Derrick Lewis (8) vs Travis Browne (9)
The main fight of the evening was in the heavy weight division between Derrick Lewis and Travis Browne. Both fighters had polar opposite streaks coming into the fight with Browne losing four of his last six fights and Lewis having a five win streak. Browne had the height advantage, as he does over most opponents, however other than that there was little to separate the two fighters. Lewis is one of the only UFC heavy weight fighters that needs to cut weight for his fights and I expected for him to look to land a big right hand to finish the fight. Browne on the other hand would look to utilise his kicking skills, as he has done in the past to finish accomplished heavy weights such as Alistair Overeem.
In the first round we saw it was evident that Browne was looking to stay in the centre of the octagon and launch viscous side and head kicks. This continued till around 2 minutes in when Browne seemed to badly hurt Lewis with a kick forcing him to switch stances and hold his right side. Lewis then began opening up landing strikes of his own on the counter. Shortly after Browne landed a heavy knee to the body which saw Lewis wince in pain for the second time, covering his body and dropping to his knee towards the edge of the octagon. Browne continued the pressure as he looked to capitalise on Lewis’ discomfort. Lewis throughout the first round seemed to neglect dealing with any of Browne’s kicks, opting to neither try and avoid or check them. Lewis tried two spectacular spinning high kicks to no avail and at the end of the round Lewis’ corner urged him to push forward and get away from the fence and to start dealing with Browne’s kicks.
The second round sees Lewis ignoring what his corners advise and remain near the fence. As Browne attempted one of his high kicks Lewis was able to grab hold of Browne leading to numerous successive strikes clearly rocking Browne. As Browne scrambled Lewis continued with a flurry of uppercuts and hooks, choosing to avoid the un-protected body of Browne. Eventually Lewis managed to bring Browne to the floor, nearly in full mount, Lewis began landing hard elbows. After a few attempts of getting to his knees Browne managed to bring the fight to its feet again only to have Lewis land a deadly strike to the crown of Browne. As Browne slammed to the floor Lewis followed with heavy punches, ending the fight as a K.O win to Lewis.
Lewis remained on his back for minutes after the fight had ended clearly displaying the impact that the first round had on him and the unrelenting effort he showed in the second. The fight seemed hugely in favour of Browne after the first round but once again we saw the effectiveness of Lewis’ right hand come to the fore front in the second. Also the match seemed to be stopped quite late as Browne didn’t seem to protect himself consciously seconds before the fight was stopped. The real controversy of the night and something the UFC attempted to elude to on their social media platforms were the comments Lewis made about Browne and Ronda Rousey after the fight. He explained how he would always have more heart than a man who laid hands on a woman referencing Browne’s past domestic abuse allegations. He also made it clear to Browne’s girlfriend Ronda Rousey what his opinions of her was stating “Where’s Ronda Rousey’s fine ass at?” Lewis now currently has the longest heavy weight win streak with 6 wins in a row for the black beast.