Rappers Booba l et Kaaris were arrested after fighting in Orly airport in August. Kaaris, 39, posted a video of himself signing the contract for the fight while he nonchalantly ate some chicken and chips with the hashtag, "The rule is that there will be no rules. The important thing is that it happens.
By Kelefa Sanneh July 9, When two people get locked inside a cage, the best-case scenario is that something bad will happen. On Saturday night, fans got a chance to think anew about this paradox.
But, in the U. In some ways, Miocic vs. Cormier certainly qualified. Miocic was the heavyweight two-hundred-and-sixty-five-pound champion, having won the title two years ago, in Brazil, in the middle of a six-fight winning streak that transformed him from a respected contender into an all-time great.
By the time Miocic strolled into the cage on Saturday night, fans generally agreed that he was one of the most skillful and accomplished heavyweights in the history of mixed martial arts. And Cormier was unquestionably the best light-heavyweight two-hundred-and-five-pound M. Even better, Cormier had previously competed, with great success, as a heavyweight.
Cormier and Miocic, were, literally speaking, the two biggest champions in the U. Why not have them fight each other?
The idea of this fight seemed somewhat far-fetched back in January, when Dana White, the president of the U.
This was a particularly risky fight for both champions. The superfight was a heavyweight-title fight, which meant that Miocic risked losing his title to an opponent who was viewed as smaller than him—although in fact, at the weigh-in, Cormier was revealed to be slightly heavier. Perhaps Cormier took the opportunity to pack on some extra muscle, although much of that new muscle seemed to be located in his stomach and backside.
Their willingness to fight, regardless, made them both seem braver. Cormier is one of the most likable figures in the sport: a friendly, unpretentious wrestling Olympian who also serves as a television commentator, and who somehow, despite his astonishing skill, comes across as a normal guy.
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Worse still, Cormier has often been overshadowed by Jon Jones, his brilliant but erratic light-heavyweight rival. Jones is the only person who had beaten Cormier, and he did it twice, but neither victory stuck.
Jones beat Cormier by unanimous decision in , although, after a hit-and-run a few months later, Jones was suspended and stripped of his light-heavyweight championship , which Cormier won.
Jones pleaded guilty but was not sent to prison. Last year, in the rematch, Jones knocked out Cormier, but he tested positive for Turinabol, a steroid, and so the fight was ruled a no-contest, and Cormier was reinstated as champion.
When two people get locked inside a cage wearing four-ounce fingerless gloves and no shoes, the best-case scenario is that something bad will happen. On Saturday night, in Las Vegas, fans got a chance to think anew about this paradox. In the ring, Cormier looked every bit the underdog, shorter and stubbier, with his trunks pulled high, as if to emphasize his roundness.
Miocic had won five of his previous six fights by knockout, and Cormier seemed susceptible—after all, he had been knocked out less than a year before.
Officially, that never happened. But it did. Cormier, though, is an exceptionally crafty fighter. He drew Miocic into a clinch and then, when Miocic dropped his left arm, punched him, tracing a short arc with his right fist. More important, perhaps, Cormier deserves to be considered one of the greatest fighters alive—although how great, exactly, depends on what you make of that asterisk, which survives even a victory as thrilling as this one.
His official record is 5—3, with one no-contest: his most recent fight, two years ago, was a victory that was overturned after Lesnar tested positive for clomiphene , a banned anti-estrogen drug. Lesnar denied that he had intentionally used performance-enhancing drugs.
For this and other reasons, Lesnar played the heel on Saturday night: he shoved Cormier hard, and delivered a few lines of pro-wrestling incitement. Not everyone enjoys seeing the noble art of cage fighting cheapened by this kind of behavior. Kelefa Sanneh has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since