UFC 230: Cormier reigns supreme at Madison Square Garden

The champ comfortably handled Derrick Lewis's challenge at UFC 230, writes Simon Head. Next up, a super bout with Brock Lesnar?

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UFC heavyweight champion of the world Daniel Cormier retained his title with ease in New York on Saturday night.

Cormier submitted Derrick Lewis with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their main event title fight at UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden.

DC’s win now sets things up for Cormier to bow out on a high, with a super fight against WWE superstar and former UFC champ Brock Lesnar likely to be his final bout before retirement on his 40th birthday on March 20 next year.

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UFC 235 is scheduled for March 2, offering the perfect potential event for Cormier’s final fight in the octagon.

“That could be the retirement fight for old DC,” he said during the post-fight press conference.

“Talk about having an opportunity to go out on an all-time high. Headlining in Vegas against Brock Lesnar before I turn 40, two weeks before my birthday, [to] have my biggest fight. Yeah. It’s crazy.

“March 2, 2019 could be the last time you guys see me fight inside the octagon.”

JACARE STUNS WEIDMAN

It looked like former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman was cruising to a decision victory over former Strikeforce champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, but a huge right hand from the Brazilian in the closing stages of the contest changed everything.

Weidman had looked in outstanding form during the bout, outstriking and outpacing the Brazilian, but a massive right from “Jacare” connected flush with Weidman’s forehead, sending him crashing to the canvas as Souza scored a huge victory.

It means New York native Weidman has been knocked out on both of his fights at Madison Square Garden, with his other appearance at the iconic arena resulting in a flying-knee KO by Yoel Romero at UFC 205.

A STAR IS BORN

Hardcore fans may already have had an inkling that Kiwi kickboxing ace Israel Adesanya was destined for stardom in the UFC.

But “The Last Stylebender’s” incredible performance at UFC 230 announced himself to the world, as he dismantled seasoned contender Derek Brunson via stunning first-round knockout in the opening bout of the main card in New York.

Adesanya is now targeting the upcoming middleweight title fight between Australian world champion Robert Whittaker and American challenger Kelvin Gastelum, and says he wants to be a backup for that bout in case someone drops out.

But with the form he is showing, it surely won’t be long before he’s in a title fight in his own right.

UFC 230: MAIN CARD RESULTS

Daniel Cormier def Derrick Lewis via submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza def Chris Weidman via TKO (punches), Round 3
Jared Cannonier def David Branch via TKO (punches), Round 2
Karl Roberson def Jack Marshman via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Israel Adesanya def Derek Brunson via TKO (punches), Round 1

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