Heavyweight Derrick Lewis has been a human wrecking ball since arriving in the UFC in 2014, amassing a 9-3 record in a division where one small mistake puts you down, laying unconscious on the cage floor. His lone blemish over the past three years was a TKO loss to Mark Hunt in a fight he was winning until his back seized up on him, making him a sitting duck for Hunt’s infamous power shots. Lewis has taken half a year off since that defeat, and he’s declared his back healed. But spines are not a simple thing. Could he really hang if his fight against Marcin Tybura turned into a five round war?
The back never seemed like an issue, as Lewis fought through adversity to knock Tybura out near the end of the third round, catching Tybura with a right hand to the jaw that dropped his opponent and then raining down punches til the ref stopped things. It was a timely finish, as Tybura seemed to be taking over the fight with superior grappling and a deeper pool of cardio to pull from. But the heavy handed Lewis was dangerous with every exchange, and he managed to create enough space against the cage to unleash a finishing barrage.
Being exhausted didn’t stop Derrick Lewis from dropping some of his classic humor during the post fight interview with new UFC commentator Jimmy Smith.
“What they know about them Texas boys?” he said. “That’s the way I fight. I know you’re new to the game, coming over from Bellator but that’s the way I do it baby. To my baby, April, better get ready girl, I’m going deep.”
Round 1 was a back and forth affair with Lewis nearly taking Tybura’s head off right at the start, only to stagger backwards onto the canvas and find himself mounted. Lewis managed to get back up and knock Tybura down with another big overhand right, following up with ground and pound. But Tybura once again took control on the ground, finishing the round in mount working a kimura.
Round 2 was more of the same, with Lewis surging forward and throwing dangerous leather, stunning Tybura. But then the tide would roll out and the fight would end up on the ground with Tybura on top, leaving Lewis with the exhausting task of getting up from under the big heavyweight and trying to ‘shimmy shake’ Tybura off his back. Tybura spent the huge majority of round two on top of Lewis, and he ended things dropping some hard slicing elbows to Lewis’ dome.
In round three, a tired Lewis left enough room on the feet for Tybura to start showing some offense with head kicks and knees. Tybura pushed Lewis up against the cage and seemed to be taking over on a tired Lewis, but Derrick managed to turn and throw Tybura, step back, and uncork a huge left right combo that dropped Tybura to the canvas where he was finished shortly after.