Last night, in the co-main event of the UFC’s anticipated return to Austin, Texas, Derrick Lewis survived a few scares to author a thunderous third-round TKO win over Polish talent Marcin Tybura. With this win, Lewis rebounded from tough, stoppage loss to heavyweight legend Mark Hunt, and reasserted himself as a top contender in the perilous UFC heavyweight division.
Though he’s likely still a win or two away from a heavyweight title shot, Lewis has a few opponents in mind for his next fight, any of whom could well propel him the rest of the way to the top. Those men are: Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, and Fabricio Werdum. Or, you know, whoever is willing to sign a contract first.
“I’d like to get Francis, Blaydes, Fabricio…anyone who signs the contract first!” @thebeast_UFC now has the second most KOs in UFC Heavyweight history, who should Lewis fight next? https://t.co/ilNMeycAWi
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) February 19, 2018
When we last saw Francis Ngannou in action, he had his hype train derailed by a lopsided decision loss to reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. This win was preceded by a 6-0 start to his UFC career.
Curtis Blaydes, meanwhile, recently burst into heavyweight title contention with an impressive decision win over the legend Mark Hunt, improving to 4-1 with one no contest in the Octagon.
The former champion Fabricio Werdum, finally, is currently linked to a bout with Alexander Volkov on March 7 in London,England. He’s won his last two fights, defeating Marcin Tybura by decision and Walt Harris by submission. These wins separated him from a decision loss to Alistair Overeem.
Which of these three men do you think makes the most sense for Derrick Lewis’ next opponent? Join the conversation in the comments section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/19/2018.