Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight sluggers Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis battled last night (July 7, 2018) at UFC 226 from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bad blood and massive power? Sounds like a recipe for a fun fight. Some fans may decry Ngannou as exposed after his difficult loss to Miocic, but a young fighter getting soundly beaten by the champion of the division is hardly career-ending. To get back into the title mix, Ngannou just had to land another knockout. Of course, Lewis was coming for the Cameroonian’s chin as well. The bruiser may not be the most technical athlete, but none could doubt his brawling prowess.
After a long feeling out process, Lewis scored first with a nice body kick and right hand. Lewis continued to work with kicks, while Ngannou stalked and waited for his opening. There were 90 seconds remaining in the round when Ngannou finally threw his first strike, a jab which came up short. Not that Lewis did much more, but he did land some decent kicks and threaten with power punches.
Realistically, the first round was a giant feint contest, but Lewis definitely won it with his slightly elevated rate of activity.
Ngannou was a bit more active with his jab to start the second, but it was still a literal staring contest for large portions of time. Ngannou attempted his first real takedown of the fight nearly two minutes in with no success. Otherwise, it was the battle of the occasional jab vs. the occasional kick. The world kept hoping it would improve, but Ngannou did almost nothing for the entire five minutes.
Lewis did slight — SLIGHTLY — more, so I guess he was up two rounds to none.
Neither man made any adjustments to begin the third round. Actually, Ngannou threw a few more kicks, none of which did anything significant. I’m really struggling to write anything more about the action because almost nothing happened. Lewis mixed in a couple flurries that sort of saw some body punches land.
Lewis scored with a decent flurry near the end of the round, which pretty much sealed the deal for “The Black Beast.”
Is there anything to talk about in a fight where only 30 something strikes were landed in 15 minutes? That’s an abysmal rate. It was a terrible, miserable fight where almost nothing happened.
If there’s anyone to defend, it has to be Lewis. Lewis has long suffered back spasms — it once cost him a fight the day of the bout — and it seems that Lewis was dealing with that injury during the fight. Even with that issue, Lewis forced the issue a bit more, throwing and landing double the strikes of his opponent.
A miserable win is a miserable win.
There’s no defense for Ngannou. “The Predator” may have lost last time out, but at least he was swinging for the finish until the final bell. This was far more devastating to his reputation, and the UFC needs to throw him a softball next time out so that he can hopefully rebound.
Last night, Derrick Lewis somehow won a slow-paced decision. What do you make of this bizarre fight?
For complete UFC 226: “Miocic Vs. Cormier” results and play-by-play, click HERE!