Derrick Lewis was down, but he was never out.
“The Black Beast” had his back against the wall after two rounds against Alexander Volkov at UFC 229 on Saturday in Las Vegas, but the heavyweight slugger only needed one massive punch to land in the third round before finishing the fight a few seconds later with a crowd pleasing knockout.
Volkov was the aggressor from the start of the fight as he pursued Lewis across the cage, coming after him with his long reach with both punches and kicks.
The first real damaging shot came when Volkov landed a kick straight to Lewis’ midsection that sent him backwards towards the cage. The Russian followed up with a barrage of punches, but Lewis was able to weather the storm and get away from the cage.
Volkov kept pouring on the offense as the first round continued after cracking Lewis with a big right hook that had the Houston native rattled yet again. Volkov was quick to push the pace with another flurry of shots, but Lewis again survived the onslaught to reset in the center.
Late in the round, Volkov managed to get the fight to the ground where he looked to apply his submission arsenal, but the move nearly backfired when Lewis reversed the position before unleashing some hellish power on the mat before the horn sounded.
With Lewis showing significant swelling around his left eye, Volkov was quick to attack again as the second round got underway. The 6-foot-7 Russian used a stiff right jab to snap Lewis’ head backwards before following up with a powerful left hand.
As time ticked away, Lewis continued to slow down with a waning gas tank, but Volkov wasn’t upping his output either, content to maintain distance with his long jab and front kick.
As the final five minutes got underway, Lewis’ corner told him that he was down two rounds, so it was time to leave it all in the cage.
While the round was slow moving throughout, Lewis finally mounted an epic comeback with less than 30 seconds remaining when he absolutely demolished Volkov with a massive right hand that dropped the Russian down to the mat.
— UFC (@ufc) October 7, 2018
Lewis followed him to the ground and brutalized Volkov with several more sledgehammers until referee Herb Dean rushed into stop the contest.
The official end came at 4:49 in the third round.
He may have been down early, but Lewis still earned a jaw-dropping knockout to finish the fight as he takes a big step towards title contention in the heavyweight division. Regardless of that win, Lewis doesn’t think he’s ready for a shot at the championship just yet.
“I need to sit my black ass down and do some cardio,” Lewis said when asked about entering title contention following his latest win. “I ain’t trying to fight for the title right now.”
Lewis’ brutal honesty aside, “The Black Beast” definitely proved that he remains one of the most dangerous fighters on the entire UFC roster because he has fight finishing power from the first second until the last.