Derrick Lewis
The Black Beast

USA

Big favorite in main event
HeavyweightUFC
August 3, 2020
Lewis enters fight week as approximately a (-235) betting favorite for his heavyweight matchup against Aleksei Oleinik at UFC on ESPN+ 32 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Lewis is coming off back-to-back decision victories against Ilir Latifi and Blagoy Ivanov, and he'll now face a veteran fighter on a two-fight winning streak of his own. The two match up similarly in stature, with Lewis owning a slight height advantage, but reach leaning barely towards Oleinik. It's a five-round fight, which one would think lies in the favor of Oleinik given Lewis' tendency to tire late. Lewis has more experience in the "championship rounds" due to multiple past main event appearances, however, while Oleinik hasn't gone past Round 3 despite having 73 professional fights to his name. Oleinik surprisingly throws at a higher striking volume, but Lewis packs significantly more power in his punches, which is likely the main factor in him entering as the favorite. The key for Lewis will be defending Oleinik's attempts to get this fight to the mat, which may be a challenge given his sub-par career 53 percent takedown defense. While Oleinik's grappling is nothing short of elite, Lewis has only been submitted once in a career spanning 31 professional fights. Oleinik can also be had on the feet, as both of his 2019 losses were first-round stoppages at the hands of Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem.
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Expected to headline Aug. 8 card
HeavyweightUFC
June 16, 2020
Lewis is expected to face Aleksei Oleinik in a heavyweight fight Aug. 8 for a UFC event that's expected to be held somewhere in the United States, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The Lewis-Oleinik bout is expected to serve as the headliner ofr the Aug. 8 card. Lewis has remained one of the top heavyweights for several years and will be coming into this fight with back-to-back victories over Ilir Latifi and Blagoy Ivanov. Oleinik will also be coming in off two straight wins.
Aiming for 2020 return
HeavyweightUFC
March 19, 2020
Lewis told Ariel Helwani of ESPN that he is healthy and hopes to fight later this year.
ANALYSIS
Lewis showed several new tools in his repertoire his last time out in a Feb. 8 victory over Ilir Latifi, and while no word of an injury surfaced after that fight, it seems he's been at less than 100 percent of late. Nonetheless, it seems "The Black Beast" will be ready to push his winning streak to three after the UFC starts resuming a semi-normal schedule.
Digs deep to decision Ilir Latifi
HeavyweightUFC
February 8, 2020
Lewis defeated Ilir Latifi via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 247 on Saturday in Houston.
ANALYSIS
The all-around game is Lewis is evolving right before our very eyes. He attempted about half a dozen flying knees in this fight and landed a few of them. He also displayed good balance along the fence, despite allowing Latifi to land three of six takedown attempts. With the fight seemingly tied at a round a piece and about 90 seconds left in the bout, Lewis went from broke and unleashed several bombs on Latifi. Latifi somehow survived, but that flurry likely won Lewis the fight. Lewis' cardio will also be an issue, as will his grappling, but he is making legitimate strides in both areas. He is likely to continued to be exposed against top-flight competition, but his power combined with some new wrinkles in his game should keep Lewis on the fringes of the title conversation in the heavyweight division. Lewis turned 35 years of age on Friday.
Set to face Ilir Latifi
HeavyweightUFC
November 18, 2019
Lewis is lined up to face Ilir Latifi in a heavyweight bout on Feb. 8 in an event which is expected to take place in Houston, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The details of the bout and the card itself haven't been officially confirmed, but Lewis appears set to give the Swede his first taste of heavyweight action. Both fighters are in something of a rough stretch in their careers, with Lewis bouncing back from two straight losses to beat Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 244 in November and Latifi coming off two losses in a row. Latifi is a smaller wrestler who will be moving up a weight class for the first time in an attempt to prolong his career. Lewis typically eschews wrestling, having recorded 10 of his 13 UFC victories by punching his way to a knockout or TKO.
Digs deep to decision Blagoy Ivanov
HeavyweightUFC
November 2, 2019
Lewis defeated Blagoy Ivanov via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28) at UFC 244 on Saturday in New York City.
ANALYSIS
In many aspects, this was a typical Lewis fight. His entire offensive arsenal consisted of bombing massive right hands from the bleachers. Many of them landed, but Lewis still couldn't get Ivanov out of there. On the other hand, this fight was a significant step forward for Lewis because his cardio appeared much improved. Lewis exploded from the bottom to get back to his feet on multiple occasions and that's something we never would have seen from "The Black Beast" in the past. It still wasn't great, but it was better than we have seen recently and Lewis appeared fully healthy. The fact Lewis showed he can win a fight that goes this distance is also a big deal. All in all, it was a pretty strong effort from Lewis on the heels of a brief two-fight losing streak. Lewis's floor is non-existent due to the fact he's so one-dimensional, but he's right there with fellow heavyweight Francis Ngannou in terms of the sport's most terrifying strikers.