What happens when two "good guys" go to battle?
Regardless of the outcome, UFC 230's main event guaranteed both its participants an extended shelf life within the sport, if they see fit. By sitting on two divisional crowns simultaneously, Daniel Cormier had begun building his case fas the "best to ever do it."
His opponent Derrick Lewis was beset with a different set of circumstances leading up to their fight. Lewis' appeal to "casuals" stems from the fact he makes no bones about his imperfections. On appearance alone, Lewis has a regular build, a bit of a paunch, and yet so does his opponent. So win or lose, his stock was on the rise, the endearing post-fight interviews becoming just as marketable as his punching power.
But inevitably it was Daniel Cormier, the heavy favorite, that pulled away with the dub, forcing Lewis to submit early in the 2nd round. His easy work of Derrick Lewis almost never happened at all. According to Cormier himself, he came close pulling out of the UFC 230 fight card due to a back injury sustained during training.
"At around 12, 1 o’clock it was to the point where I was kind of cinched over and leaning and Bob Cook said, 'If you don’t get better then we’re going to have to make a decision on whether or not you’re going to fight,'" Daniel Cormier stated post-fight.
This is how the rest of the MMA community reacted to Daniel Cormier's performance against Derrick Lewis (below). It stands to reason that Cormier is pretty much universally respected by his peers, save for Jon Jones, who is likely a couple of fights away from knocking at the door. But Cormier isn't exactly short of options. Could a fight with Brock Lesnar be in the cards?