Cormier Submits Lewis To Retain Heavyweight Title At UFC 230

It was another night in the office for UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier as he scored another big win in quick fashion.

Instead of knocking out Stipe Miocic in the first round, Cormier outwrestled Derrick Lewis to eventually lock in a rear naked choke in the main event of UFC 230 and retain his heavyweight crown. As a result, Lewis becomes the first double champion in UFC history to successfully make a title defense.

Cormier had no trouble scoring multiple takedowns throughout the fight and suffered little damage against the heavy-handed Lewis. Cormier took a couple of kicks to the body and to the leg, but none of those shots seriously hurt Cormier. Once Cormier managed to get an ankle pick two minutes into the second round, Cormier was able to lock in the submission and Lewis had no choice but to submit.

After the fight, Cormier confidently called out former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who is currently WWE’s Universal Champion. The two have been building up to a fight for 2019 after Lesnar’s drug suspension ends in a couple of months.

“Two belts for each shoulder! I get to look at this again,” Cormier said. “It’s history and Daniel Cormier is one of the best of all-time. What surprised me was him hitting me when I was coming in for that last shot. My leg is hurting from checking his kicks. Everything he hit me with had power behind it. I love Derrick Lewis and his story. I am honored to share the Octagon with him. I’ve been doing this for 9 years and have fought at championship level for 8 so nothing is a surprise to me. Derrick is good but he’s just not that level yet. Brock Lesnar, bring that WWE belt over here when you come… I feel like taking that one too. Let’s go, Brock!”

While the main event was a one-sided affair, the co-main event bout between Chris Weidman and Jacare Souza was an all-out brawl that would go on to win Fight of the Night honors. Both middleweight contenders trade punches and strikes through the majority of three rounds with only very small windows of inactivity.

After Weidman seemed to outland Souza in the first two rounds, even going as far as breaking Souza’s nose, the Brazilian star managed to pick up the victory midway through the third round. Souza dropped Weidman with an overhand right hand, which got the referee to stop the fight seconds later.

Jared Cannonier finally returned to his winning ways with a second-round stoppage win over David Branch. Less than a minute into the second round, Cannonier landed an overhand right to drop Branch and close out his night with a win. It was Cannonier’s first win since July 2017, stopping a two-fight losing streak and improving his overall MMA record to 11-4.

Karl Roberson got perhaps the most dominant performance out of all the winners from the main card. Roberson defeated Jack Marshman by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27). It’s been a unique journey for Roberson, who started out in the UFC on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, landing a UFC deal. Since then, Roberson has won two of his three official fights within the promotion. 

The main card opened up with a huge first-round victory for rising star Israel Adesanya. Adesanya landed a knee on Derek Brunson’s face late in the first round, which started a flurry of strikes that resulted in a stoppage with just nine seconds remaining.

UFC 230 Main Card

Daniel Cormier defeated Derrick Lewis by submission (rear naked choke), round 2, 2:14 to retain the UFC Heavyweight Championship

Jacare Souza defeated Chris Weidman by TKO, round 3, 2:46

Jared Cannonier defeated David Branch by TKO, round 2, 0:39

Karl Roberson defeated Jack Marshman by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Israel Adesanya defeated Derek Brunson by TKO, round 1, 4:51

UFC 230 Prelims

Jordan Rinaldi defeated Jason Knight by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Sijara Eubanks defeated Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 

Sheymon Moraes defeated Jorge Arce by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-26)

Lyman Good defeated Ben Saunders by KO, round 1, 1:32

UFC 230 Early Prelims 

Matt Frevola and Lando Vannata fight to a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)

Shane Burgos defeated Kurt Holobaugh by submission (Armbar), round 1, 2:11

Marcos Rogerio De Lima defeated Adam Wieczorek by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Daniel Cormier (c) vs. Derrick Lewis: UFC Heavyweight Championship

Round 1: Lewis starts with a kick to the body and then a leg kick. Cormier answers with a leg kick of his own and now Cormier goes forward with the two left hands. Cormier immediately takes down Lewis a minute into the round. Cormier lands a couple of short right hands on the ground, followed by a couple of right elbows. Lewis gets back up, but not before eating a couple of right-hand punches once more. Cormier now scores a single-leg takedown on Lewis with little effort.

Round 2: Lewis manages to barely land a left hand on Cormier and then throws a couple of kicks to the body. Lewis is more aggressive with his striking, throwing a couple of more punches. Cormier gets another single-leg takedown, but Lewis gets back up quickly. Lewis goes down again, gets up once more, but Cormier gets an ankle pick to trip him up again. Cormier gets a rear naked choke on Lewis and Lewis taps. Cormier is still the UFC heavyweight champion.

Official Result: Daniel Cormier defeated Derrick Lewis by submission (rear naked choke), round 2, 2:14 to retain the UFC Heavyweight Championship

Chris Weidman vs. Jacare Souza

Round 1: Both men throw short, simple punches to start the fight. Weidman catches Souza with a big overhand right to the side of his head. Souza scores a clinch, but Weidman escapes. Weidman keeps landing punches, but Souza strikes back by landing a big leg kick to Weidman’s liver.

Round 2: Weidman lands a short leg kick and then keeps throwing short punches. The two men clinch and Weidman lands a quick, counter left hook to Souza’s jaw. Souza then becomes the aggressor and starts landing strikes of his own. Weidman hurts Souza with a left hand, but Souza manages to recover. The rest of the round remains a stand-up striking battle while the last 50 seconds or so has both fighters clinched in the cage trading blows.

Round 3: Souza recovers from the punishment received in the last two rounds and lands a few punches that push Weidman back. Both Weidman and Souza are still throwing punches with neither man looking for a takedown. Souza lands a big right hand and drops Weidman. The referee stops the fight after Souza asked him to stop it after Weidman looked dazed and confused.

Official Result: Jacare Souza defeated Chris Weidman by TKO, round 3, 2:46

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