Lewis pads record KO total with Round 3 finish

Sports

Derrick Lewis extended his lead as the all-time knockout leader of the UFC’s heavyweight division with a third-round TKO of Rodrigo Nascimento in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis

And in true Derrick Lewis fashion, after the stoppage he discarded his fight shorts, fanned his fallen opponent with them, launched his protective cup and gloves into the crowd and, for good measure, pulled down his underwear to give the fans a view of his backside.

“I appreciate St. Louis for letting me show my naked ass tonight,” said Lewis, who’s from Houston, Texas. “I couldn’t let no taxicab driver from Brazil beat me.”

The end took a little longer than Lewis might have expected. But it was because he wanted to show off his wrestling earlier in the fight before heeding his corner’s request and finishing the job at the 49-second mark of the third round. The knockout was Lewis’ 15th in the UFC and put him two ahead of Frank Mir (13) with Stipe Miocic (9) UFC heavyweights. Lewis is the only active heavyweight in the top 10 in knockout finishes.

Nicknamed “The Black Beast,” Lewis (28-12 MMA, 19-10 UFC) entered the fight ranked No. 12 by the UFC in the heavyweight division and had gone 2-5 over his past seven fights. The knockout of Nascimento got him back into the winning column after a November 2023 loss to Jailton Almeida.

Lewis clubbed Nascimento (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) with a right hand and went for an early takedown, something he promised to do during fight week. Lewis stunned his opponent with a leg trip, but the Brazilian popped back up to his feet. After the two disengaged, Lewis attempted a switch kick and a combination, but Nascimento crowded his space and secured a takedown of his own.

With a healthy mix of punches and short elbows, Nascimento eventually worked his way to a full mount, but Lewis managed to sweep and ended up in half guard to close the opening round.

Lewis briefly opted out of wrestling in the second round and returned to his striking roots, clubbing Nascimento in the opening minute with rights and lefts. Nascimento got a hold of Lewis to slow down the striking but ate an uppercut on the inside. Another salvo from Lewis rattled the Brazilian, but he managed to stay upright. However, an ill-fated leg trip attempt by Lewis saw Nascimento take his back with just over a minute left in the round.

Rather than fish for a choke, Nascimento took a breath and maneuvered his way into half guard to end the round with ground-and-pound.

Lewis’ corner had seen enough and begged him to get the job done with his striking. Lewis obliged and entered the third round focused on the knockout. Just seconds into the round, Lewis leveled Nascimento with a right hand that turned the Brazilian’s legs into spaghetti. A few more follow-up strikes sent Nascimento to the canvas and the stamp on the win came shortly after with some wicked ground-and-pound.

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