10 Mar - 
RECAP! ‘Cigano’ Crushes ‘The Black Beast!’

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight strikers Junior dos Santos and Derrick Lewis threw down last night (March 9, 2019) at UFC Fight Night 146 inside Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.

It’s been seven years since “JDS” lost his title, but the Brazilian has never faltered in his quest to regain the strap. Despite some painful losses over the years, dos Santos remains a top-ranked Heavyweight. Even better, he entered this bout on a two-fight win streak, already somewhat close to a title shot.

Alternatively, Lewis’ incredible 2018 came to a disappointing close when he finally earned the title shot, as there was no miraculous come-from-behind knockout to be found. Undeterred, Lewis was back in the Octagon just a few months later, looking to immediately get back into the title mix.

The two opened the fight by exchanging crushing low kicks. Moments later, Lewis jumped into the air with a body kick. Not long after, dos Santos stumbled Lewis with an overhand, but Lewis tagged him back despite the wobbly legs! With both men stunned slightly, they briefly reset, but dos Santos went right back to work by attacking the body and legs after a few seconds.

The fight slowed down for about a minute before a monstrous spin kick from “JDS” saw Lewis curl over in serious pain. The Brazilian sprung forward, but Lewis answered with a massive overhand that nearly blasted dos Santos to another planet! Lewis was badly hurt and still hunched over, but his nasty right hand kept dos Santos from chasing the finish too aggressively.

It was a strong, if dangerous, round for the former champion.

Dos Santos targeted the leg to start the second round, but he slipped on a kick and nearly gave Lewis top position in the process. Once back to his feet, however, dos Santos very much looked in control. Keeping Lewis’ back to the fence, “JDS” kept the body jab and kicks going, giving Lewis few counter opportunities. With Lewis trapped in place, the Brazilian feinted and fire a cross that landed straight to the chin.

For the third time in the fight, “The Black Beast” was hurt. Unable to get his legs beneath him, Lewis could do little more than cover up underneath the barrage. He eventually fell to the mat, and a few more punches from dos Santos sealed the deal.

This was a very clean win for the Brazilian. He took a couple hard shots, which is difficult to avoid when fighting a wild man like Lewis, but dos Santos stuck to the game plan well. At range, “JDS” was very aware of Lewis’ power punching, leading him to avoid the pocket. Instead, dos Santos played it safe, sticking mostly to the body jab and kicks while waiting for his opportunity.

Playing it safe does not mean dos Santos failed to do damage. The spinning back kick to the belly was beautiful, a safe way to attack a proven weakness of “The Black Beast.” By the time “JDS” was really stepping in behind his right hand, Lewis was in bad position along the fence and hesitant.

Great work from the former champ.

As for Lewis, he didn’t look bad in the early goings of the fight. For such a large man, his speedy kicks are pretty incredible. In addition, Lewis’ counter right hand has never looked more dangerous. At the same time, Lewis did not follow the standard anti-Junior dos Santos strategy of pressure. Lewis routinely found himself with his back to the fence, which should have been what he was trying to do to the Brazilian!

To win this bout, Lewis needed to be the one pressuring. Both men tend to struggle badly when placed on the fence, meaning whoever was leading the dance would be at a serious advantage. Lewis put himself in a situation where his only chance at victory was a come-from-behind knockout, and though he may be the king of that situation, it’s still an unlikely one.

Last night, Junior dos Santos landed another knockout to extend his win streak. Who should “Cigano” face next?

For complete UFC Fight Night 146 ‘dos Santos vs. Lewis’ results and play-by-play, click HERE!