A heavyweight bout featuring former title challenger Derrick Lewis taking on Ilir Latifi takes place on the main card of tonight’s UFC 247 event.
Lewis (22-7 MMA) was last seen in action at November’s UFC 244 event, where he picked up a split decision victory over Blagoy Ivanov. ‘The Black Beast’ has gone 3-3 over his past six Octagon appearances, which includes wins over Alexander Volkov and Francis Ngannou.
Meanwhile, Ilir Latifi (14-7 MMA) will make his heavyweight debut at tonight’s event in Houston, this after 7-5 run inside the promotions light heavyweight division. In his most recent effort at August’s UFC event in Uruguay, Latifi suffered a second round knockout loss to Volkan Oezdemir.
Round one begins and Derrick Lewis comes out quickly. Latifi circles along the outside of the cage. Lewis lunges in with a right hand but Latifi ducks under and grabs a hold of him. The pair clinch against the cage. Latifi breaks free and lands a combination. Derrick Lewis takes the center of the Octagon. Latifi fires off a punch and forces the clinch. He pushes Lewis against the cage. He is searching for a double leg takedown. He switches to a single leg but Lewis defends. Shots to the body land for both men. Latifi continues to hold ‘The Black Beast’ against the cage. The referee is taking a good look. He steps in and separates the fighters. Lewis with a big head kick that partially connects. Another head kick and Lewis swarms with punches. Ilir Latifi fires back and then pushes Lewis back against the cage. Under one minute remains and Latifi is back on the hunt for a takedown. Lewis defends and then breaks free. That doesn’t last long as Latifi lunges in and forces the clinch back against the fence. The horn sounds to end round one.
Round two begins and Derrick Lewis fires off a high kick that is blocked. He leaps in with a right hand but Latifi is quick to circle off the fence. Latifi lands a snapping low kick. Lewis responds with a kick to the body. Latifi shoots in and presses Derrick against the cage. He begins working for a single leg takedown. Lewis is doing a good job of defending. Ilir Latifi fires off some knees to the thighs of his opponent. Lewis switches the position and looks for a high knee but misses. Latifi uses that missed strike to score a takedown and immediately passes to half guard. He has just over two minutes to work. Not much action but Latifi does fire off some shots to the body. Lewis continues to hang on. Latifi with a big right hand. One minute remains in round two. The referee steps in and stands up the fight. Lewis immediately comes forward with a punch and then a head kick. Latifi shoots in and is able to score another takedown. The horn sounds to end round two.
The third and final round of this UFC 247 main card fight begins and both men throw big overhand rights to start. Lewis continues to press the action. However, that allows Latifi to get a hold of him and force the clinch. He presses Derrick Lewis against the cage and then drops down and scores a double leg takedown. Ilir moves to half guard and begins landing ground and pound. Good right hands from Latifi. He works the body of Lewis. Three minutes remain. More shots from Latifi. Finally Lewis breaks free and gets to his feet. He immediately swarms Ilir Latifi with punches. Big shots landed. Latifi grabs a hold of Lewis and backs him up against the cage. One minute remains. Another takedown from Latifi but Lewis is back up. He swings heavy leather but nothing lands clean. Lewis with a big right and then another. Latifi is in trouble. He forces the clinch and the horn sounds to end round three.
Official UFC 247 Result: Derrick Lewis def. Ilir Latifi by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Who would you like to see Derrick Lewis fight next following his decision victory over Ilir Latifi at tonight’s UFC 247 event in Houston? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com February 8, 2020
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