Addressing Lesnar down the camera lens with a big grin, Cormier said: "Brock Lesnar - when you come, bring that brand new WWE title so I feel like being a WWE champion, too". Cormier was feeling great after he flattened Stipe Miocic and won the heavyweight crown. He also now holds the light heavyweight championship and was presented with two title belts after the fight.
"It's history, baby", he told Joe Rogan afterwards.
Lewis struggled free to survive the first stanza, although Cormier picked up where he left off in the second round, nullifying Lewis' fabled punching power by securing yet another takedown before choking out the challenger, who in truth had offered little threat throughout. On Saturday, Lewis will be fighting for a championship only 28 days later against a guy, in Cormier, who holds the belt in both the heavyweight and light-heavyweight divisions.
He is now the first fighter in UFC history to successfully defend a championship in multiple weight-classes.
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Cormier is 40 next March and has previously declared that he wants to retire before he hits that age, meaning one more blockbuster fight is on the cards before he hangs up the gloves.
"When I was on ESPN yesterday, they thought it was absolutely impossible that Derrick Lewis wins this fight", said UFC president Dana White.
"I think a lot of people have to understand that I've been doing this for nine years and I've fought at a championship level for eight of them", he said. His status remains as murky as ever - he still has to serve out the remainder of a USADA suspension - and was not spotted at MSG.
Lewis was a massive underdog entering the fight having just upset Alexander Volkov at UFC 229 less than a month ago, but many believed the 31-year-old had a chance of connecting on a powerful blow and shocking the world.
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Lewis had a size and reach advantage, but Cormier set the tempo and took Lewis down at will before submitting him in the second round.
"The Black Beast" slips to 21-6 overall (with 1 no contest), and saw a three-fight win streak snapped. Cormier took his back and forced him to tap out.
"When you get to those numbers and you get 300,000 extra pay-per-view buys, at that number of pay-per-views, that's a big, big number".
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