Former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos recorded his third straight victory when he knocked out popular contender Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC Fight Night 146 in Wichita, Kansas, on Saturday night.
He saved enough energy to take a shot at the idea of another former champ, Brock Lesnar, stepping right back into the UFC and getting a title shot against Daniel Cormier.
“For sure, not Brock Lesnar,” dos Santos said when asked about who should be Cormier’s next challenger. “It doesn’t make sense.
“I’m a fan. I like to see Brock Lesnar fighting, but not for the title. He’s not even part of the sport right now. He can’t come back and fight for the title like this. I know (Cormier) wants to make money, but man, it doesn’t make sense.”
UFC president Dana White has said Cormier has earned the right to the kind of payday a bout against Lesnar would generate, though Lesnar last officially won a fight in 2010. His only bout since 2011 was a 2016 win over Mark Hunt that was later vacated due to a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.
Lesnar is still under contract with WWE as a professional wrestler and has yet to fully fulfill the terms of his sanction for the failed test, so there are several roadblocks.
Cormier is recovering from injury and appears willing to wait. While dos Santos said he understands why Cormier has earned the right to wait, he’s not supportive of the situation as a whole.
“I cannot agree that this fight with Brock Lesnar makes sense, because it doesn’t,” he said on the post-fight show. “But of course, it’s politics. They can do whatever they want, but it doesn’t make sense. The right fight to do in the heavyweight division is Stipe (Miocic), (Francis) Ngannou or even me. I don’t know. I heard something about Jon Jones coming up to the heavyweight and fighting him.
“That would make more sense than Brock Lesnar fighting. But we’ll understand if he has to fight Brock Lesnar to make money or whatever. It’s always interesting to see Brock Lesnar fighting — and getting beat. I don’t know.”
A bout between Ngannou and dos Santos has been hinted at by both fighters, but dos Santos wants to wait until after his daughter is born. She is due in May.
Strike a pose
UFC women’s flyweight star Paige VanZant has found a way to fill her time while she sits out with a fractured arm.
The 24-year-old announced she will appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
“I feel like when you’re in Sports Illustrated. That means you made it, so it’s a really big deal,” VanZant said in a video posted on SI’s social media platforms announcing her appearance. “I’m mostly excited for people to see this side of me. I think people do forget that, yes, I’m a professional fighter, my hair is cornrowed all the time, I punch people in the face for a living, but you can look really cute, too.”
Welterweight contenders Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal will square off in the main event of UFC Fight Night 147 in London on Saturday in a bout that could help shake out the top of the rankings.
Colby Covington is expected to be the first challenger for new champ Kamaru Usman, but Ben Askren says he will be in London to challenge the winner of Saturday’s bout for the next spot in line.
The main card, which also includes a welterweight bout between Leon Edwards and Gunnar Nelson, will stream live on ESPN-Plus at 1 p.m.
Preliminary card bouts begin streaming at 10 a.m.
■ March 16: UFC Fight Night 147 (ESPN-Plus), London
■ March 22: Bellator 218 (Paramount), Thackerville, Oklahoma
■ March 23: UFC Fight Night 148 (ESPN-Plus), Nashville, Tennessee
■ March 29: Bellator 219 (Paramount), Temecula, California
■ March 30: UFC on ESPN 2 (ESPN), Philadelphia