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UFC 226 blog: Daniel Cormier wins second title, calls out Brock Lesnar

A brief scuffle ensues when former heavyweight champion encounters current champion

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Steve Marcus

UFC president Dana White puts the heavyweight champion belt around Daniel Cormier after Cormier knocked out champion Stipe Miocic in the first round of their UFC 226 title fight at T-Mobile Arena Saturday, July 7, 2018.

Updated Saturday, July 7, 2018 | 9:48 p.m.

Daniel Cormier knocks out Stipe Miocic

Daniel Cormier celebrates after defeating Stipe Miocic in a heavyweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 226, Saturday, July 7, 2018, in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

Note: Full results from the preliminary card available at the bottom of the page.

Ask Daniel Cormier who’s the great fighter in UFC history, and he’s only got one answer.

Himself.

And Cormier has one heck of an argument to augment his claim after UFC 226 Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. The current light heavyweight champion knocked out Stipe Miocic to take his heavyweight belt at 4:33 of the first round with a powerful punching combination.

Cormier is just the second fighter in UFC history, joining Conor McGregor, to hold two championships simultaneously.

“I’m 39 years old and I’ve been second a lot of times but today I accomplished a lot of things,” an emotional Cormier said immediately afterwards. “From crying in this octagon almost a year ago to the day to winning the title it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced.”

Cormier’s demeanor quickly changed after that comment, as he wrested the microphone away from Joe Rogan and called out former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who was sitting cageside.

Lesnar obliged Cormier’s request to enter the octagon, and the two engaged in a brief shoving match. The 41-year-old Lesnar insulted both Cormier and Miocic once he got a chance to speak into the microphone, and set the stage for a title fight later this year.

“Hey Brock, get out of my octagon,” Cormier said. “I’ve got some pictures to take.”

The celebration then ensued, as Cormier posed with his two championship belts and danced with his family. Lesnar said he was not impressed with any of the heavyweights on the International Fight Week pay-per-view card.

It’s no surprise he wasn’t entertained by the heavyweight co-main event. No one was.

Derrick Lewis defeated Francis Ngannou by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) in one of the slowest fights in UFC history. Fans waved their cell phone flashlights and started a wave in a strange scene for a fight between two of the heaviest hitting fighters in the promotion.

At least there were thrills earlier on the pay-per-view card.

Local Khalil Rountree Jr. shocked kickboxing champion Gokhan Saki with a clean knockout via left hand at 1:36 of the first round. The upsets continued, with former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis submitting the bigger Michael Chiesa with an armbar 52 seconds into the second round of their fight.

Mike Perry also claimed a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) over Paul Felder in a bloody brawl. Underdogs went 5-for-5 on the main card, but none felt bigger than Cormier.

“I was a heavyweight for a long time and I left the division,” Cormier said. “I never knew what I would become but tonight I got the answer. I’m a two-division champion, baby.”

Come back to lasvegassun.com later for full coverage, and check below for full results from the preliminary card.

Note: Full results from the preliminary card available at the bottom of the page.

For many years, it was considered virtually impossible to simultaneously hold two championship belts in two different UFC weight classes.

That perception could change permanently tonight at T-Mobile Arena, as light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier looks to become the second fighter in the last year and a half to pull off the momentous feat. Cormier will try to add a heavyweight championship belt to his trophy case when he challenges champion Stipe Miocic in the UFC 226 main event cap to this year’s International Fight Week.

He would follow Conor McGregor, who captured the lightweight title while he was already featherweight champion in November 2016, as the only simultaneous champion and would become just the fifth fighter in promotional history to win two different titles.

And Cormier won’t even be at that big of a size disadvantage when he enters the octagon at sometime around 9:15 at the tail end of the pay-per-view. He is 5-foot-11 to Miocic’s 6-foot-4, but weighed in 3.5 pounds heavier yesterday — Cormier was 246 to Miocic’s 242.5.

Cormier started his UFC career at heavyweight, and was a champion in Strikeforce, but the division has progressed since he went down a division. Miocic has stabilized a once volatile heavyweight landscape, setting a record with three straight title defenses.

His last win was an upset against Francis Ngannou, who looks to get back on track against Derrick Lewis in tonight’s co-main event. To diehard fans, it’s a matchup just as exciting as Miocic vs. Cormier given the penchant for throwing heavy hands by both Ngannou and Lewis.

The pace will be much slower in the two preceding fights, as Michael Chiesa and Anthony Pettis tangle before Mike Perry and Paul Felder do the same in lightweight action.

Light heavyweights Khalil Rountree Jr. and Gokhan Saki will begin the pay-per-view card momentarily. The five fights make for an outrageous run of promising matchups, culminating with a shot at history.

Settle in for round-by-round coverage of UFC 226 at Las Vegas Sun, and check below for full results from the preliminary card.

Uriah Hall threw everything he could at Paulo Costa, but couldn't stop the Brazilian middleweight from staying perfect and winning a 12th straight. Following a handful of wild exchanges, Costa knocked out Hall at 2:38 of the second round.

Perennial bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao added an 11th win in his last 10 fights, including four straight. Assuncao picked apart Rob Font en route to a unanimous decision win (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Drakkar Klose defeated Lando Vannata via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) in a lightweight bout. Klose pressured Vannata throughout to secure the upset win.

Curtis Millender defeated Max Griffin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in a welterweight bout. Millender went on the attack in the third round, and nearly finished Griffin with strikes.

The odds said lightweights Dan Hooker and Gilbert Burns made for the closest fight of the night. The odds were wrong. Hook destroyed Burns on the feet, winning via TKO at 2:28 of the first round.

A larger-than-usual crowd showed up for the first fight of the night, which paired two women’s strawweights with Las Vegas ties against each other. Xtreme Couture’s Emily Whitmire ultimately prevailed over Jamie Moyle, formerly of Syndicate MMA, pulling the upset by controlling the action in the first and third rounds to win a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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