Saturday night, UFC 230 heads to Madison Square Garden for a big title fight. Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (21-1(1) MMA; 10-1(1) UFC) makes his first title defense when he takes on Derrick Lewis (21-5(1) MMA; 12-3 UFC). The UFC rankings have Lewis as the division’s #2 contender, while champion Cormier currently sits at #1 on the pound for pound list. UFC 230: Cormier vs. Lewis airs live from MSG this Saturday night, November 3. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1 and 6:15 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.
Despite being at MSG, UFC 230 was without a main event for some time. That changed less than a month ago when Lewis took the short notice title fight against the champ. The result is a fascinating stylistic match-up where Cormier pretty clearly should win. But if Lewis fights have taught us anything, it’s that you would be a fool to ever count the Black Beast out.
How do these two stack up?
Cormier: 39 years old | 5’11” | 71” reach
Lewis: 33 years old | 6’3” | 79” reach
What have these two done recently?
Cormier: W - Stipe Miocic (KO) | W - Volkan Oezdemir (TKO) | NC - Jon Jones
Lewis: W - Alexander Volkov (KO) | W - Francis Ngannou (UD) | W - Marcin Tybura (TKO)
How did these two get here?
Barring the occasional Jon Jones oddity, Daniel Cormier has been UFC Light Heavyweight champion since Jones first ran into real troubles in 2015. Though Cormier ruled that division with 3 title defenses (4 if you want to count the No Contest with Jones), he was always sort of in Jones’s shadow. Earlier this year, he broke free of that division, returning to his roots at Heavyweight and taking the title from Stipe Miocic. With that win, Cormier entered the rare air of two division champions, and the even rarer air of two division simultaneous champions. The 39 year old former Olympian has talked openly about his career winding down - it’s possible he has as little as one fight left after this one, so we will see what is next for DC.
Derrick Lewis has become one of the sport’s most popular cult fighters recently, thanks to his combination of massive KO power and unfiltered post-fight interviews. He’s a wild fighter, with some obvious holes in his game, but... that power. Nowhere was this more on display than his last fight where Alexander Volkov controlled roughly 14 minutes and 30 seconds of the fight, only to find himself knocked out in the closing seconds. That fight extended Lewis’s current streak to a very impressive 9-1. Of some concern - there will be less than 30 days between the Volkov fight and this one, and Lewis certainly took a fair amount of damage in that fight.
Why should you care?
Lewis has become one of those must-see fighters because you just never know what’s going to happen with him. Like I said, Cormier is the heavy favorite, but it will be fun to see Lewis give it a go.