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Report: Daniel Cormier to defend heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230

Madison Square Garden finally receives an official main event, three-and-a-half weeks before its annual UFC show.

Daniel Cormier, who also holds the UFC light

Daniel Cormier, who also holds the UFC light heavyweight championship, will defend his heavyweight crown for the first time in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Zuffa LLC via Getty Images/Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC

At last, New York City has its UFC main event for next month. 

Daniel Cormier will put his heavyweight championship on the line against Derrick Lewis at the Nov. 3 UFC 230 event at Madison Square Garden, according to ESPN. 

The booking of the five-round headliner comes nearly two weeks after tickets for UFC 230 went on sale. Promotional material throughout the city and surrounding metropolitan area featured a lightweight clash between Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier, and a middleweight rematch pitting former champions Chris Weidman, a Long Island native, and Luke Rockhold against one another. Diaz and Poirier had attempted via social media to convert their fight to a main event for a brand-new 165-pound division, but UFC president Dana White repeatedly has shut down the idea of adding the weight class.

A bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Sijara Eubanks for the vacant women's flyweight title at the Garden had been discussed by UFC president Dana White, but that will no longer happen, according reports. The Shevchenko-Eubanks matchup received little support among MMA fans and pundits. Shevchenko will instead face former women's strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 on Dec. 8 in Toronto for the flyweight belt, as had originally been announced, according to reports.

Cormier (21-1, 1 no-contest) captured the heavyweight crown in July when he upset Stipe Miocic, becoming the first fighter to simultaneously hold the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles. He is the second dual champion — or "champ-champ"  in UFC history — after Conor McGregor accomplished the feat in November 2016 at the Garden. A former U.S. Olympic wrestler, he has announced plans to retire from competition after he turns 40 in March. 

Lewis (21-5, 1 no-contest) is coming off a stunning come-from-behind knockout of Alexander Volkov on the undercard of Saturday's UFC 229 event in Las Vegas. A heavy hitter, he has won nine of his last 10 fights, with seven coming by way of (T)KO. The 33-year-old's unfiltered, easygoing personality has endeared him to MMA fans, which figures to lead to entertaining promotion leading up to the clash in Manhattan.

UFC 230 marks the third November in a row in which the Garden hosts the world's top MMA promotion. The fact that a pay-per-view main event was not set until less than a month before fight night, especially in a marquee market like New York, is highly unusual for the UFC.

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