Former Bellator MMA and M-1 Global Heavyweight champion, Alexander Volkov, made his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) presence known with a fourth round knockout of Fabricio Werdum earlier this year. And “Drago” was eager to build off that signature win at the expense of Derrick Lewis tonight (Sat., Oct. 6, 2018) at UFC 229, which took place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He almost had it, but then he suddenly didn’t, thanks to a ridiculous come-from-behind third round knockout at the hard-hitting hands of Lewis.
Standing at 6’7,” Volkov towered over Lewis, who is a very big, strong man. Volkov got the action started early, rocking “Black Beast” with a hard shot that had him covering up. Lewis weathered the storm, but Volkov drilled him again and Lewis covered up like he was hurt. Volkov actually stopped his attack and let the referee look at Lewis for some reason before the action restarted. Once it did, Lewis drilled him with a haymaker, but somehow Volkov walked right through it and eventually was able to score a takedown. Lewis tried to get back to his feet, but Volkovsnuck around behind him and took his back. He angled for a rear-naked choke, but was too high, allowing Lewis to reverse position and drop some serious ground-and-pound just as the round came to a close.
Lewis eye orbital was treated in the corner between rounds — perhaps it was damaged in that exchange earlier in the match. Volkov came out for the second round pumping a jab before opening up with a heavy combination that forced Lewis to ball up. Lewis shot for a terrible takedown attempt, perhaps trying to avoid further damage to his swollen face. Volkov, though, used it as a target, pinging him stiff jabs as Lewis would fire back with an occasional big shot, hoping to end the bout with one punch. Lewis didn’t offer up much offense at all, perhaps conserving his energy for later in the bout. Volkov continued to stalk Lewis, who hit the Russian with a shot that knocked out his mouthpiece at the bell.
Lewis’ corner implored him to finish the fight — he was likely down two rounds on the judges scorecards. But, Lewis just couldn’t pull the trigger. His eye was clearly bothering him — Volkov harassed the area the entire bout — and he appeared that he just didn’t have enough in the tank to take out his much busier and effective Russian counterpart. Then, in a flash, Lewis exploded and rocked Volkov with a series of hellacious punches as the seconds ticked away. Volkov fell to the canvas and Lewis pounced, drilling him with a series of unanswered head bouncers until “Drago” was unconscious.
It was an incredible finish — he was 11 seconds away from losing a wide unanimous decision. But, no, “Black Beast” saved his best for last and electrified the sold-out crowd. Pure insanity.
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