|Can Derrick Lewis earn a second siege at the Heavyweight crown?|
The current Heavyweight division is home to some of the heaviest hitters in recent memory with two of the most prevalent boxers of the weight class clashing this Saturday night as fan favourite Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis squares off with former world champion Junior Dos Santos in the main event of UFC Fight Night Wichita in the organisation’s first ever trip to Kansas.
Former division kingpin Junior Dos Santos has seen quite the resurgence in what could be seen as the heyday of his mixed-martial arts career, securing two consecutive wins. JDS ran it back with Stipe Miocic for the Heavyweight crown back in 2017, Junior was stopped convincingly in the opening round but may find himself one win away from his fourth title tilt. ‘Cigano’ served as the welcoming party to former World Series Of Fighting champ Blagoy Ivanov, and handed the behemoth his first defeat in almost five years by way of a unanimous decision. One man making big waves throughout the division in 2018 was Tai Tuivasa, and when pitted with Dos Santos in his first promotion headliner, the Tuivasa wave came crashing down. Junior althroughout the battle displayed his ever technical boxing, and finished ‘Bam Bam’ in the second round, earning him the #8 rank in the division.
No doubt, Junior has been stopped in some dramatic fashion before. Losses to Alistair Overeem and his trilogy with Cain Velasquez, particularly the rematch and subsequent rubber match spring to mind, forcing us to question the Brazilian’s ability to take a shot, apparent in suffering his last stoppage loss to the aforementioned Miocic two years ago, although those three are more technical strikers than Derrick Lewis, one shot from ‘The Black Beast’ is more than often detrimental. Dos Santos is more technically proficient than Lewis, who himself has been stopped via strikes on three separate occasions so this one ultimately comes down to who can land first. I’m taking Derrick Lewis in this clash.
UFC Wichita takes place this Saturday night with an exciting prospect versus prospect match up taking the co-main event banner, as Brazilian striker Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos meets Middleweight rival Curtis Millender. Wily grappler Beneil Dariush also meets Drew Dober in a Lightweight meeting on the main card. We will also see some implications towards the upper echelon on the Bantamweight ranks as Marion Reneau squares up with former Invicta champion and one time UFC Featherweight title challenger Yana Kunitskaya.
Derrick Lewis via knockout.