Two of the biggest and baddest knockout artists will battle it out tomorrow night at UFC 271. The heavyweight knockout king, Derrick Lewis (26-8) returns to his hometown of Houston to take on fellow knockout artist Tai Tuivasa (14-3).
This is a quick turnaround for The Black Beast as he just fought in December against Chris Daukaus. That night, Lewis was looking to bounce back and he did in a big way when he knocked Daukaus out in the first round. The win was able to get Lewis back on track after his poor performance at UFC 265.
At UFC 265, Lewis fought Ciryl Gane for the interim heavyweight title in Houston. Lewis wasn’t able to really get going and was stopped in the third round. He’s admitted that pressure got to him. He’s looking to right the ship tomorrow night against “Bam Bam”.
Tai Tuivasa burst onto the UFC scene a few years ago and he was knocking out everyone. After reaching 10-0, he had a fight with former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos. Tuivasa was knocked out in the second round of that fight. That loss started a three fight losing streak.
After this streak, Tuivasa started taking his UFC career more seriously and he drastically turned things around. Heading into UFC 271, Tuivasa is riding a four-fight winning streak and only one of those fights had reached the second round.
UFC 271 Prediction
There is really no secret as to what is going to happen at UFC 271. Both of these men are going to come forward and they are both going to swing until someone goes down. That said, you might see a more technical approach from Tai Tuivasa.
Tuivasa doesn’t do nearly as well when he’s being pressured. There’s no one that pressures better than Derrick Lewis. To hold off this pressure, you might see Tuivasa invest in some leg kicks on the outside early on. If he’s successful, he can use these to try and slow Lewis down and time him with a big shot on an advance.
However, I don’t think he’s going to have enough time to do enough damage. I think this fight ends in the first round and when two guys swing like these two will, I can’t bet against The Black Beast. I think he finds Tuivasa’s chin and puts him away in the first at UFC 271.
Prediction: Derrick Lewis by KO – Round 1