Morning Report: Brendan Schaub: Brock Lesnar will be a tougher fight for Daniel Cormier than Derrick Lewis was

This past weekend at UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden, Daniel Cormier became the first person in UFC history to successfully defend a belt in multiple weight classes when he submitted Derrick Lewis to retain his heavyweight championship. The historic win has MMA fans reevaluating Cormier’s place in the greatest of all time discussion. One of those people is former UFC heavyweight and current MMA analyst Brendan Schaub, who had high praise for Cormier following UFC 230.

“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.”

Cormier’s two-round dismantling of the second-ranked heavyweight in the world was nearly perfect. Despite still recovering from a hand injury, Cormier accepted the short-notice fight and nearly pitched a shutout, only allowing Lewis to him four times before securing the rear-naked choke. And he did all of that despite almost pulling out from the event with a back injury the day of the event.

Next up for Cormier is a heavyweight superfight with former champion (and current WWE champion) Brock Lesnar. The groundwork was laid for that fight after Cormier won the heavyweight belt from Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 but Lesnar is not eligible to return to competition until January due to USADA requiring fighters to be in the testing pool for six months in order to compete. That lines up nicely with Cormier’s timeline though, who intends to retire by March of next year. Obviously, he’s hoping to go out on top but Schaub says that might 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.”

After a long career in professional wrestling, Lesnar made his UFC debut in February 2008. Later that year, he knocked out Randy Couture to win the heavyweight title. After beating Frank Mir to defend his title, Lesnar then began suffering from an intestinal issue called diverticulitis that sidelined his career, and ultimately played a role in him walking away from the UFC after he lost his title. Lesnar returned to pro wrestling, but made a surprise one-off reappearance in the UFC for UFC 200, where he defeated Mark Hunt. That win was later overturned to a no-contest after Lesnar failed a USADA drug test. Now Lesnar is set to return to the UFC once again and Schaub hopes that he does for Cormier’s sake, though he doesn’t think everything plays out as Cormier has it scripted in his head.

“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.”

Like Lesnar, Jones was also recently declared eligible to return to competition. He will be facing Alexander Gustafsson for the soon-to-be-vacant UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 232 this year. And though both men have said they aren’t interested in a trilogy fight between them, it does seem inevitable that Cormier and Jones will square off one last time.


MUST-READ STORIES

Jeez. Conor McGregor taunts ‘mad little bastard’ Floyd Mayweather in Instagram post.

F*cked. Israel Adesanya says Derek Brunson ‘was f*cked from the get-go’ at UFC 230.

Power. Alexander Gustafsson on Jon Jones’ shove: ‘I wasn’t impressed by his power at all’.

Pressure. Cris Cyborg on her game plan for Amanda Nunes: ‘I’m the pressure’.

Missed Fists. The best KOs and submissions from this past week in MMA.


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour with Israel Adesanya and Alexander Gustafsson.

Fight Motion.

Free Fight.

Check out DC’s fight week.

Cartoon Izzy.


LISTEN UP

Eurobash. Discussing UFC 230 and UFC Denver as well as an interview with Paddy Pimblett.

The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC 230 and Floyd vs. Tenshin.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Conor being that guy again.

50 Cent did bite his bad joke though.

Also, Conor smoking weed with Mike Tyson.

View this post on Instagram

Some giggle off that Cherry Pick Kush

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Of course he won’t, Joe. This is just gonna be a boxing match or else Floyd would die.

Your 2018 Fighter of the Year.

T-City with OBJ.

Eddie living that good life for ONE.

Seems like ONE might be trying to sign free agent Sage.

View this post on Instagram

On my way to Singapore

A post shared by Super Sage Northcutt (@supersagenorthcutt) on

Respect.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Rick Glenn (21-5-1) vs. Arnold Allen (13-1); The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale, Nov. 30.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2013: Tim Kennedy knocked out Rafael Natal at UFC Fight for the Troops 3.

2015: Daniel Strauss won a unanimous decision over Patricio Freire to reclaim the Bellator featherweight championship at Bellator 145. In the co-main event that evening, Will Brooks retained his lightweight title with a unanimous decision win over Marcin Held.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow!


EXIT POLL


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