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Morning Report: Dana White says Brock Lesnar thought Stipe Miocic would beat Daniel Cormier

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It’s fair to say that Daniel Cormier had a good weekend.

At UFC 226 on Saturday night, Cormier became only the second “Champ Champ” in UFC history, knocking out heavyweight kingpin Stipe Miocic to claim the title of “Baddest Man on the Planet.” Then, just moments after having the belt wrapped around his waist, Cormier was given a gift - a big bag of money in the form of Brock Lesnar coming into the cage and shoving Cormier, setting up a huge money fight for the new champion, a fact UFC President Dana White confirmed afterwards.

“We’re definitely gonna make that fight,” White said in the post-fight press conference. “Lesnar hit me up a couple days ago and said, ‘Sorry I went dark on you but I had some stuff I had to take care of. I’m gonna come to the fight this weekend.’ [I said] ‘Okay, see you Saturday.’

“He came here tonight, he was all fired up, if you couldn’t tell. Right when he got to my seat on the side, he was acting like a lunatic. He was fired up and excited for this fight. His gut told him Stipe because he felt that Cormier put too much weight on for this fight and he thought it was gonna affect him. It didn’t.”

Lesnar is a polarizing figure in MMA. The former UFC heavyweight champion retired from MMA in 2011 and returned to the WWE, but in 2016, Lesnar made a brief detour back to the UFC, winning a unanimous decision over Mark Hunt at UFC 200. That win was overturned though when Lesnar failed a USADA drug test for clomiphene. Now, two years removed form his testing failure, Lesnar is seemingly set up to return to the UFC next year.

“He’s free and clear to do this fight,” White said. “He and Vince [MacMahon, WWE President] have a good relationship and he’s not gonna do anything to piss Vince off. I don’t know the specifics but he’s good.”

So, if everything goes according to plan, Lesnar would be jumping right back into a title fight despite not having officially won a fight since 2010. Some UFC heavyweights are already miffed at that idea but it doesn’t especially concern White, especially given Cormier and Lesnar’s backstory.

“People are gonna criticize us no matter what we do,” White said. “Brock came in, he popped for that thing but he beat Mark Hunt who was one of the top guys. He’s a former world champion, it’s a fight that people want to see, and it’s definitely a fight that Cormier wants. Cormier wants that fight.

“They’ve known each other a long time - the whole wrestling thing - and they talk a lot of s**t to each other about wrestling and who would have won in wrestling and who would have done this and that. There is a thing with those two on who would win and now they’re gonna find out.”

Still, Lesnar won’t be eligible to compete until January at the earliest and Cormier has made it clear he’d like to get one more fight in before closing out his career with Lesnar. Fortunately, Cormier has another belt he can defend without jeopardizing the heavyweight title and the Lesnar fight - and unlike his other double champ, White says he’s willing to let Cormier defend both titles.

“I gotta talk to Cormier - we haven’t talked about any of this stuff yet but we will talk this week - maybe he defends his light heavyweight belt. He’s a guy I would let do that.”


MUST-READ STORIES

UFC 226. Check out everything that went down on Saturday night at UFC 226.

TUF 27. Check out everything that went down on Friday night at the TUF 27 Finale.

GOAT? Dana White calls Daniel Cormier ‘one of the best of all time.’

Smart. Daniel Cormier to fighters calling Brock Lesnar confrontation fake: ‘Stay broke.’

TUF. Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum to coach TUF, fight for UFC middleweight title.

Dreams. Anthony Pettis believes he’s ‘one impressive win’ away from a title shot.


VIDEO STEW

Post-fight show.

Presser highlights.

Some other post-fight highlights.

Asking the important questions.

Cruz’s arm is still jacked.

T-Wood taking shots at Nate.

Jeremy Stephens mad.


LISTEN UP

6th Round. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC 226 and Cormier’s big win.

MMA on the Rocks. Drinking and discussing the historic moments from UFC 226.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Respect.

And friendly disrespect.

Incredible.

Make it happen.

The aftermath.

Imagine designing a “Double Champ” shirt and not having DC hold two belts.

This is why no one has a bad thing to say about Max.

Apparently the UFC has decided not to have women’s featherweights on TUF next season.

Wand gonna soccer kick Rampage it seems.

Incredible.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Corey Anderson (10-4) vs. Glover Teixeira (27-6); UFC Hamburg, July 22.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2015: Cris Cyborg stopped Faith Van Duin to retain her featherweight title at Invicta FC 13. that night also featured Tonya Evinger claiming the vacant bantamweight title with a win over Irene Aldana, and Ayaka Hamazaki taking the atomweight title with a split decision victory over Herica Tiburcio.

2016: Amanda Nunes became the UFC women’s bantamweight champion when she stopped Miesha Tate at UFC 200. Also on the card, Brock Lesnar returned to the UFC after a four year absence, taking a decision from Mark Hunt and Jose Aldo won his rematch with Frankie Edgar to claim the interim featherweight title which was later promoted to the undisputed championship.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I don’t think Cormier is the GOAT but he’s a dark horse in the conversation now. In a world without Cain Velasquez, there is a strong possibility Cormier would have been the heavyweight champ for the last five years. Still though, you can’t judge a fighter on what could have happened - if you do, B.J. Penn is unquestionably the greatest fighter of all time. Cormier has a great resume and is a deserving champion but he still doesn’t stack up with GSP, DJ, Andy, and Aldo (I intentionally left Jon off this list because people get crazy about him and also because DC’s 205 career is arguably better than Jon’s at this point if you’re one of those people who just don’t count the fact that he lost to Jon). Just my two cents.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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