This past Saturday night at UFC 230, Daniel Cormier retained his UFC heavyweight championship when he submitted the always dangerous Derrick Lewis in the second round.
The victory marked another historic moment for Cormier, as he became the first fighter in UFC history to defend a belt in multiple weight classes.
His win has also caused mixed martial arts fans to reassess Daniel Cormier’s place in the greatest of all time conversation.
One of those people just so happens to be former UFC heavyweight, now turned MMA analyst, Brendan Schaub who gave Cormier the highest praise upon his UFC 230 victory.
“What makes DC great is yes, obviously he’s athletic, he’s gifted with some abilities a lot of other guys aren’t, but Daniel Cormier’s brain, his cerebral game is so much better than everybody else that’s ever fought,” Schaub said recently on his Below the Belt podcast. “He’s way better at the mental aspect of facing adversity, sticking to a game plan with what he has. Is he more athletic than Jon Jones? No. Is he more athletic than Gustafsson? No. His mental game is so much better than these guys. He’s the most intelligent fighter to ever fight in the UFC, I truly believe that.”
Up next potentially for Cormier, is current WWE universal champion, and former UFC heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar.
The foundation for this fight was laid back at UFC 226 after Cormier initially won the UFC heavyweight championship, when he knocked out the now former champion, Stipe Miocic.
But as it stands right now, Lesnar will not be eligible to compete until January due to USADA requiring fighters to be in the testing pool for six months in order to compete.
That timeline adds up greatly for Cormier, who says he plans on retiring from MMA by March of next year.
Of course Cormier would love to go out on top, but Schaub believes that will be easier said than done.
“[With Lesnar] you’re talking a complete freak,” said Schaub. “Athletically, is he the biggest freak to ever do it? He’s f**king up there, man. We don’t talk about it enough. A guy at his age and with his background – he’s not even a part time mixed martial artist. It’s a hobby for this man and can go in there and compete with the best of the best. Imagine if he dedicated his entire life from when he was young to this sport. And he’s fighting through sickness!
“He’s f**king tough to deal with. No one goes in there and is like, ‘Ah this is a gimme fight.’ Even DC’s not like that. I promise you Brock Lesnar will be a tougher fight for DC than Derrick Lewis was. We don’t give that man enough props.”
Lesnar has not fought in the UFC since UFC 200, where he made a stunning one off return to the company, and defeated UFC fan favorite Mark Hunt.
Shortly thereafter, the victory was overruled a no-contest after Lesnar had failed a USADA drug test.
Now Lesnar is scheduled to make another return to the UFC, which Schaub hopes that he does for Daniel Cormier’s sake, even though he does not believe everything will turn out for Cormier as he has predicted in his mind.
“I gotta be honest, I love where [Cormier’s] head is at,” said Schaub. “He goes, ‘The only guy I’d cut down to light heavyweight for is Jon Jones’ but what he wants next is he plans to retire in March and he’s praying for a Brock Lesnar fight. He’s hoping Brock answers the bell and I hope he does and DC beats Brock and rides off into the sunset. I really do.
“Do I think that’s how it’s gonna go? If I had to bet on it, no. I bet Jon Jones beats Gustafsson, comes to heavyweight, fights Stipe, beats Stipe, and then the UFC makes DC an offer for the heavyweight championship of the world – after he beats Brock Lesnar – to fight Jon Jones in one of the biggest pay-per-views in the history of the sport.
“I think he does retire in March after he beats Lesnar but eventually, before 2019’s over, he fights Jon Jones for the heavyweight title.”