With this win, Cormier defends his heavyweight title for the first time since securing it at UFC 226 in July. "Bring that belt with you when you come to my house", said Cormier, who has vowed to retire when he turns 40 in March.
That feeling led to some confidence from the 39-year-old Cormier, who had a statement from the octagon at Madison Square Garden for a certain fighter who will likely be his next opponent.
Lewis earned the shot at the title after beating Alexander Volkov barely a month ago, but his quick return to the octagon failed to pay off after he tapped out in the second round of the clash in NY.More news: Italy Manufacturing Sector Contracts For First Time Since 2016
Cormier has already warned Lesnar that he will "slap" him if he is to try anything similar after his fight with Lewis. Some fans in the crowd booed Cormier for dominating Lewis with his ground game - perhaps hoping to see Lewis land another stunning knockout blow - but the Black Beast never managed to land any power punches. From his back, Lewis was able to elbow Cormier a bit but it was clear that Cormier was in control.
On paper, Cormier facing Lesnar would be a bigger fight in terms of paycheck, but getting one more shot to avenge his prior loss to Jones represents a massive legacy fight. Lewis immediately jumps back up to his feet but remains pressed against the cage by the champion.
"So it's not like it's not like - in another era we'd go, 'Oh my god Vince is losing so much, ' 2 years ago I would have said that exact same thing". The challenger powered his way to his feet, but the champion stayed sticky and twisted Lewis to the canvas again with another easy single, once again taking up residency in half guard. On Saturday, Lewis will be fighting for a championship only 28 days later against a guy, in Cormier, who holds the belt in both the heavyweight and light-heavyweight divisions.
Lewis fights weeks after he took 129 significant strikes (78 to the head) in his win against Alexander Volkov. In a comical moment from the UFC 230 open workouts yesterday, Lewis was asked what he would be eating before entering the Octagon on Saturday.