After trying and failing with several different combinations of fighters and titles/interim titles and getting panned for a potential women’s flyweight title fight as the main event, the UFC is going with a short-notice heavyweight title fight to headline its return to Madison Square Garden.
The Saturday, November 3rd UFC 230 pay-per-view will feature heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis in the main event, first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, confirmed to him via text from Dana White and Cormier himself.
Cormier had been recovering from a broken finger suffered in his title-winning performance over Stipe Miocic this July. It was expected that his next fight would be against Brock Lesnar in early-2019, but the UFC’s desperation in making a big fight for MSG took precedence.
Lewis (seen above) is coming off a Hail Mary knockout of Alexander Volkov at this past Saturday’s UFC 229 event and a star-making performance on the microphone in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. Lewis has won nine of his last 10 and has a penchant for taking short-notice fights. He joked after the fight that he wasn’t ready for a title shot because he needed to work on his cardio.
The MSG show also features Nate Diaz vs. Dustin Poirier and Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold II, but will not feature the much-discussed Valentina Shevchenko vs. Sijara Eubanks fight for the vacant women’s flyweight title. White told Okamoto via text that the plan will now be to move back to a December fight between Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Eubanks had said she signed the contract to fight while Shevchenko never responded publicly. Meanwhile, Jedrzejczyk publicly aired her issues with how things went down which may not make that as smooth a process as White might hope.
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