Derrick Lewis isn't wasting any time getting back into the octagon.
Lewis will have less than a month of rest time after his knockout win over Alexander Volkov at UFC 229 on Oct. 6. The KO earned him Performance of the Night honors, and his post-fight interview earned him viral-sensation status.
The victory was necessary for Lewis, whose performance in his unanimous decision win over Francis Ngannou at UFC 226 drew criticism. The bout was by far the worst of the night, and Lewis won more by default than by anything particular he did himself. His performance against Volkov at UFC 229 was a complete 180—one good enough to get him in a marquee bout with Cormier.
Cormier was also on the UFC 226 card, winning the heavyweight championship with a knockout of Stipe Miocic. The champion, who is 21-1 (1) in his career, should walk into Madison Square Garden as a massive favorite.
The fight will likely be seen as little more than a warmup for Cormier's expected title defense against Brock Lesnar next year. Lesnar re-entered the USADA drug testing pool in hopes of returning to mixed martial arts in 2019. He and Cormier went face-to-face following the latter's win at UFC 226.