What’s Next For ‘Black Beast?‘
Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Fight Night 146 blew the roof off INTRUST Bank Arena last Saturday night (March 9, 2019) in Wichita, Kansas.
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Curtis Millender, who saw his nine-fight win streak come to an end in the first round at the hands of Elizeu Zeleski dos Santos (see it again here). And Tim Means, who was knocked out by Niko Price in the fading moments of the opening round of their Welterweight war (recap).
But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?
Coming into his headlining Heavyweight showdown against Junior dos Santos, Lewis was looking to erase the memory of putting up a dud in his first-ever UFC title fight against current division champion, Daniel Cormier, last year at UFC 230. While “Black Beast” did take the fight on short notice, many expected a better outing from the power-punching big man.
Still, a win over a former champion like “Cigano” could have launched him back into the title mix sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately, it will be much later, as Lewis suffered a second-round knockout loss to “JDS” after going toe-to-toe with his fellow heavy-handed big man. The first round saw both men get in a few licks, though it seemed dos Santos was the much crisper striker, while Lewis was uncharacteristically throwing leg kicks. In round two, it was more of the same, with Dos Santos looking to use his boxing technique to go in and out and avoid one of his opponent’s boulders he calls fists.
Then, dos Santos connected with a spinning kick right to Lewis’ mid-section, forcing him to buckle over in pain. As the Brazilian went in for the kill, Lewis tried to catch his aggressive foe slipping, throwing a mean right that barely grazed him. The possum-like move caught dos Santos’ attention, which had him weary of going in too aggressive.
After shaking off the cobwebs, both men got back to business, but dos Santos once again landed a clean right hand that dazed Lewis, and ultimately provided the opening he needed to pile on the punishment and put an end to the fight.
The loss gave “Black Beast” the first back-to-back defeats of his career, making his climb back to title contention a bit harder. To hear his camp tell it, Lewis wasn’t 100-percent coming into the bout, as his team revealed he suffered a torn meniscus, ACL and MCL a month prior to the fight.
Regardless, the second straight loss is a tough blow for the hard-hitting heavyweight, who should be facing someone like Tai Tuivasa in his next outing. Like Lewis, Tuivasa suffered a knockout loss to dos Santos in his previous fight, ending his undefeated streak.
Tuivasa needs a big win to get his momentum back, and one over a former title contender could do the trick. For Lewis, getting an impressive victory over Tuivasa would him erase the memory and heartbreak of his previous two defeats. Plus, these two men can crack, so it would be a feast for fight fans.
For complete UFC: “Wichita” results and coverage click here.