Derrick Lewis Secures Victory Over Nascimento, Expanding His Record For Knockout Wins

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Derrick Lewis further solidified his position as the all-time knockout leader in the UFC’s heavyweight division by securing a third-round TKO victory over Rodrigo Nascimento in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

True to his characteristic style, Lewis marked the victory by discarding his fight shorts, using them to fan his fallen opponent, and tossing his protective cup and gloves into the crowd. As a final flourish, he even pulled down his underwear, treating the fans to an unexpected view of his backside.

The conclusion of the fight took longer than Lewis might have anticipated, as he initially sought to showcase his wrestling skills before ultimately heeding his corner’s advice and finishing the job at the 49-second mark of the third round.

With this knockout, Lewis notched his 15th victory of this nature in the UFC, surpassing Frank Mir’s record of 13, and distancing himself from Stipe Miocic, who holds 9 such victories among UFC heavyweights. Remarkably, Lewis stands as the only active heavyweight in the top 10 with knockout finishes.

Affectionately known as “The Black Beast,” Lewis (28-12 MMA, 19-10 UFC) entered the bout ranked No. 12 in the UFC heavyweight division and was looking to rebound after a series of less favorable results, having gone 2-5 in his last seven fights. The victory over Nascimento (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) marked his return to the winning column following a loss to Jailton Almeida in November 2023.

In the initial stages of the fight, Lewis connected with a powerful right hand and attempted an early takedown, which he had promised during the buildup to the fight. Although Lewis momentarily staggered his opponent with a leg trip, Nascimento quickly regained his footing. Despite Lewis’s efforts, Nascimento managed to secure a takedown of his own, demonstrating resilience in the face of Lewis’s onslaught.

Transitioning into the second round, Lewis shifted his focus back to striking, unleashing a flurry of punches that visibly affected Nascimento. Despite Lewis’s dominance, Nascimento managed to maintain his footing, weathering the storm of strikes. However, Lewis’s attempt at a leg trip allowed Nascimento to gain a positional advantage, ending the round with ground-and-pound.

Recognizing the need to finish the fight with his striking, Lewis’s corner urged him to focus on his strengths. Responding to their guidance, Lewis entered the third round with a clear intention to secure the knockout.

Within moments of the round commencing, Lewis landed a devastating right hand that left Nascimento staggering. A barrage of follow-up strikes sent Nascimento to the canvas, sealing the victory for Lewis with a series of punishing ground-and-pound assaults.