Unexpected heavyweight title fight could be fast-tracked to UFC 230
UFC 230 takes place in less than a month and the main event is still not a done deal.
In recent weeks, we've heard rumours of an inaugural UFC 165lbs champion being crowned when Nate Diaz meets Dustin Poirier on November 3 but UFC President Dana White has rubbished those reports.
The reaction to the scheduled main event, a bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Sijara Eubanks for the vacant UFC women’s flyweight title, was negative to say the least and now the organisation is reportedly looking at injecting some much-needed fan interest to the card by putting the heavyweight title on the line in New York City.
After Daniel Cormier added the heavyweight belt to his collection with his knockout victory over Stipe Miocic in July, all signs pointed towards a super-fight with the returning Brock Lesnar.
But Derrick Lewis' heroics on Saturday night have inspired the UFC to look in a different direction as ESPN report that discussions are taking place to have Cormier defend his heavyweight title against 'The Black Beast' at Madison Square Garden next month.
Per sources, UFC has opened talks around a Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis heavyweight title fight to headline UFC 230 on Nov. 3 in New York. This would be coming, obviously, off of Lewis's come-from-behind win on Saturday at UFC 229. Not a done deal, but it's being explored.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 9, 2018
Lewis scored one of the most remarkable comeback knockouts in UFC history at UFC 229 when he rallied from adversity and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a buzzer-beater finish of Alexander Volkov.
Surprisingly, Lewis did not receive a bump up the heavyweight rankings in the latest update but he might get his first shot at UFC gold if his employer's plans come to fruition.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) October 7, 2018
The inimitable Lewis jokingly dismissed his status as number one contender in his post-fight interview, saying: "I need to sit my black ass down and do some more cardio, fuck what you're talking about right now. I ain't trying to fight for no title right now, not with no gas tank like that."
Cormier vs. Lewis is not yet close to a done deal and it should be pointed out that one potential stumbling block is the medical suspensions from UFC 229, which state that Lewis cannot fight before November 6 and cannot engage in contact before October 28. It's possible that Lewis could receive special dispensation following further medical examination, however.