicken in a video made a few years ago. That comment and video would lead to Lewis getting sponsored by the fast food chain and receiving free chicken for life.
No matter the outcome of UFC 230, with the return of Jon Jones at UFC 232, Brock Lesnar returning in the new year, as well as a possible Cain Velasquez comeback, and an angry Miocic who has been demanding a shot at the title he defended more than any other man, the heavyweight division may become the most interesting division in the UFC.