Hard-hitting heavyweights collide as the legendary Junior dos Santos looks to continue his winning-streak by defeating The Black Beast himself, Derrick Lewis.
Heavyweight is always a hard place to feel confident when you’re making these pre-fight picks and when there’s as much power on the table as there is in this one, anything can happen.
The UFC Wichita main-event will see Junior dos Santos and Derrick Lewis battle for up to twenty-five minutes in a fight that could well help establish a new face in the title-mix.
Not that either man will necessarily be the UFC’s first pick for the next defense of Daniel Cormier’s belt, but still, this is a pivotal fight in the careers of both guys.
As mentioned before, this one should be decided by the punching power on offer here but perhaps even more importantly, there are several x-factors at play that will shape the fight we’re about to see.
It’s easy to forget that the former-champion Junior dos Santos has only really suffered defeat at the hands of the very best to ever do it in this division.
Losses to Cain Velasquez, Alistair Overeem, and Stipe Miocic each came in brutal fashion for JDS and at this point, the questions over his mileage may make his chin suitable for a wild shot from his opponent tonight.
Lewis will, of course, have to reach it to seal the deal though.
Dos Santos might be getting on, and in many ways, out of his prime – but he remains an elite pugilist nonetheless.
There’s every chance he’s able to pick apart his man and get the job done in that fashion, whether by decision or late TKO. His underrated wrestling is there too, if he needs it.
The point I’m making is that Dos Santos will likely attempt to avoid Derrick’s power early. I think that chin has seen better days and I can’t see him emerging from a fire-fight with The Black Beast unscathed.
The power that Derrick Lewis possesses both in his punches and his frame should be the defining factor in the fight.
His ability to retain that one shot knockout ability is pretty incredible despite his well-documented cardio issues.
On top of that, the brute strength he uses to simply stand up from bottom position is quite frankly ridiculous.
He often looks like he’s getting out of bed in the morning.
So how do I see this one playing out?
Well, at heavyweight you really can’t be too sure. With that being said, I see JDS’s gameplan revolving around making an attempt to play the outside game to wear Lewis out sufficiently before attempting to get the finish in the later rounds.
The problem with that plan will come in the form of a huge Derrick Lewis right-hand.
I see him causing a huge setback to JDS’s career in the third-round.
Prediction: Derrick Lewis by third-round KO.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena