After a successful maiden title defense against Derrick Lewis on Saturday at UFC 230, UFC double-champ Daniel Cormier now has his sights set on finally fighting Brock Lesnar. “DC” even foresees this fight to take place at UFC 235 on March 2nd 2019 in Las Vegas, which he also intends to be his retirement fight.
From his end, however, it looks like Lesnar is planning to go another direction. According to MMAFighting.com’s Dave Meltzer, the former UFC heavyweight champion recently signed a new deal with the WWE after fellow superstar Roman Reigns was deemed out of the running due to a recurring disease.
Lesnar’s situation changed greatly a few weeks ago. He seemed destined to fight for the UFC in early 2019, probably against Cormier for the heavyweight championship, contingent upon Cormier getting past Lewis at UFC 230.
… But then Leati Joe Anoa’i, better known as Roman Reigns — the handpicked top star in World Wrestling Entertainment — found out that leukemia, a disease he battled 11 years ago, had returned.
Lesnar was at first going to leave pro wrestling after Reigns fulfilled his multi-year quest of beating Lesnar this past April. But when Saudi Arabia flashed a checkbook of more than $40 million per show in Vince McMahon’s direction, suddenly the safer world of pro wrestling gave Lesnar a monetary offer you couldn’t turn down to do a few more shows, a run that was scheduled to end this past Friday.
But with Reigns out, Lesnar got a new offer from McMahon to replace Reigns as his top singles champion. Lesnar agreed secretly to the new deal, and won the pro wrestling championship again. The new deal is for multiple shows, but its length of time has been kept secretive. But it is known that Lesnar is scheduled as late as April of next year for WrestleMania.
Lesnar’s WWE deal reportedly allows for UFC bouts to take place, but will he still do that now that he already has this new lucrative pro wrestling contract?
Cormier had said in the past that he intends to face Lesnar and Jon Jones, but backpedalled on the latter idea on Monday’s Ariel Helwani MMA Show, stating that he does not need that third fight anymore. Jones also stated that he’s “not interested” in a trilogy with DC. If Lesnar is out though, that probably remains the most lucrative option for both parties.
What remains definite, so far, is Cormier’s retirement date, which he set for his 40th birthday on March 19th of the coming year. It is a decision that UFC president Dana White is in full support of.