A key heavyweight fight between former title challenger Francis Ngannou and perennial contender Derrick Lewis served as the co-headliner of tonight’s UFC 226 pay-per-view event in Las Vegas.
Francis Ngannou entered tonight’s contest sporting an 11-2 record, with all eleven of his wins coming by form of stoppage.
Meanwhile, Derrick Lewis came into tonight’s co-main event having won seven of his past eight fights. “The Black Beast” is 19-5 overall during his mixed martial arts career.
Round one begins and both men are tentative to start. Ngannou is being very patient here and using a lot of feints. Lewis fakes with a low kick. Lewis lands a right hand as Francis is coming in. Ngannou appears to be ok. Lewis leaps in with a switch kick to the head that is blocked by Ngannou. That was something. Francis presses forward now. Derrick greets him with a kick to the body. He misses with a follow up front kick. Ngannou maintains pressure. Derrick is backed up against the cage. He side steps and then leaps in with a right hand that misses. The fighters briefly clinch but Lewis breaks away and then throws a low kick that misses. He throws another that connects. Ngannou with a jab to the body. Lewis responds with a right hand that is blocked. Francis is using a lot of movement but not throwing anything. Lewis throws another switch kick to the head of Ngannou that once again just misses. He lands a low kick and the horn sounds to end round one.
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Round two begins and Ngannou comes out with a left hand that misses. Lewis complained about his back to his corner at the end of round one. He throws a low kick that lands. Both men are being very cautious here. The crowd is becoming restless. Derrick comes forward with a right hand. He shoots in for a takedown but it is not there. Ngannou circles out and Lewis cuts him off with a combination that misses. Ngannou takes the center of the cage. Francis eats a jab from Lewis. Derrick presses forward but Francis simply circles out. Ngannou is still bouncing around here. The referee actually steps in and tells the fighters they have to do something. Upon restart Lewis lands a kick to the body of Ngannou. He follows that up with a wild right hand that misses. Derrick continues to press the action and lands a left hand. Ngannou fires off an uppercut that misses. The horn sounds to end round two.
Round three begins and one would have to assume that Derrick Lewis is up two rounds. Ngannou needs to get some offense going. Both fighters paw with their respective jabs. Lewis lands a pair of low kicks. He lands another. Ngonnou throws a jab that misses and then lands a low kick. He follows that up with a kick to the body. Neither man seems like they want this fight. Lewis with a light leg kick. He leaps in with a right hand that misses. Ngannou circles and then takes the center of the octagon. Ngannou with a front kick that misses. Lewis fires off a low kick but that too misses the mark. This might be the worst heavyweight fight in UFC history. Maybe the worst in any division. Lewis with a low kick and then he charges in with a flurry. Ngannou likely needs the knockout but he isn’t going for it. He misses with a left hook from way outside of the pocket. Lewis takes the center of the cage and throws a jab. One minute to go folks. Ngannou misses with a high kick. Lewis with a kick to the body. Francis with a left hook. Lewis presses him up against the cage and lands a knee. Ngannou breaks free and lands a left. This fight is finally done. Terrible.