At UFC 226, Light Heavyweight Champion (and Seth Rollins SuperFan) Daniel Cormier upset Heavyweight Champ Stipe Miocic to become the 2nd ever person to hold two UFC belts at once. Immediately after the win, Cormier called out WWE Universial Champion and former UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
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Cormier wasn’t mincing words:
“There’s a guy I’ve known for a long time,” Cormier said. “He’s a wrestler. He’s an All-American. He’s a former UFC champion. I never thought I would fight him — but Brock Lesnar, get you’re a– in here!”
Lesnar, who just happened to be ringside, entered the ring and began shoving match with the newly crowned champ.
Cormier then called Lesnar old and told Lesnar “push me now; you’ll go to sleep later.” The crowd went wild. Lesnar then got on the mic and trashed the entire UFC Heavyweight division before saying he was coming for Cormier.
The entire thing radiated pro-wrestling. A few MMA purists are upset about it, but as a fan of both pro-wrestling and MMA, I love it. I’ve noted in the past that the two competitions are linked. That’s a good thing. Each lends elements to the other. UFC picking up the showmanship and theatrics of WWE is how you get more people bought into a fight.
You could tell DC loved it too. He could barely contain his smile after Lesnar pushed him.
But Will The Fight Happen?
It wasn’t all talk. Multiple sources are confirming that Brock is back into the USADA testing pool. This means he is serving the remainder of his six-month suspension for testing positive for PEDs after his UFC return against Mark Hunt.
The Lesnar-Cormier fight is rumored to go down in November at Madison Square Garden at UFC 230.
July 10 Update: According to USADA, with Lesnar re-entering the testing pool, the earliest he can return to UFC action is January 8th, 2019. That would put to bed any speculation that he is fighting Cormier in November.
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More likely, Cormier will have one more fight between now and Lesnar’s reinstatement. The speculation seems to be that Cormier will defend his Light Heavyweight (205 lbs) title at UFC 230. That would leave him ready to fight Lesnar or whoever for the Heavyweight title around March of next year. This opens up more possibilities. Lesnar could hold the title all the way until March 2019. Meaning Brock could drop it at Royal Rumble or Fastlane before WrestleMania.
However, every single prediction about Brock Lesnar for the past six months has been wrong. He was supposed to lose the title at WrestleMania and again at The Greatest Royal Rumble. It would seem that Lesnar loses the title at SummerSlam. But to who? While not official, it looks the Lashley-Reigns match at Extreme Rules will serve as a Number 1 Contender’s match. If that’s the case, then my money is on Lashley, since rumors of a Brock-Lashley feud have been going since before WrestleMania.
We Don’t Know
But then again, Lesnar could hold onto the title. What if he keeps the Universial Title and UFC Heavyweight title at the same time? Not since Dan Severn holding the NWA and UFC Superfight titles has there been a cross-champion in wrestling and MMA at such a high level.
The word is that Vince wants to hold onto Brock at all costs, believing he is a significant draw for the company. A UFC title match could put Lesnar out of competition for months. Will Vince allow Brock to hold the title while on the shelf? Brock’s long absences don’t bother WWE. To them, he is an attraction that should only appear on special occasions. Brock tires hardcore fans. But casual fans love him.
My not-so-bold prediction: Lesnar loses in a funny way at SummerSlam. He keeps his luster and goes off to MMA for a year.
Lots of questions, few answers. Stay tuned for the latest.