Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis are all set to headline the yearly UFC card at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov.3. It’s an important event for UFC, and a tradition started two years ago when Conor McGregor headlined the first ever UFC card in New York after it was legal in the state.
Cormier is coming off of a knockout win over Stipe Miocic in July to win the UFC Heavyweight title. He became the second fighter to win a world title in two weight classes. Initially, UFC 230 was supposed to be headlined by Sijara Eubanks vs Valentina Shevchenko, but it had to be moved down after Dustin Poirier pulled out of his fight against Nate Diaz. Both Cormier and Lewis agreed to take the fight on a few weeks notice.
Meanwhile, Derrick Lewis is coming off of an impressive knockout win over Alexander Volkov at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, He was down on the scorecards, but managed to sleep Volkov with few seconds remaining in the final round.
However, according to Lewis, UFC Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is scared to fight his old rival, Jon Jones, right now and that is why he picked Lewis as his first title defense as a heavyweight. Jon Jones completed his fifteen-month suspension last month and is now headlining UFC 232 card in Las Vegas.
“The reason I think he took the fight with me is because Jon Jones was already fighting,” Lewis said. “He didn’t want to wait until January and hear all the media talk about, ‘Why is Cormier not fighting for the 205 belts?’ They’re already saying he’s basically scared to fight Jones right now, anyway. He feels like it would be perfect to fight a guy like me that don’t have as much skills on short notice before the Jones fight and he thinks it’s going to be an easy fight for him.”
Lewis thinks one thing is clear, though — Cormier isn’t really down to fight Jones again for the third time.
“Yeah, I think he’s scared to fight Jones,” Lewis said. “The guy beat him twice.”