Derrick Lewis went with a head kick in the first minute of his first shot at a UFC title.
That was enough for Daniel Cormier to bring it to the ground Saturday night at UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden.
The two-weight UFC champion had no interest in standing with the hard-hitting Lewis, out-grappling his opponent for nearly the entirety of their heavyweight title fight to secure a rear-naked choke at 2:14 of the second round.
This was Cormier’s first defense of the heavyweight title, which he took from Stipe Miocic in July. The victory makes Cormier the first fighter to simultaneously defend two championships in UFC history. He previously has defended the UFC light heavyweight title on three occasions.
“It’s history and Daniel Cormier is one of the best of all-time,” Cormier said.
In the second round, Lewis landed a few short punches and even threw a jumping kick, but Cormier picked his takedown attempts wisely, eventually getting Lewis to the ground after just over a minute on the feet. When Lewis looked to have a chance at his feet, Cormier was there to grab an ankle and keep him on the ground. A short while later, Cormier was on Lewis’ back and looking for the choke. The tap followed soon after.
“Everything he hit me with had power behind it,” Cormier said. “I love Derrick Lewis and his story. I am honored to share the octagon with him.”
After the bout, Cormier had words for former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE star Brock Lesnar.
“Derrick is good but he’s just not that level yet. Brock Lesnar bring that WWE belt over here when you come,” Cormier said. “I feel like taking that one too. Let’s go, Brock!”