Cormier chokes out Lewis; de­fends sec­ond ti­tle at UFC 230

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

THE “DC” ini­tials that flashed on the Madi­son Square Gar­den mar­quee have a deeper mean­ing for Daniel Cormier. Dual Champ. Cormier draped him­self in two ti­tle belts, his­tory-mak­ing bling that ce­mented the 39-year-old as one of the greats in the mixed mar­tial arts game.

“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.”

He backed up his boast with author­ity in New York.

Cormier choked out Der­rick Lewis in the mid­dle of the sec­ond round to re­tain his heavy­weight cham­pi­onship in the main event of UFC 230, be­com­ing the first fighter to de­fend ti­tles in two weight classes.

Cormier, who also holds the light heavy­weight crown, made quick work of an over­matched Lewis with a rear naked choke. He cel­e­brated with his fam­ily in the cage as Lewis trudged out, still in his trunks un­like the last fight that made him a quick star.

Cormier (22-1, 1 no-con­test) had a quick take­down in the first and turned in a dom­i­nant yet dull ef­fort to eas­ily take the round. He didn’t waste much time in the sec­ond and left MSG with a lit­tle slice of his­tory. He was still ready to rum­ble. With trash talk wor­thy of WrestleMa­nia hype, Cormier called out for­mer UFC heavy­weight cham­pion and cur­rent WWE star Brock Les­nar for a match in 2019.

“Bring that belt with you when you come to my house,” said Cormier, who has vowed to re­tire at age 40.

Cormier won the heavy­weight crown when he flat­tened Stipe Mio­cic, a bout that ended with the­atrics af­ter he called Les­nar into the cage. Les­nar shoved Cormier in the chest while the fighters traded in­sults to hype a po­ten­tial fu­ture bout.

UFC Pres­i­dent Dana White has said he wanted a Les­nar-Cormier bout signed for next year, a show­case that would surely be the big­gest ever for heavy­weights. Les­nar is still with WWE and left the pro­mo­tion’s con­tro­ver­sial Crown Jewel event on Fri­day in Saudi Ara­bia as the Uni­ver­sal cham­pion. His sta­tus re­mains as murky as ever — he still has to serve out the re­main­der of a USADA sus­pen­sion — and was not spot­ted at MSG.

Photo: AP

Cormier holds his belts af­ter de­feat­ing Der­rick Lewis in sec­ond round.

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