Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has bolstered its UFC 244 pay-per-view (PPV) main card with a titanic tilt between top-ranked heavyweight hurters Blagoy Ivanov and Derrick Lewis, who collide this Sat. night (Nov. 2, 2019) inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
A win for Ivanov, 33, who is currently ranked No. 8 in the division, is likely to push him into the Top 5, perhaps trading places with the No. 5 Lewis. Realistically, that could leave “Baga” just one win away from a 265-pound title shot.
“That fight I had no ranking,” Ivanov told BJPenn.com about his last performance. “This one I am in the Top 10 and this will push me into Top 5. Every fight is important but this is the most important fight. I think after Derrick Lewis I am one more win away from getting title shot. I’m only focused on Derrick and getting the win. We will see the fight how it goes.”
Ivanov (18-2, 1 NC) came into UFC on the strength of his standout performances for World Series of Fighting (WSOF). The Bulgarian brute is 7-1 since his last fight in Bellator MMA and despite his smaller size, has been able to frustrate most heavyweights with his grappling.
That said, he’ll need to keep his hands up and his chin tucked against a puncher with the power of Lewis. “Black Beast” has ended 18 of his 21 wins by way of devastating knockout, including his UFC 229 Hail Mary over Alexander Volkov.
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