Later tonight, in the main event of UFC Halifax, dangerous Hawaiian heavyweight Travis Browne will attempt to correct an unfortunate, two fight losing streak. His opportunity to do so will come against the streaking Derrick Lewis.
Though Browne has recently fallen on tough times, there was a time not all that long ago when he was regarded as one of the very best heavyweights on the planet. It’s possible that his reputation as such peaked in 2013, when he scored an incredible knockout win over former UFC heavyweight champ Josh Barnett.
Browne’s win, which occurred exactly one minute into the first round, was far from conventional. After Barnett shot in for a takedown attempt, the Hawaiian began to drill into the side of his head with elbows. After several of these elbows landed flush, the referee intervened, and Barnett crumpled to the floor in an unconscious heap.
Watch this violent knockout win in the video at the top of this post.
In his next bout after this crushing, knockout win, Browne gave up a decision to Fabricio Werdum. He then defeated Brendan Schaub by TKO, lost to Andrei Arlovski by TKO, defeat Matt Mitrione by TKO, and most recently, come up short to Cain Velasquez and Werdum again, losing by TKO and decision respectively.
Browne’s opponent at UFC Halifax, Derrick Lewis, enters the bout at a very different juncture of his career. “The Black Beast” is on a five-fight win-streak, having stopped Viktor Pesta, Damian Grabowski, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Shamil Abdurakhimov and decisioned Roy Nelson in his most recent fights.
If Browne loses this fight, it’s likely to have disastrous implications for his career. If he wins, meanwhile, he’ll likely burst back into the heavyweight title picture. Lewis, meanwhile, figures to emerge as a bona fide title contender with a win.
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/19/2017.