When light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier won the heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic, the post-fight celebration was soured as soon as the newly crowned champ-champ called Brock Lesnar into the Octagon.
Lesnar shoved the champ-champ then cut a WWE-esque promo, getting a lot of eyes on the product if only for a fleeting moment. The UFC then announced plans to have Lesnar face off against Cormier for the heavyweight title in early 2019.
That’s the same Lesnar who went 5-3 in his MMA career before retiring, then returning for a one-off bout at UFC 200 where he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs afterwards, with that win being turned into a no-contest. But it seems talks have died down about the fight.
The idea was to give Cormier one giant payday before he rides off into the sunset – he’s made his intentions to retire by age 40 clear for a while now. But with new contenders swirling around in the seemingly revived division, there are questions about whether Cormier will face Lesnar or not.
Enter Lesnar’s manager – or, his pretend manager. In the world of WWE, where Lesnar has been spending most of his time in recent years, Paul Heyman is known as his “advocate.” Heyman may not have a legitimate managerial role in Lesnar’s affairs, but the two have been friends for a long time. And in a recent interview, Heyman said the fight is still on.
“As long as Daniel Cormier has the balls to step into the Octagon and put his title up against Brock Lesnar, and UFC comes up with the money for Brock Lesnar, I don’t see anything that would keep Brock Lesnar from taking the fight,” Heyman said.
Lesnar recently regained the WWE’s Universal Championship, which Cormier playfully suggested he wanted to hold as well. This was after his recent victory over Derrick Lewis, where Cormier took the fight on short notice and still soundly dominated the #2 ranked heavyweight in the world.
But another man is gunning for a title shot, and he seems to be the backup plan if the Lesnar bout does fall through. Stipe Miocic broke the record for title defenses in the heavyweight division but was not gifted an immediate rematch. Now he’s been campaigning for one, promising he’ll finish Cormier this time.
Cormier caught Miocic with a hook coming out of the clinch in their first fight, continuing his undefeated record in the heavyweight division. The main reason this fight could take place is because there are concerns Lesnar may not make it through the six-month USADA drug testing period he is contractually obligated to complete.
He was arguably rushed to his UFC 200 bout against Mark Hunt without completing these duties. This led to Hunt suing the promotion for endangering his safety in putting him against a chemically enhanced athlete, an ordeal the UFC doesn’t want to face again.
The only question is if Cormier does win, does he really get the Universal Title, too? Champ-champ-champ has a nice ring to it.