In the main event of UFC Vegas 6, top-10 heavyweights collided as Derrick Lewis took on Alexey Oleynik.
It was a pivotal fight for both men as with the heavyweight title on the line at UFC 252, the winner could earn a number one contender bout or a title shot depending on the outcome. In the lead up to the fight, it was expected if Oleynik wins it would be by submission and if Lewis wins it would be by knockout. Ultimately, it was Lewis who got his hand raised by second-round knockout.
Now, following the event, here is what we think should be next for Derrick Lewis and Alexey Oleynik:
Derrick Lewis is quietly on a three-fight winning streak and could very well be one win away from fighting for UFC gold once again.
After the win, Lewis said he wants to lose some more weight before returning in late 2020 or early 2021. When he returns, the heavyweight division could very well be much different depending on the outcome of the trilogy bout this Saturday.
Lewis needs to wait and see what happens. If Cormier wins and retires and leaves the belt vacant perhaps “The Black Beast” could earn a title shot against Francis Ngannou given he holds a win over him. If it is Miocic that wins then a logical next fight is against Curtis Blaydes in a number one contender bout.
Alexey Oleynik came just short of getting career win number 60. The Russian had success in the first round and was working on a choke. But, early on in the second round, he got caught with a knee and a flush right hand that put him out.
Now, the 43-year-old, who told BJPENN.com he still has several more years of competition left, has options for his next fight. The UFC could use Oleynik as a gatekeeper to the top-10 of the heavyweight division. But, a more logical option is the loser of Ciryl Gane vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov in September.
Regardless, Oleynik still can be a successful heavyweight and should still fight a ranked guy next time out when he decides to return.
What do you think should be next for Derrick Lewis and Alexey Oleynik?