Lewis brutalizes Abdurakhimov after lackluster start in UFC Fight Night main event
Derrick Lewis picked up his fifth straight win on Friday night with a TKO over Shamil Abdurakhimov, but the "Black Beast" was not satisfied with his performance.
For Lewis, the matchup was his first chance to compete in a five-round main event for the UFC, so the heavy hitting Texan wanted to pace himself just in case he had to go for all 25 minutes.
Unfortunately the strategy seemed to backfire as Lewis was slow out of the gates and just couldn't get his motor running through the first 15 minutes of the fight.
Abdurakhimov was able to control the pace by grabbing a series of kicks from Lewis and planting him on the mat repeatedly. While Abdurakhimov was clearly in control on the scorecards, he wasn't doing much damage outside of draining his own gas tank while trying to keep the monstrous Lewis subdued on the mat.
During one particular exchange one the feet, Abdurakhimov also caught Lewis with a glancing blow with his glove scraping across the eye that clearly affected his performance throughout the remainder of the fight. Lewis repeatedly rubbed his eye while trying to keep his vision clear as the minutes ticked away.
"He got me in my eye. I'm still seeing double vision right now but that some bull (expletive) still on my part. I should have kept my hands up," Lewis said about the injury.
While Lewis had an ugly start to the fight, he still managed to survive while Abdurakhimov just continued to slow down, and at one point the referee even warned the heavyweight fighter for timidity while backing away during the exchanges on the feet.
Despite losing the first three rounds on all three judges' scorecards, Lewis finally seized an opening in the fourth when he landed on top of Abdurakhimov during a scramble on the feet before hitting the mat, which led to the end of the fight.
Lewis is best known for his powerful ground and pound attack and he wasted no time unleashing hellish bombs from the top before moving into the mount position. From there, Lewis just continued to blast away on a largely defenseless Abdurakhimov, who had nothing left in the tank as the referee mercifully stopped the fight before things got worse.
The stoppage came at 3:42 in the fourth round.
While the victory will stand as Lewis' fifth in a row overall, the top 10 ranked heavyweight was certainly his toughest critic after a lacking performance on Friday night.
"That's one my terribliest fights of all time," Lewis said. "I didn't like my performance at all. I knew it was a five round fight, I was just trying to pace myself but that was some bull (expletive)"
Afterwards, Lewis had already planned to call out one of the top heavyweights sitting in front of him in the rankings, but he just couldn't bring himself to do it following a bad outing against Abdurakhimov in the main event.
"I was going to say I wanted Travis Browne or Mark Hunt but this performance right here, this was some bull (expletive)," Lewis said. "So I'm going to sit my ass down."
There's no doubt Lewis had a bad night at the office, but he still managed to get a TKO victory deep into the fourth round in his first main event. It wasn't pretty, but Lewis still got the job done and that's ultimately all that matters as he continues to make his climb up the rankings in the heavyweight division.