UFC 230 has a new headliner, as Daniel Cormier will defend his heavyweight strap against Derrick Lewis at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 3.
Promotion officials confirmed the matchup on Tuesday. The UFC had been struggling to find a main event for the card, and its previous announcement of a women’s flyweight title bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Sijara Eubanks drew heavy criticism from all corners of the MMA community.
Cormier became a two-division champion with a first-round knockout of Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 on July 7. The American Kickboxing Academy product was expected to wait for a showdown with Brock Lesnar earlier this year, and its unclear how this booking could affect that bout. Cormier has also said the he expects the UFC to strip him of his light heavyweight belt to award it to the winner of a rumored Jon Jones-Alexander Gustafsson matchup at UFC 232.
Lewis has emerged as an unlikely title contender with wins in nine of his last 10 Octagon appearances. “The Black Beast” was losing most of his UFC 229 matchup with Alexander Volkov before rallying to score a knockout with 11 seconds left in the fight. Lewis has also bested the likes of Francis Ngannou, Marcin Tybura, Travis Browne, Roy Nelson and Gabriel Gonzaga during his current run.