Can Daniel Cormier Become the GOAT By Beating Brock Lesnar?

July 12, 2018


Can Daniel Cormier Become the GOAT By Beating Brock Lesnar?

Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic were supposed to tangle in Las Vegas in what was supposed to be a superfight – one for the ages. At UFC 226, the two did square off for the UFC heavyweight title, but the end result was anything but the climactic affair that so many fans of the sport had expected. Instead, Daniel Cormier took another step toward becoming the greatest fighter ever, taking out Miocic in the first round. With a win over Brock Lesnar, it’s possible that Cormier would finally top the list of MMA greats.

What was so interesting about the Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic fight was that it was supposed to be Cormier’s biggest challenge. Not counting the fights against Jon Jones, who turned out to have been boosting his performance illegally around at least his second bout with Cormier, Miocic was by far the best opponent Cormier had faced. Not necessarily because of the skill of Miocic, but because of his size and weight. Given that Cormier was a light heavyweight champion and that the heavyweight division is a different animal entirely, some thought that he wouldn’t be able to handle the physicality of a match with Miocic. Those people were wrong.

Cormier met Miocic with brutality and physicality to make up for his lack of reach or perceived physicality. And while Miocic does not boast an Adonis-like figure himself, seeing Cormier use what was called by many a “dad bod” to absorb punishment in close so he could deliver a devastating shot to Miocic’s face to send him to the mat once and for all was an incredible sight.

When the fight was over after less than one full round, and Cormier had his arm raised as a rare double champion, it was hard to believe that he was the underdog in the fight. Given that he was already a champion, this made him a great value in terms of utilizing a mixed martial arts free bet via Oddschecker from a company like Bet365 or Paddy Power to back him at a profitable price.

And the incredible sights didn’t stop when the fight ended. In Cormier’s post-fight interview, he called out former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar. Cormier made his intentions clear that he was looking to line up a fight with Lesnar as the first defence of his newly earned UFC heavyweight belt.

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Lesnar responded the way that you would expect him to if you have been watching him in UFC. If you are accustomed to watching him in WWE, you would be surprised that he was speaking for himself rather than hopping around silently while Paul Heyman spoke on his behalf. But Lesnar did not mince words and made it very clear that he is still head and shoulders above the rest of the heavyweight division as far as he is concerned.

In a profanity-laced rant that resembled a pro-wrestling promo more than it did an interview as a part of a legitimate sporting enterprise, Lesnar called out Francis Ngannou and Miocic before setting his sights on Cormier. Lesnar’s move back to the top of the UFC card is a surprising one given his inconsistent status with the organization, but the potential matchup with Cormier would certainly drive interest from both casual and devoted fans of mixed martial arts.

Where things begin to get interesting is when you start to think about when this fight might take place. Brock Lesnar was just recently confirmed to be back in the USADA testing pool after spending some time out of it. In many cases, that would not matter, as athletes who are coming back into the testing pool are often given exceptions to get back into the Octagon without having to spend the normal amount of time in that pool. Lesnar, though, is not eligible for such exemptions.

The reason that Lesnar cannot take advantage of any such USADA testing pool exemptions is the fact that he was suspended from competition for six months after failing a drug test the last time he was in the pool. Athletes who fail a test do have to be in the testing pool for six months after that failed test, and Lesnar’s inactivity pushed him out of the pool. Therefore, Lesnar has to start his six-month ban from when he reentered the pool, which appears to have just happened recently according to both UFC and USADA.

Based on his reentry in early July of 2018, the six month waiting period would put Lesnar on track to get back into the Octagon in January of 2019 at the earliest. With the schedule of upcoming UFC shows not yet revealed into January of 2019, where he would end up reappearing in the Octagon would be anyone’s guess, as would the exact date where he and Cormier would square off, in the event that the fight was to go down as planned.

Cormier, as a result of that uncertainty, may be defending one of his titles in between now and a potential Lesnar bout. He has been rumored to be lining up a fight with Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight title, and more rumors will be sure to fly around as Cormier is forced to wait out Lesnar’s suspension before the two can meet in one of the biggest fights in recent UFC history.

With the magnitude of this fight comes some big-time magnitude for the legacies of these fighters. On Lesnar’s side of the equation, this is a chance to legitimize himself as one of the truly great heavyweights in UFC history. He would then have title reigns in the heavyweight division that were nearly a decade apart, and will have defeated one of the greatest all-time to earn this one if he is able to defeat Cormier in the future.

For Cormier, though, there is so much more on the line than just his heavyweight championship belt. Cormier is fighting the true legends and champions of the world of sports in the way that he is trying to overtake some of those great legends on the list of all-time great athletes. A win over Brock Lesnar by itself would not accomplish that, but a win over Lesnar combined with his other body of work could make for a compelling discussion.

What makes Cormier such an interesting topic of discussion when the all-time great fighters are brought up is that he has constantly pushes himself to the limit. In fighting Jon Jones twice, then moving to the heavyweight division, he has proven that he is not scared of any challenge against any fighter. When it comes to ranking the all-time greats in MMA, that willingness to fight anyone even if it may end in a loss is a huge hurdle to overcome.

And if Cormier can overcome the actual hurdle of beating Brock Lesnar, he will ascend into the pantheon of all-time greats as the greatest of all-time. To defend your heavyweight title against one of the biggest names ever to fight in the heavyweight division would be an incredible accomplishment. To do so while simultaneously holding another championship would be even better. And to do all of that in just his second fight as a heavyweight would truly make it the greatest feat in MMA history.

Of course, these plans mean nothing unless Cormier can get the job done and defend his title in or around January of 2019 or later against Lesnar. The fight needs to actually happen, while the fighter needs to rise to the challenge. Given his propensity for rising to any challenge, Daniel Cormier is as good a choice as any to beat Lesnar and to join the pantheon of legendary UFC fighters. If he can avoid the ground and pound game by Lesnar, there is no reason why he couldn’t extend his dual title reign.



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