Brock Lesnar showed up at UFC 226 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nev. minutes before the main event UFC Heavyweight Title fight. After Daniel Cormier defeated Stipe Miocic in a stunning first round decisive knockout, Cormier looked through the opened Octagon door and shouted out to Lesnar. When he took the mic after the fight, he made some comments about being 39 years old and often finishing in second place, but how elated he was to now achieve his goals and achieve what so few have, which is being a two-division UFC Champion.
Cormier then took the mic from Rogan and addressed Lesnar. “Listen to D.C.,” he said. “There’s a guy that I’veknown for a long time. He’s a wrestler, he’s an All-American, he’s a former UFC Champion, I never thought I would fight him, but Brock Lesnar, get your ass in here.”
Lesnar entered he ring and immediately walked up to Cormier and shoved him hard with both hands. Cormier was all smiles and said, “Push me now, you go to sleep later.” Cormier reached through some security guys and shoved him. He said 2010 is like the stone age, a reference to the last time Lesnar was heavyweight champion.
Rogan held up the mic for Lesnar. Lesnar then cut a pro wrestling style promo: “Let me tell you something, I walk into this building. I watched the heavyweight disasters from the beginning. Nganou is a piece of shit. Stipe is a piece of shit. D.C., I’m coming for you, mother f—er.” Cormier told Lesnar to “get out of my Octagon, I’ve got some pictures to take.” Cormier leaped onto the edge of the Octagon, all smiles, as Lesnar stepped out of the Octagon, followed by Dana White.
UFC hasn’t made the match official, and with a terrible showing by Francis Nganou and Derrick Lewis in the preview fight on the card between the no. 1 and no. 5 ranked contenders, UFC is without any obvious no. 1 contender to fight Cormier next. Lesnar from a business standpoint is obviously the biggest fight UFC can present right now. Without an obvious deserving top contender, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Lesnar marches back into UFC with a ready-made title fight against Cormier.
“I think he’s already counting the Brock Lesnar pay-per-view dollars,” commentator Joe Rogan said afterward as Cormier walked to the back.
“That was one of the most surreal things I’ve ever seen in the Octagon,” Rogan added. “Brock Lesnar comes in with his cowboy boots with the pants tucked in for some reason, and then pushing D.C. and calling Miocic a piece of shit, calling Nganou a piece of shit. The whole thing is insane. But it’s WWE comes to the UFC. But then they’re actually going to fight for real.” Rogan added that Lesnar is “real f—in’ big.”
Some peripheral UFC observers interested in seeing Lesnar fight Cormier may think this is a step down in terms of marquee value compared to Jon Jones or Stipe Miocic. Cormier, however, just decisively beat Stipe, whom Rogan described as the consensus greatest MMA heavyweight ever, and holds two title belts. Cormier is a mega-likable person (although it’s been a battle to win over some fans) who can sell this Lesnar fight in a way few others can. Rogan called Cormier after the fight as “a gem of a human being.” The size difference between 6-4 Lesnar and 5-11 Cormier creates a perception that Lesnar belongs in the Octagon with the two-division champion despite his inactivity in recent years. The fact that Cormier is 39 and Lesnar is 40 also erases another sense that Lesnar would be outmatched, since both are around the same age.
Jon Anik, the UFC play-by-play announcer, said in the post-fight analysis that Cormier is a big pro wrestling fan. “He’s the biggest pro wrestling fan on this roster,” he said. “He’s a staple at WrestleMania. For him to have a moment with Brock Lesnar like that in the Octagon is truly what dreams are made of.” Anik stressed that Lesnar isn’t acting, he’s real. “It’s not a game,” he said. “These two will fight and this exchange was genuine.” Rogan said Lesnar has been involved in actual fights in wrestling matches where he knocked a guy senseless because the guy was going too hard.
Lesnar remains the WWE Universal Champion, but he’s expected to drop that title in his next scheduled WWE match and then shift to focusing on fighting for the UFC Heavyweight Title next year.