Headlining his first event in Albany, New York, Derrick Lewis was looking to make a statement as to why he belongs at the top of the UFC heavyweight division.
Facing a veteran striker in Shamil Abdurakhimov, Lewis didn’t look like himself in the first half of the fight. Abdurakhimov looked to stay on the outside of Lewis’ power strikes and was most successful with his countering of Lewis’ kicks. Abdurakhimov was able to catch several low kicks and put Lewis on his back.
After a warning in the third round from the referee, Dan Miragliotta, to Abdurakhimov about being timid, it almost forced Abdurakhimov to engage. In the fourth round, Abdurakhimov seemed to slow down, and Lewis looked to go in for the kill. After landing a few grazing shots on Abdurakhimov’s chin, Lewis finally secured the takedown, and that was the beginning of the end.
Lewis landed some clean punches on Abdurakhimov, and Miragliotta had seen enough. After the fight, Lewis said he wasn’t happy with his performance, and plans to rest. With the UFC coming to Houston in February, no word if Lewis will make a push to get on the card.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2016