This past weekend (July 30, 2022) at UFC 277, the featured Heavyweight bout left Texas’ Derrick Lewis with a lot to be desired.
Quickly becoming infamous for his poor results in his home state, Lewis suffered yet another setback when returning for his clash with surging Russian contender, Sergei Pavlovich. In less than one minute, Pavlovich ran through “The Black Beast” to score the biggest win of his 17-fight career, getting the technical knockout in 55 seconds.
Unfortunately for both men, the ending didn’t come without its controversy as Lewis popped right back up after dropping face down from the finishing sequence. When assessing the outcome, retired referee, “Big” John McCarthy, sees why the bout was stopped, but doesn’t feel it should have been.
“I did not agree with the stoppage, I thought it was early,” McCarthy said on his Weighing In podcast. “Because you know those guys going into this fight. It’s not like these are new, young guys. You know what Derrick Lewis does, you know he has come back in fights where he has been hit and has gone down and you know the way that he does go down. He doesn’t usually go to his butt. He tends to go down towards his face-down, ass-up position but he tries to fight his way through it.
“You gotta give him that time,” he continued. “But, I know Dan [Miragliotta] was trying to protect him. But, there comes that point where he’s a professional fighter, this is his job. Yeah, he got touched, but he wasn’t getting touched that much in that flurry, he got hurt before it and he was trying to work his way through it and it’s the way that he went down that Dan stopped it. I understand why but it’s unfortunate.”
In Lewis’ career, he’s made somewhat a name for himself by coming back on numerous occasions after either being hurt or down on the scorecards. Most notably, fans will remember his Hail Mary knockout of Alexander Volkov in the waning seconds of their UFC 229 fight in Oct. 2018.
While McCarthy doesn’t think Lewis was going to rally in a similar fashion, he still wishes we would have got to find out.
“I would have liked to have seen — I don’t think the results would have changed, I don’t think Derrick was going to beat Sergei in this fight — but you don’t want to see something where you have controversy in it and say he popped right up, and he did, but these are the chances you’re taking when you put yourself in these positions,” McCarthy concluded.
For complete UFC 277: “Nunes vs. Pena 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE.