Derrick Lewis may have entered his fight with Marcin Tybura coming off of a loss to Mark Hunt last summer, but he aimed to set things right, and he did.
Though he had to overcome some early adversity at UFC Fight Night 126 on Sunday night in Austin, Texas, Lewis eventually finished the fight with the power that we’ve all come to expect from MMAWeekly.com’s No. 9 ranked heavyweight.
Lewis started the fight with an unexpected, early takedown. Tybura attacked his leg, but Lewis fought his way out and scrambled to Tybura’s back. The Polish fighter scrambled and found his way to his feet, immediately knocking Lewis off balance and down to the canvas ending up in full mount.
Though things looked good for Tybura, Lewis turned and stood up, knocking Tybura to the canvas. He followed and began dropping bombs, but Tybura was patient, eventually reversing Lewis. Tybura’s ground and pound wasn’t as effective as Lewis’, but he moved to full mount before the round closed.
Lewis started strong in round two as well, landing some heavy punches, but Tybura clinched and took him to the mat again. Tybura landed in side control, where he softened Lewis with punches, elbows, and knees to the body.
Lewis tried to escape, but when he turned, Tybura took his back. Lewis spent much of the rest of the round trying to fight off Tybura, but didn’t have the gas tank to force his way out from under the Polish heavyweight.
Tybura sensed that Lewis was tiring and pressed the fight in the final round, cautiously striking with the bigger man, eventually clinching with him along the cage.
Though he was tiring as Tybura was working for a takedown, Lewis finally found his mark, landing thunderous hook after thunderous hook, sending Tybura crashing to the canvas. Lewis followed him down to continue the assault, but referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in and waved off the fight.
The Black Beast’s power struck again!
Asked by new UFC color man and interviewer Jimmy Smith if he ever had any doubts that he’d be able to land the big punch, Lewis responded, saying, “That’s the way I fight. I know you’re knew to the game, you’re coming over from Bellator, but that’s the way I do it, baby.
“I just believed in myself. Just knowing that I had to touch him one more time.”