- Dan Cormier became a double champion on Saturday when he upset UFC heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic with a stunning first-round knockout win.
- Cormier then called WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar into the Octagon but got shoved so hard he almost fell over.
- Two UFC fighters have implied that the shove is nothing more than a stunt and that it is “fake arguing” to set up a super-fight between the two athletes.
- Not everyone is convinced it is WWE-style fakery and UFC boss Dana White even confirmed that Cormier and Lesnar will come to blows very soon.
Two UFC fighters have slammed a recent incident involving Brock Lesnar as nothing more than WWE-style fakery.
WWE is the market-leader when it comes to professional wrestling (sports entertainment). The competitors involved – from Hulk Hogan and The Rock to John Cena and Ronda Rousey – are elite athletes, but must not “break kayfabe,” which is industry-speak for following a script. Promos are cut, storylines are told, and matches go a certain way.
UFC, by contrast, is the largest mixed martial arts company in the world where athletes fight for the right to be champion by competing in legitimate contests within the confines of an Octagon (a 750 square foot fighting space that keeps athletes fenced in).
But there are now allegations that two of the most prominent athletes in the sport have followed a WWE-style script to set up a showdown – and other fighters in the UFC roster are not happy.
Where’s the fakery?
It all started at the end of Saturday’s extraordinary UFC 226 event at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, near Las Vegas.
In the headline event, UFC light heavyweight champion Dan Cormier had the unenviable task of dethroning UFC heavyweight king Stipe Miocic.
Cormier was not expected to triumph. Miocic was the bigger man, had beaten Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, and Francis Ngannou during his championship run, and was on a six-fight winning streak.
But Cormier stunned Miocic with a first-round knockout. Suddenly, UFC had a double champion for only the second time in the company’s history.
Then, during Cormier’s celebratory post-fight speech in the middle of the Octagon, things took a bizarre turn. Cormier challenged WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar to come into the Octagon, himself a former UFC champion. But Cormier got shoved so hard he almost fell over.
Watch the scenes here:
It is likely that a super-fight between Cormier and Lesnar could be booked within the next year. After the shove, Cormier even said: “Push me now, you go to sleep later.”
But other fighters in UFC are not happy with what they saw.
UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes, ranked number two in the world, asked on Twitter whether it was even about fighting anymore. He said: “I’ll just continue to grow as a martial artist, become more dangerous, and refuse to resort to that WWE bs fake arguing just to draw in lame arse casual fans.”
Tired of all the politics ????????♂️ like is it even still even about fighting first CM Punk now @BrockLesnar I’ll just continue to grow as a martial artist and become more dangerous and I refuse to resort to that WWE bs fake arguing just to draw in lame ass casual fans pfft
— Curtis Blaydes (@RazorBlaydes265) July 8, 2018
UFC light heavyweight Tyson Pedro, ranked 13th in the division, added that “this is UFC, not WWE.”
— Tyson Pedro (@tyson_pedro_) July 8, 2018
Other fighters also had choice words on Twitter. Light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa brandished it all WWE, Sean O’Connell, also a light heavyweight, called it a “farce,” and welterweight fighter Brian Camozzi said it was the “lamest fake confrontation ever.”
— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) July 8, 2018
That was the lamest fake confrontation ever..
— Brian Camozzi (@BrianCamozzi) July 8, 2018
What a farce. Diminished the moment significantly. #UFC226
— Sean O'Connell (@realOCsports) July 8, 2018
The way a super-fight between Cormier and Lesnar was seemingly set up at UFC 226, combined with the shoving and the soundbites that followed, clearly became the talk of social media. But not everybody was convinced it was a WWE-style bit.
Former UFC heavyweight fighter Brendan Schaub implied that critics were apparently swayed at Lesnar’s status as “a WWE guy” but forget that he himself once held the UFC heavyweight belt and therefore remains “a real monster.”
Cormier also had choice words for those who doubted the authenticity of the altercation. “You guys call it fake online,” Cormier said, as per MMAFighting.com. “Staged, they’re idiots. Fine. Stay broke.”
At the UFC 226 post-event press conference, White said: “We’re definitely going to make that fight.”
And, should that fight happen, Cormier promises there will be nothing fake about the fight.
“I love it [WWE]. I think it’s great. But look, Brock Lesnar is the champion of the WWE. So, when he comes over here, there’s no script. There’s no Vince McMahon saying, ‘Hey DC, easy on the punches.’
“The moment Brock Lesnar punches me, I’m gonna get in his arse. And we’re gonna have him running across that Octagon like a lot of other dudes did. So he can be big and bad and tough right now. But once that cage door closes, he’s gonna have to answer for his words. And he’s definitely gonna have to answer for that shove.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.