Morning Report: Brendan Schaub: Brock Lesnar will be a tougher fight for Daniel Cormier than Derrick Lewis was
This past weekend at UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden, Daniel Cormier became the first person in UFC history to successfully defend a belt in multiple weight classes when he submitted Derrick Lewis to retain his heavyweight championship. The historic win has MMA fans reevaluating Cormier’s place in the greatest of all time discussion. One of those people is former UFC heavyweight and current MMA analyst Brendan Schaub, who had high praise for Cormier following UFC 230.
“What makes DC great is yes, obviously he’s athletic, he’s gifted with some abilities a lot of other guys aren’t, but Daniel Cormier’s brain, his cerebral game is so much better than everybody else that’s ever fought,” Schaub said recently on his Below the Belt podcast. “He’s way better at the mental aspect of facing adversity, sticking to a game plan with what he has. Is he more athletic than Jon Jones? No. Is he more athletic than Gustafsson? No. His mental game is so much better than these guys. He’s the most intelligent fighter to ever fight in the UFC, I truly believe that.”
Cormier’s two-round dismantling of the second-ranked heavyweight in the world was nearly perfect. Despite still recovering from a hand injury, Cormier accepted the short-notice fight and nearly pitched a shutout, only allowing Lewis to him four times before securing the rear-naked choke. And he did all of that despite almost pulling out from the event with a back injury the day of the event.
Next up for Cormier is a heavyweight superfight with former champion (and current WWE champion) Brock Lesnar. The groundwork was laid for that fight after Cormier won the heavyweight belt from Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 but Lesnar is not eligible to return to competition until January due to USADA requiring fighters to be in the testing pool for six months in order to compete. That lines up nicely with Cormier’s timeline though, who intends to retire by March of next year. Obviously, he’s hoping to go out on top but Schaub says that might be easier said than done.
“[With Lesnar] you’re talking a complete freak,” said Schaub. “Athletically, is he the biggest freak to ever do it? He’s f**king up there, man. We don’t talk about it enough. A guy at his age and with his background - he’s not even a part time mixed martial artist. It’s a hobby for this man and can go in there and compete with the best of the best. Imagine if he dedicated his entire life from when he was young to this sport. And he’s fighting through sickness!
“He’s f**king tough to deal with. No one goes in there and is like, ‘Ah this is a gimme fight.’ Even DC’s not like that. I promise you Brock Lesnar will be a tougher fight for DC than Derrick Lewis was. We don’t give that man enough props.”
After a long career in professional wrestling, Lesnar made his UFC debut in February 2008. Later that year, he knocked out Randy Couture to win the heavyweight title. After beating Frank Mir to defend his title, Lesnar then began suffering from an intestinal issue called diverticulitis that sidelined his career, and ultimately played a role in him walking away from the UFC after he lost his title. Lesnar returned to pro wrestling, but made a surprise one-off reappearance in the UFC for UFC 200, where he defeated Mark Hunt. That win was later overturned to a no-contest after Lesnar failed a USADA drug test. Now Lesnar is set to return to the UFC once again and Schaub hopes that he does for Cormier’s sake, though he doesn’t think everything plays out as Cormier has it scripted in his head.
“I gotta be honest, I love where [Cormier’s] head is at,” said Schaub. “He goes, ‘The only guy I’d cut down to light heavyweight for is Jon Jones’ but what he wants next is he plans to retire in March and he’s praying for a Brock Lesnar fight. He’s hoping Brock answers the bell and I hope he does and DC beats Brock and rides off into the sunset. I really do.
“Do I think that’s how it’s gonna go? If I had to bet on it, no. I bet Jon Jones beats Gustafsson, comes to heavyweight, fights Stipe, beats Stipe, and then the UFC makes DC an offer for the heavyweight championship of the world - after he beats Brock Lesnar - to fight Jon Jones in one of the biggest pay-per-views in the history of the sport.
“I think he does retire in March after he beats Lesnar but eventually, before 2019’s over, he fights Jon Jones for the heavyweight title.”
Like Lesnar, Jones was also recently declared eligible to return to competition. He will be facing Alexander Gustafsson for the soon-to-be-vacant UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 232 this year. And though both men have said they aren’t interested in a trilogy fight between them, it does seem inevitable that Cormier and Jones will square off one last time.
Power. Alexander Gustafsson on Jon Jones’ shove: ‘I wasn’t impressed by his power at all’.
Missed Fists. The best KOs and submissions from this past week in MMA.
The MMA Hour with Israel Adesanya and Alexander Gustafsson.
Check out DC’s fight week.
Eurobash. Discussing UFC 230 and UFC Denver as well as an interview with Paddy Pimblett.
The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC 230 and Floyd vs. Tenshin.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Conor being that guy again.
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Is that a tracksuit or a sauna suit Floyd haha wtf. is it hot in Tokyo or what’s the story here? that climate change is no joke fuck me hahah What in the fuck is going on here? Who’s this little prick next to you ? That’s mad shit. Like something out of rush hour 5 or something. Chris tucker and Jackie fucking Chan back in this bitch. Fucking brilliant. Mad little bastard you are Floyd. Fair fucks to you mate. No lie. Fuck it.
50 Cent did bite his bad joke though.
Also, Conor smoking weed with Mike Tyson.
Of course he won’t, Joe. This is just gonna be a boxing match or else Floyd would die.
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I’m sure many of you combat sports fans have heard that @floydmayweather has signed to face @tenshin.nasukawa in Japan on New Years Eve. I don’t know what kind of “special rules” they’re supposed to be fighting under but I just like the fact that it’s going to happen and that people get to google Tenshin’s name and see some of his fights. He’s a true striking genius. I doubt Floyd is going to agree to any rules that allow Tenshin to kick, but if he does it could be a terrible night for him. This kid is the truth. #Repost @tenshin.nasukawa ・・・ 僕に出来ることは格闘界を盛り上げることだと思います。 自分の人生の中で最大の出来事が現実になりました。 年末RIZINのリングでメイウェザーと戦うことになりました。 皆さんもビックリしていると思いますが僕もそうです。 こんなことは人生で二度とないと思います。 僕にはボクサーには無いタイミングのパンチがあります。 階級も違いますが、今の僕には関係ないです。 世界で誰も成し得なかった初めてメイウェザーをKOします。 僕は自分のこの拳で世界を変えます。 みなさん期待していてください。 #RIZIN14 #cygames #mayweather #tenshinnasukawa #チームで勝つ #平成最後 #大晦日
Your 2018 Fighter of the Year.
T-City with OBJ.
From the nosebleeds to court. pic.twitter.com/aAlcRMf8mt— Brian Ortega (@BrianTcity) November 6, 2018
Eddie living that good life for ONE.
Seems like ONE might be trying to sign free agent Sage.
We shared the cage and a common goal. Regardless of the outcome, there should always be love and respect afterwards for one another. Lots of respect to @bensaundersmma. He's a killer, vet of the sport, and a very cool guy. Thank you for sharing the cage with me. It was an honor! pic.twitter.com/pLlHcqsuHr— Lyman Good (@lymangoodmma) November 5, 2018
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2015: Daniel Strauss won a unanimous decision over Patricio Freire to reclaim the Bellator featherweight championship at Bellator 145. In the co-main event that evening, Will Brooks retained his lightweight title with a unanimous decision win over Marcin Held.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow!