Christmas will be coming five months early this year in the Cormier household. UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (pictured) jokingly admitted he was brought to tears after hearing former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar was coming out of retirement to co-headline UFC 200.
As the MMA world knows, Brock Lesnar = big bucks. As a UFC champion, Cormier, along with UFC 200 nemesis interim light heavyweight champion Jon Jones are among a handful of fighters who get a piece of the pay-per-view pie for events they perform in.
UFC 200 was expected to be of the blockbuster variety before Lesnar’s participation, so Cormier and Jones were already planning to make bank for their rematch. However, now that Lesnar will be opening for them against Mark Hunt, the show has now become a Brockbuster.
Cormier was backstage at UFC 199 helping teammate and then-middleweight champ Luke Rockhold warm-up for his title fight with Michael Bisping when chatter of Lesnar’s MMA return first started making the rounds. Cormier quickly went from giddy to grateful when the UFC confirmed the rumor hours later during the show.
“Hey Brock, is it Christmas time in the Cormier household? Because Brock Lesnar equals pay-per-view buys,” Cormier said on “The MMA Hour. “He didn’t respond, and then finally after the [new UFC 200] commercial ran, I got a response from Brock that said, ‘Merry Christmas, DC!’
“I was like, ‘You have got to be kidding me!’ I had to take a moment, wept in the corner a little bit, and tried to compose myself before Rockhold went out and fought.”
UFC 100 in 2009, which saw Lesnar beat Frank Mir in the main event to retain his title, still owns the company’s top spot with a reported 1.6 million PPV buys. UFC 200 is expected to challenge that sales number, but will likely surpass UFC 100’s revenue because UFC PPVs costs $10 more today than seven years ago.
Regardless, Cormier is looking forward to riding the Brock Lesnar money train all the way to the bank.
“It’s a big event. You’ve got Brock Lesnar, who you can argue is the biggest star in UFC history, and I believe you have the most important fight that the UFC can put on right now,” Cormier added.
“Love Nate Diaz, love Conor McGregor. It’s a huge fight, but what’s it for? It’s not for a belt and it’s not going to lead to a title shot. It’s a fight people want to see because it’s an attraction. When it comes to Jon and I, you have the most important fight the UFC can put on the most important event.”
Speaking of Jones, he was also wondering how many more zeroes will be on his UFC 200 check courtesy of Lesnar.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) June 5, 2016
UFC 200 goes down July 9 inside the brand new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Here is the show’s current lineup:
Takanori Gomi vs. Jim Miller
Cat Zingano vs. Julianna Pena
Sage Northcutt vs. Enrique Marin
Joe Lauzon vs. Diego Sanchez
Rapahel Assuncao vs. T.J. Dillashaw
Johny Hendricks vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Gegard Mousasi vs. Derek Brunson
(Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)
Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne
Amanda Nunes vs. Miesha Tate (UFC bantamweight champion)
Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar (For UFC interim featherweight title)
Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt
Jon Jones (UFC interim light heavyweight champion) vs. Daniel Cormier (UFC light heavyweight champion)