Heavyweight legend Derrick Lewis faced off with former champion Junior dos Santos tonight (Saturday, March 9, 2019) in the INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas, only on ESPN+ (start your free trial here). Lewis, ranked third, was trying to bounce back from his loss to champion Daniel Cormier, while Junior dos Santos was attempting to build some momentum, having won two straight.
They touched gloves. Junior threw an overhand to the body. Lewis landed a leg kick, and avoided the return leg kick. Junior, undeterred, threw an inside leg kick, and blocked a big switch kick from Lewis. Herb Dean paused the fight for a poke to Lewis’ eye from Junior. They resumed, and Lewis moved back to avoid a right hand to the body. He landed a heavy body kick, and tried a jumping knee. Lewis cracked dos Santos with a right hand! Lewis seems unusually energetic. He ate a huge right hand from dos Santos, then rocked dos Santos in return!! Wild exchange. Junior ducked away from a massive Lewis overhand, and landed a straight to the body. Junior worked his jab with Lewis along the fence. Big leg kick from Junior, then a right-left that just missed. He threw a spinning back kick that doubled Lewis over, but Lewis cracked him as he came in! Lewis is still bent over, and Junior unloaded several punches, but Lewis was still hanging in there. Junior tried a wheel kick, and Lewis responded with a high kick attempt as the buzzer sounded. Incredible first round. Lewis’ corner told him he needs to finish the fight.
Lewis was throwing kicks in the second round, and ate a body jab. Leg kick from Lewis; when Junior tried to throw one back he launched an overhand that made Junior slip, and Lewis landed a couple hard punches as Junior scrambled up. Lewis went for that weird trip takedown. Junior rocked Derrick with a one-two! Lewis covered up, and Junior dos Santos poured it on for the finish! What a win for the former champion, and what a fight that was. this was the good kind of heavyweight, all action from start to finish.
“THANK YOU, WICHITA!” roared Junior dos Santos, before announcing it was his son’s birthday and singing happy birthday to him happily and off-key. He said Lewis has heavy hands, and while he didn’t feel anything bad, he felt he took a hard punch in the first round. He complained briefly about the rankings and said he is here to regain his belt. This entertaining win, his third in a row, must certainly put him back near the front of the line; a win over Stipe Miocic or Francis Ngannou and Junior could be looking at another title shot.
Official result: Junior dos Santos def. Derrick Lewis via TKO at 1:58 of Round 2
Fight Night 146 results, including play-by-play, click here