UFC 230: Daniel Cormier Responds to Talk He’s Not Taking Derrick Lewis Seriously

Recently a narrative has been taking shape that Daniel Cormier could be looking past Derrick Lewis, but the UFC’s heavyweight champ insists that isn’t the case.

Recently the UFC announced that Lewis had been tapped for a title shot, November 3rd at UFC 230, following his comeback win over Alexander Volkov at UFC 229, earlier this month. The announcement did take more than a few people by surprise. After all, Cormier is supposed to fight Brock Lesnar in early 2019, and the expectation was we wouldn’t see “DC” fight before then, and risk the massive bout. Further, Cormier has reported he’s dealing with an injured hand. So, that, coupled with the Lesnar fight, prompted talk that maybe “DC” isn’t taking Lewis as a serious threat. The latter has even fielded questions about this.

Well, while speaking to the media recently in Vegas, the champ-champ shot down the idea he’s looking past Lewis (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“I didn’t (watch his interview), I just got some tweets saying that he thought he can get me because I’m not taking him serious,” Cormier said. “That’s one mistake we don’t make at the American Kickboxing Academy. Everybody is worthy. And where’s the idea that this guy doesn’t deserve a title shot? This guy’s ranked No. 2 in the world. He just beat the No. 1 and 2-ranked guys in his last two fights within, what? Three months? He’s won nine of his last 10 fights.”

“This guy deserves to be in this position. But, sometimes success leads to an obstacle that may be a little too big to conquer. And I think this is the one that he’s going to struggle with.”

“…When I watch Derrick fight I know he’s got a ton of heart,” Cormier added. “But that only takes you so far. You need so much more and I feel like I have that much more.”

So, will Cormier’s comments shut down this narrative completely? Probably not. After all, at the end of the day, he has agreed to fight Lewis ahead of a planned bout with Lesnar, and with a hand that’s less than 100%. It could just be a case that Cormier’s decided fighting Lewis is yes, a risk, but a calculated one. Cormier has heavy hands, a top tier wrestling game, and pretty impressive cardio.

If Cormier ends up losing to Lewis, however, or incurs an injury that doesn’t allow him to fight before his retirement date in March, then you know we’re going to be revisiting this decision.

UFC 230 will be hosted by Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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