Dana defends leapfrogging Brock to a title shot

Monday, July 09, 2018

Daniel Cormier had a really good night at UFC 226. He became the champ champ, putting DC in the G.O.A.T. discussion, and then a giant pool of money came shambling into the Octagon in the form of a fuming Brock Lesnar.

At the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White offered his perspective.

“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,'" explained White, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting.

“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.”

“He’s free and clear [from the WWE] to do this fight. He and Vince [MacMahon, WWE owner] 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.”

There were ambiguous reactions to the fight announcement. Everyone was happy DC got a money fight. Many want to watch the fight, if only to watch Lesnar get beat down. But many wondered how you lose back to back fights in 2010-2011, have one fight since that was changed to NC over a doping violation, and then get a title shot.

“People are gonna criticize us no matter what we do,” said White. “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*** 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.”

Lesnar withdrew from the USADA testing pool but has now reentered it. He will be eligible to fight in January, as long as he doesn't fail again. Cormier said he wants to fight in November and March and then retire. That would mean a defense of the 205 belt in November and then giant pool of money fight and then be done as one of the greatest of all time.