The UFC returns to the Apex facility in Las Vegas after a red-hot Pay-Per-View card last weekend in New York City!
In the main event, Heavyweight finishers collide as knockout leader Derrick Lewis faces off against crushing Moldovan Sergey Spivak. In the co-main event, Ion Cutelaba and Kennedy Nzechukwu square off in a bout not likely to go to the scorecards.
Derrick Lewis vs. Sergey Spivak (HW)
Derrick Lewis (26-10, 17-8 UFC) has made a name for himself as the premier KO artist in the Heavyweight division. “The Black Beast” holds immense knockout power in both hands, carrying the record for most knockout wins in UFC history. He is now coming off two straight losses, last seen suffering a first-round knockout at the hands of Sergei Pavlovich. Lewis always comes for a brawl and while he is not the most technically responsible, he can change the fight in an instant with twenty-one KO wins to his name. Lewis often struggles when secured on the mat, primarily relying on his strength to get him out of bad spots.
After a rough knockout loss to Tom Aspinall, Sergey Spivak (15-3, 6-3 UFC) rebounded with two straight victories, stopping both Greg Hardy and Augusto Sakai with ground and pound. “The Polar Bear” is most impressive on the mat, dominating his opponent from top control. He pursues takedowns with aggression, averaging more than four takedowns per fifteen minutes in the UFC. While his defense on the feet has proven a concern, Spivak has consistently made improvements to his striking, further blending his attacks together. He has scored thirteen stoppages in his pro career with seven by knockout.
This is a pure stylistic clash as Spivak will be trying to drag this to the mat quickly while Lewis looks to land a bomb on the feet. Both also target each other vulnerabilities quite well, as Lewis’ poor grappling has been a consistent weakness through his UFC tenure, while Spivak has suffered two of his UFC losses by knockout, including his debut to Walt Harris. I expect Spivak to not have too much issue dragging this fight to the mat, but he will need to avoid a flurry of bombs from Lewis to get there. I see this fight basically as a coin flip, whether Lewis can time a big shot in between the takedown entries of Spivak, who will assuredly dominate if he can repeatedly ground Lewis. Although Lewis’ takedown defense has been historically porous, I like him to land a big shot before the midway point.
My Pick: Derrick Lewis via Knockout
Ion Cutelaba vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (LHW)
My Pick: Ion Cutelaba via Decision
Chase Sherman vs. Waldo Cortes-Acosta (HW)
My Pick: Waldo Cortes-Acosta via Knockout
Muslim Salikhov vs. Andre Fialho (WW)
My Pick: Muslim Salikhov via Decision
Jack Della Maddalena vs. Danny Roberts (WW)
My Pick: Jack Della Maddalena via Knockout
Tune in to http://www.fightfreaks.co on Saturday for the live results!