‘If Brock steps in my way? I’ll smack him upside his head!’: UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier teases clash with rival Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania… with the former heavyweight champion due to cover the event for ESPN
- UFC fight once hyped between the old foes, but they never met in the octagon
- Cormier will lead ESPN’s coverage after finding success covering UFC
- MMA legend previously served as special guest referee in WWE’s Extreme Rules
UFC Hall of Famer and longtime pro-wrestling fan Daniel Cormier will lead ESPN’s coverage of this year’s WrestleMania – where he could reunite with an old foe.
Former mixed martial arts rival Brock Lesnar, who retired from the sport for the second time in 2017, will feature at WrestleMania 39, and the former heavyweight champion teased a confrontation if Lesnar ‘steps in [his] way’.
‘If Brock steps in my way? I’ll smack him upside his head,’ Cormier said with a laugh in an interview with Sports Illustrated announcing his role in the event’s coverage.
Cormier and Lesnar teased a fight in 2019, after a 2018 incident at UFC 226 saw the two scuffle in the octagon following Cormier’s defeat of Stipe Miocic moments earlier.
Lesnar shoved Cormier and the two went head-to-head, before the pair were forcibly separated.
Brock Lesnar (left) shoved Daniel Cormier moments after he defeated Stipe Miocic in a first-round knockout at UFC 226
Cormier has fronted UFC coverage for ESPN since his retirement in August 2020
Later that year, Cormier shared some choice words on The Beast during an interview on SirirusXM’s Busted Open radio show while promoting his heavyweight title defence against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230.
Cormier threatened that if Lesnar stepped into the octagon, he was ‘gonna kill him’.
‘Once that bell rings and they say fight, I’m going to kill him. Like he’s going to be completely over his head,’ Cormier added.
‘If Brock Lesnar comes into that octagon on Saturday, I’m slapping him. I’m not playing anymore this time. No pushing and jawing. He better not come into my octagon this weekend.
‘I’m gonna smack him right in his face. I’m smacking him. I owe him one.’
Despite several rounds of heated words, the match-up never came to to fruition, however.
Since Cormier’s retirement from competition in August 2020, the MMA legend has been an analyst for the US sports news network’s UFC coverage, sharing the mic with Jon Anik and Joe Rogan.
He was eager to share his delight at the role he is set to play in leading coverage for WrestleMania.
A history-making turn came at UFC 230 in 2018 (pictured) when Cormier successfully defended his Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight belts against Derrick Lewis
ESPN’s UFC coverage is anchored by Jon Anik (left), Joe Rogan (centre), and Cormier
Cormier said: ‘I’m going to WrestleMania. The first week of April, for ESPN, I’ll be leading the coverage for WrestleMania. I’m so excited about it.
‘I’m getting more opportunities for ESPN, and I’m so thankful for that. So I’ll be at WrestleMania, just in a different capacity, and we’ll see what the future holds down the line.’
The heavyweight fighter has experience in the world of WWE, having previously served as the special guest referee at Extreme Rules in October 2022.
Cormier officiated the grudge match between Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins, which saw Riddle defeat The Visionary in the Fight Pit.