At UFC 241 on August 17 in Anaheim, California, UFC heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier will look to successfully defend that title for the second time.
However, as we all kind of expected it to be against a former champion in Brock Lesnar, that will not be the case after all.
Instead, Cormier will still square off with a former champion, but it’s just the one that he defeated to earn the title, Stipe Miocic.
Immediately after Cormier beat Miocic in July 2018 at UFC 226 in their epic champion vs champion super fight, Lesnar would storm the Octagon and seemingly set up the next title fight. With some big things changing since then, like the UFC moving to ESPN along with their pay-per-views going to ESPN+, no deals could be met on Lesnar’s side. Thus leading to the WWE star staying with the company that made him famous.
While Daniel Cormier initially held out hope that Lesnar could still come back following his initial decision not to return, since that time the 41-year old Maryfield, Saskatchewan resident has returned to WWE TV which makes that look all the more unlikely. Especially with the current heavyweight champ in ‘DC’ eyeing retirement by 2020.
“I’m sure Brock couldn’t come to terms with the UFC, in terms of financial offer,” Cormier told ESPN’s Marc Raimondi. “There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world of mixed martial arts right now in terms of pay-per-view. It’s not as straight forward as when Brock was there. I think when Brock looked at the landscape of the sport, what they were offering him, Brock said, ‘I can make guaranteed money [in WWE].’ Not work as hard. He’d have to work his ass off [to fight me] and it’s probably gonna go the bad way. Whereas with the WWE, it’s usually determined in his favor. So, as a businessman, I think Brock made the right decision.
“Then it works, right? Everybody is talking like, ‘Oh, [WWE Chairman] Vince McMahon keeps putting the belt on Brock’ or keeps doing this with Brock. Brock Was on the pay-per-view and then Brock was on Monday night and the ratings increased. … There’s a method to the old man’s madness. He just continues to kind of rely on Brock and Brock has shown to be a commodity that keeps working for him.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/30/2019