There’s something about a come-from-behind KO that grabs the attention more than anything else and UFC 230 headliner Derrick Lewis is a man who specialises in them.
For those who were uninitiated to the way of ‘The Black Beast’ prior to UFC 229 last month, the power that this man possesses is an x-factor that few in the UFC’s heavyweight division can match.
It’s hard to believe it when you see the clear issues he has had with his cardio mid-fight but even then, when you see his hulking frame panting and breathing heavily, it still takes just one shot from his right-hand to end your night.
With a matchup for the UFC’s heavyweight championship against Daniel Cormier now lined up for UFC 230, here are three times that Derrick’s power forced us to just sit there with our mouths agape.
Derrick Lewis vs. Travis Browne
The strategy employed by Travis Browne when he crossed paths with Lewis was to stay on the outside and fire off teeps to the body and leg-kicks. And for a while, it was all rosy for the lanky heavyweight.
On several occasions, he was able to hurt to Lewis with his pinpoint kicks to the body – causing The Black Beast to keel over in pain. Whether or not he does this in order to draw his man in is debatable but when Lewis connected, the whole arena could feel it.
In the second round, Derrick was able to put a brutal beatdown on Browne, setting things up for one of the greatest post-fight interviews of all-time.
Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
Lewis’ showdown with the Polish powerhouse Tybura was closer than I remember it being. Tybura did appear to be on his way to a decision victory despite battling through some trouble in the first-round but again, the power in Derrick’s hands would not be denied.
In one huge burst of energy, he sprung from a less-than-ideal position underneath Tybura before blasting him with a succession of hard shots, forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to step in and declare the fight in the favour of Lewis.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) February 19, 2018
And again, the post-fight interview was an absolute classic.
Derrick Lewis vs. Alexander Volkov
The most recent knockout of the lot but also the most shocking. Volkov dominated his bout with Lewis for the vast majority of the three scheduled rounds, using his length and accurate strikes to hurt and almost finish his man on several occasions.
But again, despite the fact that he was hurt, gassed and seemingly on his way towards a loss on the judge’s scorecards, Derrick was able to somehow find Volkov’s chin, flattening him instantly and earning himself a shot at the heavyweight title.
DERRICK LEWIS IS BACK!! ?
The Black Beast KO's Volkov just seconds before the fight ends! What a comeback! What a fight!
— Watch UFC 230: Cormier vs Lewis on BT Sport (@btsportufc) October 7, 2018
And, of course, the post-fight interview was just as good.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena