Derrick Lewis will try to score his first knockout win in nearly two years when he takes on veteran heavyweight Aleksei Oleinik later this evening (Sat., Aug. 8, 2020) at UFC Vegas 6 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This will be Lewis’ first main event bid since getting finished by veteran Junior dos Santos in March of 2019. Since that loss, “Black Beast” has captured decision wins over Blagoy Ivanov and Ilir Latifi. They were hard fought victories, but not exactly the type of performances that fight fans have grown accustomed to seeing from the hard-hitting heavyweight finisher.
With six months since his last fight Lewis has had time to rethink his approach at heavyweight as well as work on some of the things that plagued him in the past. But even though he looked to be in really good shape for Friday’s official UFC Vegas 6 weigh ins (full replay HERE), Lewis doesn’t believe he’s in the best shape possible.
“I’m not (in the best shape ever),” Lewis told UFC’s Megan Olivi (shown above). “I ain’t going to lie to you, but I’m in better shape than I was in the last fight. I don’t feel like I’m in the best shape ever.”
If Lewis feels like he doesn’t have enough energy to go all five rounds with “Boa Constrictor” he’s going to come out guns blazing and do what he can to get Oleinik out early. In fact, “Black Beast” is predicting a knockout finish in the third round, which would be the fourth of his UFC career.
“It’s so crazy, I don’t know,” said Lewis when asked how his bout with Oleinik will end. “It’s damn sure not going to a decision because I don’t think me or him have the gas tank to go to a decision. So it’s going to be a finish in the third round.”
Lewis, 35, will hold a three-fight win streak in the UFC’s stacked heavyweight division should he take care of business against Oleinik. While that type of success would usually propel a fighter up the divisional ladder “Black Beast” understands there are other contenders in front of him. Not only is current UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic set to defend his title against Daniel Cormier in a trilogy fight at UFC 252, but surging contenders Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes are positioning themselves for future title shots as well.
“It just keeps me where I’m at,” Lewis said of a win at UFC Vegas 6 “Curtis and Ngannou, those guys have been on a winning streak as well. We just have to see what happens next week with ‘DC’ and Stipe.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 6 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 9 p.m. ET.