Derrick Lewis landed some bombs against Blagoi Ivanov tonight at UFC 244, but couldn’t put the hard-chinned Bulgarian away and had to settle for a split decision victory instead.
Ivanov cautious on the outside here to start against the bigger man. Missed kick from Lewis. Lewis stalking and lands a body kick, but Ivanov catches it and brings down ‘The Black Beast’.
Ivanov moving to side control and he’s got plenty of time to work here. Ivanov with a couple of shorts elbows and then going for an americana, but Lewis powers out of it and gets straight back up.
Lewis connects with a big blow and Ivanov looks stunned momentarily but then punches back and regains his senses. Now a head kick from Ivanov, but Lewis eats it and then lands a takedown of his own.
Ivanov able to get back up against the cage. Lewis still pressing into him for now. Ivanov with the muy thai clinch and lands a hard knee to the body.
Lewis still clinching and lands an elbow to the head. Ivanov with a right hook to the head and to the body.
Ivanov tries for a hip throw, but is unsuccesful and just ducks under a big punch in return.
They finally seperate with Lewis landing a couple of solid punches, but Ivanov’s chin stands up to it for now.
Body punch for Ivanov and that’s the final strike of the round.
Leg kick for Lewis. Overhand left for Ivanov. He closes the distance and works into the clinch, but Lewis is jockeying for position and then presses him into the cage instead.
They separate with Lewis just missing with a strike. Inside leg kick for Ivanov. Inside leg kick from Lewis.
Body punch for Lewis and then upstairs and Ivanov is on wobbly legs, but then lands a hurtful punch of his own. Dangerous moments for both fighters, but Ivanov manages to clinch and bring The Black Beast down to the mat.
Another Americana attempt from Ivanov and it looks good, but Lewis survives and then bursts back to his feet.
Lewis with uppercuts and Ivanov backs off. Ivanov into the clinch. He lands a knee to the body and then an uppercut and punches to the body.
Lewis comes forward and lands a big knee to the body. Now a huge punch lands too and Ivanov still remains standing. Tremendous chin and toughness.
Now it’s Ivanov who marches forward and lands some heavy leather then goes into the clinch. Lewis reversing the clinch, but then Ivanov lands a slick takedown on the bigger man. Lewis on his knees and Ivanov goes for the guillotine, but there’s only ten seconds of the round remaining and Lewis survives to the final round.
Right hand for Ivanov. Body punch for him and then whiffs on the follow-up punch upstairs. Lewis misses with a punch and Ivanov tries to target the body.
Right for Lewis. Ivanov flurries to get into the clinch against the cage. Lewis tries to reverse, but Ivanov walks him back into the cage, failing on a takedown attempt along the way.
Trip takedown from Ivanov doesn’t pay off and they are back to striking range. Left hand for Ivanov moves Lewis backwards, but then he launches a big uppercut that misses the target.
Body punch for Ivanov. Right hand for Lewis. He tries for a takedown, but it fails and left on his knees Ivanov tries to secure top position.
Lewis able to get back up and lands an uppercut. They are in the clinch now with one minute remaining. Ivanov presses Lewis to the cage.
Both men trade uppercuts. A knee to the body and an elbow from Lewis. Ivanov pushing Lewis back and landing the uppercut.
Right hand for Lewis and he follows up with more punches. Upeprcut for Lewis. Big knee for Ivanov in the final seconds of the fight. We’re headed to the scorecards.
Stellar chin shown by Ivanov here and some good takedowns too, but that’s not enough to earn him the win as Lewis’ big punches help him to a split decision victory (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).