UFC close to booking Derrick Lewis – Chris Daukaus

The Black Beast is ready to make his return to the UFC. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this evening that the UFC is close to finalizing a matchup between Derrick Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) and Chris Daukaus (12-3).

The fight would take place and likely headline a UFC Fight Night on December 18th. Dana White broke the news to Okamoto that the promotion was planning this matchup between these two knockout artists.

This is a massive step up in competition for Chris Daukaus who has been on a roll in the UFC. Daukaus got his first shot on the big show last August when he took on Parker Porter.

He made a splash by getting a first round knockout, however, he wasn’t done there. After that matchup, Daukaus would fight three more times including last Saturday at UFC 266.

All three of those fights ended the same way the first one did and that’s with Daukaus securing a knockout. Daukaus has been splitting his time between the UFC and his job as a police officer. However, he’s decided to take a leave from the force to focus on his fighting career.

Black Beast’s UFC Return

One of the more charismatic and loveable heavyweights on the roster will be back in December. Derrick Lewis has been itching to get back in the cage after he fell completely flat in his last performance.

At UFC 265, Lewis got a dream opportunity. He got to fight for the interim heavyweight title in his hometown of Houston, Texas. Lewis was never able to get anything going in that interim title fight with Ciryl Gane and ultimately got stopped.

That loss snapped a four-fight win streak for Lewis which included a devastating knockout over Curtis Blaydes earlier this year. Lewis holds the record for the most knockouts in the UFC and it’s easy to see why.

When he lands on you, you’re likely going to sleep. The problem was that Ciryl Gane was just a little too quick for him. Perhaps Chris Daukaus will be as well or perhaps we will be in for another Black Beast celebration on December 18th.

What’s next for Derrick Lewis after coming up short at UFC 265?

This past Saturday at UFC 265 in the main event, the interim heavyweight title was on the line. Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) was fighting in his hometown as he was taking on the undefeated Ciryl Gane (10-0).

The winner of the interim title would earn a shot at the undisputed UFC champion Francis Ngannou (16-3). Going into UFC 265, the game plan was pretty obvious for both men.

For Derrick Lewis, it was going to be about finding that one shot that would put Gane out. Lewis has ungodly power in his hands and he’s proven that he just needs to hit you one good time for the show to be over.

For Ciryl Gane, it was going to be about being elusive and striking from the outside. Well, one of those game plans was executed perfectly. The fighter who executed perfectly at UFC 265 was Ciryl Gane.

Gane kept Lewis on the outside all night long. Lewis never really got close to landing anything significant and it was domination from Gane. Gane ended up stopping Lewis in the third round.

What’s next after UFC 265?

This is a tough one to swallow for Lewis who was fighting for the UFC title in his hometown. All week long, Lewis talked about how much pressure was on his shoulders to perform in front of his friends, his family, and his city.

To be completely honest, I think the moment got to Lewis a bit. Combine that with the sheer brilliance of Ciryl Gane and you had the perfect recipe for disaster for The Black Beast at UFC 265.

From here, where does Lewis go? Well, for anyone who’s quick to write of Lewis, I’ll remind you that he’s still one of the very best heavyweights in the UFC. Remember, he did just knock out Curtis Blaydes a few months ago.

There’s two opponents that I’m looking at for Derrick Lewis next. The first one is Stipe Miocic (20-4). Let’s be honest, Miocic wants and likely deserves an immediate rematch for the UFC heavyweight title. However, we know the promotion isn’t doing that.

If Miocic wants to be active, he should take a fight with Lewis. It would be a massive fight for both men and for fans. The other opponent I’m thinking about is Alexander Volkov (33-9).

Volkov and Lewis fought before at UFC 229 and Volkov dominated most of the fight before a last second Lewis knockout. If Volkov wins his fight against Marcin Tybura, I’m sure fans would love to see that rematch for The Black Beast.

UFC 265 Preview: Derrick Lewis – Ciryl Gane

Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC 265 we will see two top heavyweights battle it out for the interim heavyweight title. The hometown favorite Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) takes on Ciryl Gane (9-0) in Houston.

The Black Beast enters tomorrow as the second ranked heavyweight in the UFC. He’s on a four-fight win streak, but his last performance really put him over the top. Back in February, he knocked Curtis Blaydes out cold to earn this shot.

Standing across from Lewis is Ciryl Gane. Gane has a perfect record and he’s been dominant since joining the UFC. Gane made his debut with the promotion back in 2019 and he’s gone 6-0.

This year alone, Gane has had two headlining fights against Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov. In both of those fights, Gane used his footwork and incredible striking technique to pickup two lopsided decision wins.

Obviously tomorrow night is not for the undisputed heavyweight title. The UFC‘s heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou (16-3), is waiting in the wings for the winner of the UFC 265 headliner.

UFC 265 Prediction

When you look at the skillset of both men, the UFC 265 headliner looks like it would be easy to predict. When going skill for skill, Ciryl Gane is a much better fighter than Derrick Lewis.

You’re looking at someone in Gane who has incredible footwork, tremendous striking technique, solid skills on the ground, and cardio that lasts five rounds. Simply put, he’s the full package at heavyweight.

That said, Derrick Lewis possesses the great equalizer. Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou are the two hardest hitters in the UFC’s heavyweight division. You could argue that Lewis has the most power out of anyone in the division.

It takes one mistake with Lewis and you’re seeing stars. Curtis Blaydes was controlling their fight in February, but he got caught with an uppercut from hell in the second round and he was put out cold.

All it takes is for Ciryl Gane to make one mistake and he’s going out. However, I don’t think he’s going to make that mistake. I believe Gane is going to use a very smart game plan and I think he’ll be able to avoid the power. It might not be the most exciting at the end of the day, but I think Ciryl Gane walks away the interim UFC champion tomorrow night.

Prediction: Ciryl Gane by Unanimous Decision

After big knockout at UFC Vegas 19, what’s next for Derrick Lewis?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 19, the heavyweights took center stage. In the main event, “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) took on Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC). Both men carried winning streaks into the octagon on Saturday night.

Curtis Blaydes was the heavy betting favorite on Saturday night. Blaydes was the second ranked heavyweight in the UFC and outside of Francis Ngannou, nobody has been able to touch him inside the octagon. Most expected a heavy dose of wrestling from Blaydes on Saturday night.

Derrick Lewis is the heavyweight knockout king. He stands alone atop the UFC‘s heavyweights when it comes to knockouts. The Black Beast has freak power and for that reason, many expected Blaydes to focus on the wrestling and grappling. We’ve seen Lewis struggle there before.

However, early on in the fight, Blaydes was content with standing with Lewis. Curtis Blaydes seemed apprehensive and tentative to shoot with the power of Lewis. Derrick Lewis seemed to be trying to time an uppercut on a shot from Blaydes.

In the first round, Curtis Blaydes actually got the better of the standup. The range was really bothering Lewis and Blaydes seemed to find a rhythm on the feet. In the second round, Blaydes tried to transition to his wrestling. However, Lewis defended the first takedown and they stayed standing.

On the second takedown attempt, Lewis landed the uppercut that he was trying to time. A lifeless Blaydes flopped to the floor and ate a few follow up shots. Another knockout win for the UFC‘s heavyweight knockout king.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 19?

When the UFC rankings come out tomorrow, I would fully expect Derrick Lewis to be ranked second. He’s now on a four-fight win streak and he also holds a victory over current top contender, Francis Ngannou.

While many focus on just his knockouts and his interviews, Lewis has put together quite the run in the UFC’s heavyweight division. If Jon Jones wasn’t moving to heavyweight, The Black Beast would be getting the winner of Miocic/Ngannou 2 which happens next month.

However, with Jones getting the next shot at the title, the UFC will have to do something else with Lewis. The perfect fight for Lewis is the winner of this weekend’s main event at UFC Vegas 20.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane are battling it out and whoever wins will be ranked in the top five. Lewis hasn’t fought either of those top contenders so a matchup between them would make perfect sense. Perhaps that would be the co-main event to the Jones heavyweight title fight later in the summer.

UFC rebooks Derrick Lewis – Curtis Blaydes

The UFC has rebooked a highly anticipated heavyweight matchup that got cancelled in November. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting this evening that Derrick Lewis (24-7,1 NC) and Curtis Blaydes (14-2,1 NC) have agreed to a new date.

The UFC has finalized the heavyweight matchup for February 20th. Both men were originally supposed to fight in November, however, a day before the event, Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19 and the fight was scrapped.

There was initial doubt that the UFC would rebook the matchup. However, given the current landscape at heavyweight, pairing these two top contenders against each other makes all the sense in the world.

Derrick Lewis will be looking for his fourth straight victory on February 20th. Lewis last fought in August when he knocked out Alexey Oleynik in the second round of their fight. However, it was a shaky start for The Black Beast.

Lewis was taken down and controlled for a good part of the first round against Oleynik. If he’s going to win on February 20th, his wrestling is going to have to be on point. There’s no secret as to what his opponent is going to do.

UFC heavyweight battle

Curtis Blaydes has been extremely dominant in his run in the UFC. So far, there has only been one man who has been able to beat him. The problem for Blaydes is that he’s lost twice to him.

That man is the top UFC heavyweight contender, Francis Ngannou. However, outside of Ngannou, nobody has had an answer for the wrestling attack of Curtis Blaydes. He’s not flashy, but he knows how to get the job done.

Blaydes has shown improvements in the striking as he showed in his knockout of Junior Dos Santos. However, make no mistake about it, Blaydes is going to be using his wrestling a lot on February 20th.

On paper, this is a really tough matchup for Derrick Lewis. Lewis struggles against strong grapplers and Blaydes might be the best in the division. However, the exciting thing is that with the UFC’s Black Beast, he’s always just one shot away.

UFC Vegas 15 Preview: Derrick Lewis – Curtis Blaydes

Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC Vegas 15, we have a heavyweight showdown that the MMA world is talking about. Top four contenders Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis (24-7, 1 NC) and Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC) will be going to battle.

This fight is a pivotal matchup for the UFC‘s heavyweight division. The winner of this fight will be on the short list of contenders for an upcoming shot at the UFC‘s heavyweight title. Both men having winning streaks that they are looking to continue.

For the Black Beast, he’s looking to pickup his fourth consecutive win in the UFC. Coming into this matchup, Lewis is coming off of a second round knockout over Alexey Oleynik that took place back in August.

The win was the third straight for Lewis. The Black Beast became the UFC’s heavyweight knockout king that night. Since making his promotional debut back in 2014, he’s only won a decision four times while scoring eleven knockouts in that time.

Blaydes on the other hand will be going into tomorrow night on a four fight winning streak. The only man to have defeated Blaydes in his professional career is top UFC heavyweight, Francis Ngannou. Ngannou was able to stop Blaydes both times they fought.

Razor Blaydes is known for his dominant wrestling and his tremendous ground and pound. He’s also really showed improvements in his hands although he’s made it clear that he does not plan on standing with the knockout king at UFC Vegas 15.

UFC Vegas 15 Prediction

The headliner at UFC Vegas 15 is relatively easy to pick in my opinion. The fight is going to go one of two ways. Either Derrick Lewis is going to catch Blaydes and knock him out, or we are going to see a wrestling clinic with Blaydes getting his hand raised.

If Lewis wins tomorrow night, UFC fans will be talking about a knockout. If Blaydes wins, we will be discussing his efficiency and his dominant wrestling. There is a chance that Blaydes can get a TKO finish tomorrow night. However, only if Lewis completely gasses out.

If Derrick Lewis is going to win tomorrow night, he’s gonna have to catch Blaydes coming in. If he can’t catch him, I don’t see the fight going well. Lewis struggles with wrestlers and Blaydes is arguably the best in the division. I can definitely see Lewis catching him, but smart money is on Blaydes.

Prediction: Curtis Blaydes by Unanimous Decision

Derrick Lewis looks to extend heavyweight knockout record at UFC Vegas 15

Back in August at UFC Vegas 6, Derrick Lewis (24-7, 1NC) became the promotion’s heavyweight knockout king. He earned that honor when he knocked out Alexey Oleynik in the second round of their heavyweight main event.

The victory was Lewis’ 11th knockout victory inside the UFC which pushed him passed Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos for soul possession of first. Quite the impressive honor for the heavyweight from Houston.

Lewis has become a fan favorite in the UFC for a number of reasons. Whether it’s his post-fight interviews which featured him taking his fight shorts off or his fighting style, The Black Beast has become must see TV.

Lewis will enter the octagon on Saturday night as the fourth ranked heavyweight in the UFC. He’s also on a three fight win streak and a victory on Saturday night could put him next in line after top contender Francis Ngannou. However, that task will not be easy.

UFC Vegas 15’s Tough Matchup

In order to secure his fourth straight win in the UFC, Lewis will have to take out the promotions second ranked heavyweight, Curtis Blaydes (14-2, 1 NC). There has only been one man to have derailed Blaydes in the UFC and that was Francis Ngannou.

Ngannou was able to finish Blaydes both times they’ve fought. However, outside of Ngannou, Blaydes has been a nightmare for the guys he’s fought. He’s used his wrestling and grappling skills to maul his opponents.

However, he’s also shown that his hands have gotten better. The Dos Santos knockout is proof of that. Still, Blaydes leans heavily on his wrestling attack and his vicious top game to neutralize and defeat his opponents.

Lewis is going to have to really show on Saturday that his takedown defense has gotten better. We’ve seen Lewis struggle inside the UFC against guys who want to take the fight to the ground.

The Black Beast struggled in his lone title shot against Daniel Cormier. He also struggled in the first round against Alexey Oleynik. However, with Lewis, he only needs one shot with the fight on the feet.

That’s what makes Saturday night so intriguing. On paper, you’d have to favor Blaydes because of the styles. However, it doesn’t matter how late we get into the fight, the heavyweight knockout king is always just one shot away from turning out the lights.

Derrick Lewis becomes heavyweight knockout king at UFC Vegas 6

There have been so many knockout artist in the history of the UFC’s heavyweight division. You’ve had guys like Junior Dos Santos, Shane Carwin, Francis Ngannou, Cain Velasquez, and many more.

At UFC Vegas 6, The Black Beast, Derrick Lewis (23-7, 1), surpassed all of those men when he knocked out Alexey Oleynik (59-15-1) in the second round of their main event contest.

What’s next for the UFC’s heavyweight knockout king?

Derrick Lewis has truly been one of the better heavyweights in the UFC over the last five years. Most people think about his personality and his exciting fighting style, but the man has been extremely good and consistent.

Since October of 2015, Lewis has gone 12-3 in the UFC‘s heavyweight division. Eight of those wins coming via stoppage. Outside of Francis Ngannou, there might not be a harder puncher in the heavyweight division.

At UFC Vegas 6, the fight started slow for Lewis. Despite having top position at times in the first round, Lewis clearly lost the first round to Oleynik. The grappling was not doing him any favors early on.

Lewis came out like a wild man to start the second round. A flying knee which transitioned to a beautiful right hand floored Oleynik. A few massive shots later and Herb Dean called the fight.

For Lewis, it was his third straight win inside the octagon. Lewis said he wants to drop about 10-15 pounds before he fights again, but he’s hoping to fight in December.

The question becomes, who is next for Lewis? There are a couple of options that could be next. The UFC could have him fight Curtis Blaydes. He could also potentially fight the winner of the Junior Dos Santos – Jairzinho Rozenstruik fight.

Ngannou – Lewis 2?

One interesting possibility I want to throw out is Francis Ngannou. While it’s not interesting in the sense of them fighting, it’s interesting in that it could be a fight for the UFC‘s vacant heavyweight title.

Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic might both retire after UFC 252. Cormier has said it’s for sure his last fight, but there are rumors that Stipe walks away as well. I can’t see the UFC giving Blaydes a third fight with Ngannou, who is the clear number one contender.

Lewis holds a win over Ngannou. If the promotion needs a fight for the vacant heavyweight title, I think Lewis – Ngannou 2 could be a strong possibility.

UFC Vegas 6 Preview: Derrick Lewis and Alexey Oleynik battle in a heavyweight main event

The UFC will host another Fight Night from the APEX tomorrow night. In the main event of the evening, The Black Beast, Derrick Lewis (23-7), takes on Alexey Oleynik (59-13-1) in a heavyweight battle. Lets take a look at the main card for UFC Vegas 6.

Lewis & Oleynik going for 3 straight in the UFC

One of the most entertaining fighters in the UFC is back as The Black Beast returns tomorrow night. Lewis is entertaining for his fighting style and his one of a kind post-fight interviews.

Lewis is one of the most powerful punchers in the heavyweight division. He’s the kind of guy who’s going to try to remove your head when he hits you. Over his career, Lewis has wins over Alexander Volkov, Francis Ngannou, Travis Brown, Roy Nelson, and I could go on.

Lewis was able to get a title shot in late 2018 after winning three fights in a row. He was stopped due to Daniel Cormier’s heavy wrestling attack. After that, he lost to JDS, but has since bounced back with back-to-back wins.

Oleynik also comes into this fight after winning back-to-back fights. Oleynik is looking to get his 60th professional win tomorrow night which is truly incredible.

The Boa Constrictor is the perfect name for Oleynik. He’s going to look to get this fight to the ground so he can choke Lewis. Out of 59 wins, 46 of them have come via submission over Oleynik’s career.

Now, we have seen Oleynik get finished recently. Before his two straight wins, he was knocked out in the first round by Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem.

Oleynik’s only chance in this fight is to get the fight to the ground, and I’m not sure he has the wrestling to get Lewis down. If he can get top position somehow, he can easily win this fight by submission.

However, I think Lewis is going to have his way on the feet. I expect something big to land early, and I expect that we will get another classic Derrick Lewis post-fight interview.

Prediction: Derrick Lewis by TKO – Round 1

Chris Weidman vs Omari Akhmedov

In the co-main event of the evening we have a middleweight contest between the former UFC middleweight champion, Chris Weidman (14-5) and Omari Akhmedov (20-4-1).

For Weidman, this is a massive fight for his career. The former champion enters the cage after going 1-5 in his last six fights. All five of those losses have seen him get knocked out. The one fight he won, he also got dropped by Kelvin Gastelum.

A few years ago, Weidman was considered one of the pound for pound best. He had good wrestling, he was good on the ground, and he had solid striking with good power. However, the last five years have left us wondering just how good he really was.

Weidman moved up to light heavyweight late last year to try something new and was quickly knocked out by Dominick Reyes. This fight is truly a make or break fight for the All-American.

Akhmedov has quietly put together a very impressive resume over the last four years. He’s going 5-0-1 with wins over guys like Ian Heinisch and Tim Boetsch. Akhmedov might not be the most exciting fighter, but he’s very effective.

This is a fight where I’m really not sure what to expect. This fight is not going to be thrilling on the feet, and I think we might see a couple of stalemates in the grappling exchanges.

To me, this is truly a toss-up. I think this will be probably the most underwhelming fight on the main card. I think it’s close because neither man dominates, but I’ll go out on a slight edge and say Weidman will get a split decision here.

Prediction: Chris Weidman by Split Decision

Darren Stewart vs Maki Pitolo

The third fight of the UFC Vegas 6 main card features middleweights Darren Stewart (11-5, 1 NC) and Maki Pitolo (13-5). If you’re wanting a stand up battle tomorrow night, look no further than this fight.

Stewart enters the octagon after going 4-2 in his last six fights. The biggest name he fought was Edmen Shahbazyan and the fight was very close. Stewart performed very well there.

Stewart is one of the more powerful guys in the division. He pushes forward with big shots and he usually starts very fast. He didn’t look great in his last fight against Bartosz Fabinski, but fortunately, Stewart is fighting someone who’s going to try and wrestle him.

Coconut Bombz, Maki Pitolo, is coming off of a knockout win over Charles Byrd back at UFC 250. Pitolo will enter the cage 4-1 in his last five fights.

Like Stewart, Pitolo is the type of guy who is going to stand and bang. He’s going to throw big power at you. If this fight has a finish, I think Pitolo is going to get it done.

However, I’m not sure the fight will get finished. If Stewart can stay patient and not be drawn into a brawl, I think he can win this fight on the scorecards. However, if it turns into brawl mode, he might get hurt.

Prediction: Darren Stewart by Split Decision

Julija Stoliarenko vs Yana Kunitskaya

The second fight of the main card features a UFC women’s bantamweight contest between Julija Stoliarenko (9-3-2) and Yana Kunitskaya (12-5, 1 NC).

Kunitskaya has had an interesting run in the UFC so far. She got the pleasure of debuting against Cris Cyborg. Predictably, she was finished in the first round. She then won back-to-back fights before fighting Aspen Ladd.

Kunitskaya was finished in the third round of that fight. 2-2 in the octagon so far but the two losses were to top competition. The former Invicta bantamweight champion has a pretty solid overall game.

She has good wrestling and she’s skilled on the feet. She’s going to bring a diverse striking attack to Stoliarenko. I really like Kunitskaya’s kicks and I think those could be key in this matchup.

Stoliarenko is a submission specialist that’s only lost once since 2016. That fight came against Leah Letson at the Ultimate Fighter finale back in 2018. Stoliarenko competed and lost on the show as well.

Out of nine professional wins, eight of them have come via armbar. When the fight hits the mat, there’s no questioning what Stoliarenko is looking to do. On the feet, she can hold her own, but will definitely be at a disadvantage here.

I think this is a tough matchup for Stoliarenko. If the fight hits the ground, she’s very capable of pulling off a submission victory, but I think we are going to see these ladies stand most of the fight which really favors Kunitskaya.

Prediction: Yana Kunitskaya by Unanimous Decision

Beneil Dariush vs Scott Holtzman

The UFC Vegas 6 main card kicks off with a lightweight contest between Beneil Dariush (18-4-1) and Scott Holtzman (14-3). Both guys will make the walk tomorrow carrying multiple fight winning streaks.

Dariush will enter the octagon riding a four fight winning streak. Quietly, Dariush has been one of the better fighters at lightweight for a long time, but due to the stacked nature of the division, he’s a guy who flies under the radar.

Dariush is really good wherever the fight goes. Great on the ground and fluid on his feet. He hold wins over guys like Jim Miller, Michael Johnson, James Vick, Drew Dober and Drakkar Klose. The one real knock on Dariush is he has a tendency to get rocked on the feet.

That tendency is something that Holtzman will look to take advantage of. He will look to press the action and use his solid boxing skills to win a stand up fight with Dariush.

Holtzman looked really good back in February in his fight with Jim Miller winning by unanimous decision. Holtzman has some good pop in his shots and he’s got decent wrestling as well.

The problem for Holtzman is that I’m just not sure he’s better at anything over Dariush. I think at some point late in the fight, the two are going to end up on the mat, and I think Dariush is going to pick up his fifth straight victory.

Prediction: Beneil Dariush by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 3

UFC Vegas 6 Outlook

The month of August is the month of the heavyweights for the UFC. This is our official tuneup for next week’s Stipe-DC 3 title fight. There are very solid fights up and down the card, and I expect to see some solid action overall.