LAS VEGAS – The UFC returned again this past Saturday with another Fight Night card in Las Vegas headlined by two veteran heavyweights on multiple fight winning streaks.
Lewis vs. Oleinik
In the main event, we saw the heavy hitter Derek Lewis take on the dangerous submission specialist Aleksei Oleinik.
This bout was a tale of two rounds. In the first round, “The Black Beast” landed some hard shots, but the majority of the round was controlled by “The Boa Constrictor”, who almost finished the fight with multiple submissions including a kimura that was locked in right as the round ended.
In the second round, Lewis came out with a flying knee to the chest of Oleinik followed by a devastating right hand landing flush and knocking down the 73 fight veteran. He then finished him off with some brutal ground and pound.
What’s Next for Both Fighters
For Lewis, I would love to see him take on Curtis “Razor” Blaydes next. Blaydes only needs one or two more victories before getting a title shot, and the same can be said about Lewis. This is a great test for Lewis to fight another spectacular wrestler and redeem that loss to Cormier, and this is a great test for Blaydes to fight another heavy hitter to show his improvements since losing to Ngannou.
For Oleinik, I would love to see him fight Walt Harris next. This would be a great test for Harris who is coming off of a loss in his most recent fight against Alistair Overeem. With both men coming off of losses, it would be the perfect match up to catapult one of them right back into a contender.
Akhmedov vs. Weidman
In the Co-Main Event, we saw former middleweight champion Chris Weidman take on #9 ranked up and comer Omari Akhmedov.
In the first round, Akhmedov landed several hard shots, some of which stunning the former champion. As the round continued, Weidman was able to take control by landed a takedown and holding the top position for the last two minutes of the round, earning him the 10 points on all three judges scorecards.
In the second round, Akhmedov was able to keep the fight on the feet. He landed much harder shots and clearly won that round, as Weidman appeared to be gassed out.
In the third round, Weidman proved that thought wrong. He took down the gassed and very stiff Akhmedov, and was able to ride out the victory in the mount, threatening arm triangles from the top and landed ground and pound here and there. This round was a 10-8 round on two of the three judges scorecards.
What’s Next for Both Fighters
For Weidman, I would like to see him fight Darren Till next. This is great for Till to fight another former Middleweight champion and a great wrestler. This is great for Weidman to see if he is legitimately back to go through the rankings at Middleweight.
For Akhmedov, I would like to see him fight Edmen Shahbazyan next. Shahbazyan needs to work his way back into the top ten, and I’m sure after the rankings come out from this fight, Akhmedov will be #10 if he’s lucky. It’s a great test for Akhmedov to make his striking more fluid, and for Shahbazyan to get another opportunity at a top ten guy.
Stewart vs. Pitolo
In the third fight of the main card, we saw Darren Stuart take on Maki Pitolo. This fight started with both men landing good shots on the feet. Pitolo attempted to earn a takedown on Stewart and it all went downhill for Pitolo there. Stewart locked in a high elbow guillotine, then re-positioned his arms to make it an extremely deep traditional guillotine, causing Pitolo to have no choice but to tap out.
Kunitskaya vs. Stoliarenko
In the second fight of the main card, we saw Yana Kunitskaya pretty much dominate Julija Stoliarenko. There isn’t much to say about this fight other than Kunitskaya dominated and won every round. She was able to control Stoliarenko on the ground and on the feet.
Dariush vs. Holtzman
In the opener of the main card, we saw Beneil Dariush finish Scott Holtzman with another highlight real KO. Dariush made his own one-two combo with a jab followed by a devastating spinning back fist that is on the shortlist for KO of the Year contenders. Dariush put on a clinic this fight landing great shots on Holtzman throughout the fight and was able to land that spectacular spinning back fist impressing the likes of Paul Felder who was commentating the fight. Great fight for Dariush and even greater finish!
Derrick Lewis def. Aleksei Oleinik via second-round TKO (punches)
Chris Weidman def. Omari Akhmedov via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
Darren Stewart def. Maki Pitolo via first-round submission (guillotine)
Yana Kunitskaya def. Julija Stoliarenko via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Beneil Dariush def. Scott Holtzman via first-round knockout (punch)
Tim Means def. Laureano Staropoli via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Kevin Holland def. Joaquin Buckley via third-round knockout (punch)
Nasrat Haqparast def. Alexander Munoz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Andrew Sanchez def. Wellington Turman via first-round TKO (punches)
Gavin Tucker def. Justin Jaynes via third-round submission (rear-naked choke)
Youssef Zalal def. Peter Barrett via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Irwin Rivera def. Ali Al Qaisi via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)